Nutrition & Diet

What Type Of Food Causes Acne? Food Likely To Cause Acne, Refined Grains And Sugars, Fast Food & More

food cause acne

Acne is the most common skin condition that affects nearly 10 % of the world’s population. Many factors contribute to the formation of acne, including sebum and keratin production, acne-causing bacteria, and inflammation. The link between diet and acne has been controversial, but recent research conclude that diet can play a significant role in acne development.

Acne is estimated to affect 9.4% of the global population, making it the eighth-most prevalent disease all over the world. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that acne is the most common in postpubescent teens, with boys most frequently affected, particularly with more severe forms of the illness.

This article will review the foods that can cause acne:

1)Refined Grains And Sugars

People with acne tend to have more refined carbohydrates than people with little or no any acne. Foods rich in refined carbohydrates involve :

  • Bread,cereal, or desserts made with white flour
  • Pasta made with white flour
  • White rice and rice noodles
  • Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, honey

Refined carbohydrates have an effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. As refined carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which rapidly increases the blood sugar levels. When blood sugars increase, insulin levels also rise to help shuttle the blood sugars out of the bloodstream and into your cells. However, high levels of insulin are not good for those who have acne. Insulin makes androgen hormones more active and rise of insulin-like growth factors. This contributes to acne development by making skin cells grow faster by boosting sebum production.

2) Dairy Products

However, the studies conducted so far have not been of high quality about a link between milk products and acne severity in teenagers. Two studies also found that young adults who regularly consumed milk or ice cream were four times more likely to get affected by acne.

It is not yet clear how milk contributes to the formation of acne, but there are more several proposed theories. Milk is known to raise insulin levels, independent of its effects on blood sugars, which may worsen acne severity. Cow’s milk also contains an amino acid that stimulates the liver to produce more which has been linked to the formation of acne.

3) Fast Food

Acne is strongly associated with eating a western-style diet that is rich in calories, fat, and refined carbohydrates. Fast food items, such as burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, french fries, sodas, and milkshakes, are the mainstay of a typical western diet and may increase the risk of acne.

It is unclear that why eating fast food may increase the risk of developing acne, but some researchers propose that it may affect gene expression and alter hormone levels in a way that promotes acne development.

4) Foods Rich In Omega-6 Fats

Diets containing large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, like the typical western diet, have been linked to increased  levels of swelling and acne. This may be because western diets contain large amounts of corn and soy oils, which are rich in omega-6 fats, and few foods that contain omega-3 fast which are fish and walnuts.

This imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids pushes the body into an inflammatory state, that may worsen acne severity.

5) Chocolate

Chocolate has been a predicted acne trigger since the 1920s, but so far, no consensus has been able to reach.

One study found that eating chocolate often develop the reactivity of the immune system to acne-causing bacteria. Also, a more recent study found that acne-prone males who consumed 25 grams of 99 % dark chocolate daily had an increased number of acne lesions than after just two weeks.

6) Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is one of the popular dietary supplements. It is a rich source of the amino acids leucine and glutamine. These amino acids make skin cells grow and divide more quickly, which may contribute to the development of acne.

The amino acids in whey protein can also stimulate the body to produce higher levels of insulin, which has been linked to the production of acne. Another study found a direct correlation between acne severity and the number of days on the whey protein supplements.

7) Foods You’re Sensitive To

It has been proposed that acne is an inflammatory dieasease. One way that food may contribute to inflammation is through food sensitivities, also termed as delayed hypersensitivity reactions.

Food sensitivities occur when your immune system mistakenly determine food as a threat and launches an immune attack against it.