In our quest to eat healthy and stay fit, we’re often focused on our weight and waistline. The fact is that what we eat can have a major impact on our skin, too. These 7 common foods can all cause skin problems, for instance:
Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream: dairy products are some of the most common in our homes. We eat and drink them by themselves, but they’re also used in tons of recipes.
A growing body of research, however, suggests that there may be a link between the consumption of dairy products and skin problems like eczema and acne. This may be due to growth hormones and other substances that are found in milk, cheese, and other foods. So what can you do? Try reducing the amount of dairy products you consume, using high-quality hormone-free products, or replacing them with alternatives, like almond milk.
And while we’re on the topic of milk, it’s worth noting that breakfast cereals can also be the culprit behind some skin problems. Many of them are high in sugar, which breaks down collagen in your skin and can make it prematurely age.
Breakfast cereals are often highly processed, and some experts also think that the way they’re manufactured can actually be toxic! So next time you reach for that box of frosted coated sugar bombs, think about going for a whole-grain alternative (like oatmeal) instead.
Proof that even “healthy” foods aren’t always what they seem to be. Rice cakes are a popular snack because they’re low-calorie, but there’s a hidden cost. Rice, like many “white” foods, has what’s called a high glycemic index. This means it can cause your body’s blood sugar to spike.
How does this affect your skin? Well, medical research shows that there’s a definite link between high glycemic index foods and acne. So, if you do want to eat rice cakes, try having them together with a low glycemic index food, like peanut butter or fresh fruit.
Juice is another food that you might expect to be healthy, but fruit juices are high in sugar and low in fiber. Like with breakfast cereals, all that sugar can break down collagen, making your skin rough and prematurely aged.
Instead of drinking fruit juice, go for whole fruit. Try an apple instead of apple juice, for instance. You’ll get fiber instead of just sugar that way, and whole fruits often have a low glycemic index as well.
Bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, and other highly processed meats can wreak havoc on your skin because they are high in sodium and nitrites. Like sugar, nitrites can destroy collagen in your skin. Too much sodium can also dehydrate you, making your skin look rough and aged.
We can’t deny that a salmon crunch roll is one of our favorite snacks, but we might cut back after learning about this one. Sushi seems like a healthy food, but there are a couple of problems with it. First, it’s loaded with rice (which has that high glycemic index thing). Second, it can be high in sodium, especially when we dunk our rolls in soy sauce.
Sodium not only dehydrates you, it may also contribute to acne. And as Julianne Moore unscientifically claimed, all the sodium can also cause “sushi face” as a side effect: bloated and puffy skin.
In moderation, alcohol seems to have some beneficial health effects. On the other hand, too much of it can dehydrate you, including your skin. It may even make acne worse. So, moderation really is key! Try not to overindulge so you can get some of the benefits without the bad side effects.
In a way, it feels like this list snuck up on us, since many of these foods seem like healthy options. Replacing them or using them moderately doesn’t seem that hard to do, however, and it may have some real benefits for our skin health.
Do you have any experiences to share about these foods and skin health? Have you found great ways to replace or control these foods in your diet?