You must have seen many blogs on healthy foods for skin. They are a dime a dozen on the net. But in skincare, it is also important to note what not to eat. The world is filled with foods that may turn counterproductive for the health of our skin, be it sugary processed treats or oily snacking bites that taste amazing but have little nutritional value. Today we are here to tell you what foods are bad for the skin, and how to avoid them.
How Does Diet Negatively Affect the Skin?
- Whatever we eat finds its way to our skin in some way or another. Be it the good or the bad.
- If our skin gets nutrition, vitamins and hydration from good foods, then it also bears the brunt of unhealthy foods.
- A diet that causes stress on our stomach or liver will inevitably lead to more toxins that show up on the skin in the form of inflammation, rashes or even acne.
- The onus then is on us — how to avoid these foods. But first, what are these foods?
- Some Foods That are Bad for the Skin
1. Processed Meats
You must have heard dieticians say that red meats are not that great for your health. When it comes to your skin, add processed meats too. What are processed meats? Think hotdogs and readymade sausages you find at the supermarket. Or those bacon strips you buy off the meat aisle and fry on your breakfast girdle. These foods that are pre-spiced are usually high in salt (sodium) and nitrates that accelerate skin aging symptoms like wrinkles, cause the skin to inflame, and lead to a sodium imbalance in the body. These meats are also linked to dry skin and a drastic reduction of collagen.
2. Refined Sugary Foods
Again, think of the cookies aisle or the snack bar in your favourite grocery store, and imagine all those varieties of chips, pretzels, candy and sugary cereal. These all are high in refined sugars and have a high GI (glycemic index). These foods take a short time to digest and mainly store fats. So not only do they make you feel hungry sooner, but they also contribute to weight gain. What’s more, is, they also contribute to acne, premature tissue ageing and eventual wrinkles.
3. High Carb Foods
All your white products like pasta, white bread, potatoes and baked goodies are high on carbs. They too are high on GI and contribute to the same kind of skin problems. In short, avoid any packaged or refined food that has a GI value higher than 70.
The fact is, that the adult human body is not meant to digest lactose. It stops doing that when we grow from infant to toddler and wean off our mother’s milk. But for ages now, humans have been drinking cow/buffalo milk which is high in lactose. Lately, much research has also emerged linking milk and dairy products to skin conditions like psoriasis and acne proliferation. Cow’s milk in particular is called to attention here as it is shown to increase the insulin level in our blood, leading to a spike in cortisol hormone. This hormone activates sebaceous glands and cranks up the skin’s oil production too.
5. Soy, Tofu, Soy Protein
Soy protein and soy are known to have high levels of plant-based chemicals called Phytoestrogens. A recent research has pointed at this chemical disrupting human hormones. Especially the oestrogen and androgens that can lead to fertility and reproductive problems. These hormonal imbalances may also upset your skin texture and complexion, causing acne, skin inflammation and absorption issues of vitamins.
Alcohol may not be classified under food, but it sure needs to be ticked off your list as it is bad for the skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, accelerates ageing, and causes your under eyes to swell and fine lines to appear. This does not mean you give up on that occasional celebratory pop of champagne. Just that you moderate it. If you can, give up on hard liquor.
How to Avoid Foods that are Bad for the Skin?
- Instead of sugary treats bought from the store, make your desserts at home. Use foods that are good for your skin like dark chocolate, berries, pomegranates etc.
- Snack on healthy alternatives like peanuts, pistachios, air-fried banana chips etc.
- Replace your white carb-heavy foods with better options like wholewheat pasta for the white variety, multigrain bread for white bread etc.
- Instead of dairy and cow milk, use nut alternatives like almond milk for your beverages.
So now that you know what not to pick when grocery shopping, your skin will thank you in the long run. Just be consistent and even if you do end up eating one of the above, don’t overdo it. Cultivate a habit out of it and you are golden!