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Acne and Diet

10 years of studies link acne breakouts to diet.

Person with clear skin eating berries

If you’re prone to breakouts, it may be time to tweak what you eat. A review of 11 clinical trials and 42 observational studies, discussed in the International Journal of Dermatology, links acne and diet, including diets with a high glycemic index/high glycemic load.

Refined carbohydrates—like white bread, sodas and ultraprocessed foods, such as cookies and pastries—can raise blood sugar levels quickly and trigger a hormonal response, both of which may be related to sprouting pimples. The review on acne and diet showed that chocolate, fast food and certain dairy products were also associated with acne. By contrast, including more fish in one’s diet, as well as eating high amounts of fruits and vegetables more than 3 days a week, helped prevent the skin condition. That should clear things up!

See also: Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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