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How a Good Diet Can Help You Fight Bad Acne

Updated on December 13, 2010

There are many treatments for bad acne out there. Various pills and creams all claim to be able to reverse bad acne either by themselves or with regular washing. However all of these methods are only treating the symptom of a greater problem, inflammation.

Acne is caused when a hair follicle becomes inflamed from either either dirt, hormones, and/or bacteria. While frequent washing with a cleanser and using acne creams can combat dirt and bacteria, they have little effect on the hormones that cause acne.

Your Diet Is Critical

The food we eat is linked to every single system throughout our bodies. A proper diet not only helps us lose or maintain weight, reduces our chances of heart disease and cancer, but also helps create and maintain healthy skin. While there has been research in the past that has attempt to disprove this, both studies were either scientifically inaccurate to simply misleading. One involved the study of chocolate and its effect on acne while the other did not even have a control group in which to compare the experimental group.

What Are the Causes of Acne in Our Diet?

The major causes of acne in our diet are the imbalance of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, excess saturated fat, excess dietary sugar, and dairy. First among all of these is the imbalance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in the typical western diet. I have seen figures run from said the imbalance can vary between 1 to 15 to as high a 1 to 30. In reality, for a health diet, the ratio should be between 1 to 1 or 1 to 2. What's important to remember is that omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory while omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.

Second, diets that have an excess of saturated fat when combined with excessive sugar and omega-3 fatty acids can lead to the production of prostaglandins. It's from these chemicals that acne can continue to develop despite good hygiene. However remember that while excessive saturated fat is bad for our bodies, we still need to eat some saturated fat for the proper absorption of vitamins and minerals, in particular calcium.

If I could single out the single the worst thing for your body, it would be would be sugar. Our sugar laden food is contributor to nearly every single chronic illness that plagues America today. Sugars spike our blood sugar levels that causes our bodies to over produce insulin that leads to everything from diabetes and obesity to cancer and heart disease.

Finally dairy promotes acne because it serves as an artificial androgen (often associated with male sex hormones like testosterone). What often happens is that androgens are converted into a plethora of chemicals and hormones with incredibly long names that bind to the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. This causes the follicles to grow larger and produce more sebum which then causes acne to arise.

So What Should I Eat?

To prevent acne it's important to eat:

  • Vegetables
  • Fish (Wild is best)
  • Omega-3 enriched eggs
  • Lean cuts of meat
  • Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans (but not peanuts!)

In addition, you should avoid:

  • Sugary foods such as candy
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Milk and cheese
  • Vegetable oils
  • High fructose corn syrup

In the cases of very bad acne, diet alone might not be enough to prevent it. However it is one of many acne treatments that can be combined together to formulate an acne solution for you.

Source: Alan C. Logan's The Clear Skin Diet

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