From acne and wrinkles to redness and puffiness, the way you eat affects the way you look.
It is surprising how little consideration people give to what they eat, especially when it comes to their appearance. Many of us think as long as we don’t get too much sun (or wear sunscreen) and buy expensive beauty products, our skin will glow and wrinkles will be held at bay. However, the skin is formed from the inside out and as such, the foods we consume greatly shape the condition of our skin.
For this reason, we have researched the worst foods for the skin so you can reduce your intake and make better choices.
Sugar. We know it is delicious and makes food taste so much better. And what is coffee without it?! But it has to be one of the absolute worst things for the skin. Not only does it age you by making skin lackluster, it affects collagen and elastin and speeds up the production of wrinkles. Too much sugar is also known to weaken the immune system and can feed cancer cells.
Artificial Sweeteners/Colours. The name says it all – they are artificial – and often create inflammation and histamine reactions. Those who consume products with artificial sweeteners and flavours are more prone to redness, itching and swelling of the skin, not to mention all the other health detriments associated with these products.
Salt. Most of the salt we consume doesn’t come from the salt shaker, it is hidden within the prepackaged food products that we buy. For those with acne, too much salt is known to aggravate it. Salt, especially iodized salt, causes us to retain water and our tissues to swell, often leading to a puffy appearance (especially around the eyes).
“Healthy” Cereals. Many of our favourite go-to cereals in the morning are not actually the bowl-full of nutrition they claim to be. While whole grains are generally better for you, a lot of cereals are highly refined (remember, the further grains get from their original state, the less nutritional value they retain) and full of added sugar which means they lead to glucose spikes and those dreaded wrinkles.
White Breads/Pastas. High glycemic foods such as white breads, pastas and even cake, can exacerbate acne because they spike glucose and insulin levels which are the main culprit behind breakouts.
Processed Foods. Processed foods seem so convenient, you just grab and go. But most are loaded with salt and sugar and we’ve already discussed the damaging effects of those. Instead, load your cart with fresh produce which is just as convenient (especially those pre-cut options). Your skin and body will thank you for it.
Margarine. While super convenient, margarine contains the dreaded trans-fats that deprive our skin of moisture. In fact, a study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition found a correlation between a high intake of margarine and wrinkles.
Barbequed meat. It’s hard to believe that simply barbequing your meat can be detrimental to your skin, especially if it wasn’t seasoned with excessive salt or marinated in a highly processed sauce. But heating meat at high temperatures actually produces a chemical reaction between the fat and protein which results in a compound called “advanced glycation end products” or AGES. AGES is quite the suitable name as it’s linked to oxidative stress and inflammation making your skin redder, dull and wrinkled.
Deep Fried Foods. In addition to the grease and poor quality oil used, deep fried foods also produce AGES. Further, they can lead to an oil buildup in the body and have been known to trap bacteria on your skin, leading to break outs.
Chips/Crackers/Popcorn. Packed with refined carbs, these snacks increase inflammation and trigger collagen-damaging oxidative stress. Consuming large quantities of chips, crackers and popcorn are linked to more fine lines, wrinkles and an over-all aged appearance. They are also the main cause behind the rise of adult acne.