Are you a vegetarian (or even vegan) who suffers from acne and can’t understand why? Do you eat ample servings of vegetables, fruits, avoid all the “bad” foods, but still have acne and other skin problems?
Skincare consultant, Angela Purcell tells you why a vegetarian diet is not necessarily as healthy as it seems.
If so, you sound a lot like how I used to be! Even when I made the lifestyle change to vegetarianism, my skincare problems did not become better. In fact, many times my acne became worse. What is the correlation?
Many people assume a vegetarian automatically eats healthier than a non-vegetarian. This could not be furthest from the truth! I have been on both sides of the spectrum to know that a vegetarian diet can be very unhealthy.
Deep fried vegetables, refined carbohydrates like white flour based products and chips with processed omega-6 oils, and sugary sweets are just few of the many vegetarian foods that aren’t healthy.
These three triggers that are about to be mentioned exacerbate acne and other skin problems for many people. Keep in mind that some people will not get acne from consuming these triggers daily, but if you have constant acne, and your eating plan consists of these triggers, then you will benefit from eliminating them temporarily.
By reducing or preferably temporarily eliminating these triggers, you should see a noticeable beneficial change in your skin within just a week. This information is mostly based upon my own experience with these triggers along with research.
Trigger #1: Yogurt, Cheese, Milk, And Ice-cream
Many vegetarians consume dairy products for their protein and calcium content. However, these kinds of products are very difficult for the body to digest, very fatty, and contain lactose. Lactose is a form of sugar. Sugar is a breeding ground for acne. From my own experimentation, any kind of dairy product eaten regularly (even if it is organic) slows down the digestive system and contributes to flaring acne.
Do an easy experiment and eliminate all dairy products (even the low-fat versions) for a week. If you buy any packaged items, be sure to read the ingredient list as dairy is in a lot of products. Butter, milk powder, and cream are among a few ingredients that are placed in many packaged products. It is not necessary to give up your favourite dairy based food once in a while. The key is to consume dairy products very sparingly.
Trigger #2: Processed Sugars
Processed sugars from candies, cookies, cakes, ice-cream and yogurt, are a huge contributor to acne. Many people are familiar with the chocolate causing acne myth. However, raw chocolate in its original state is very healthy for you and contains lots of nutrients. The problem is that it doesn’t taste as delectable as the commercial chocolates you will find on the shelf (though it may be a matter of opinion).
So, this is mostly why refined sugar is added. It is not necessarily the chocolate that is causing the acne, but the processed sugar added to commercial chocolates. If you have acne, and your diet is heavy on sweets, do an experiment and eliminate (or severely reduce) your consumption of processed sugars. It may not be easy to do at first since sugar is addictive. A good trick to try is to consume a good protein source such as raw nuts when a sugar craving is about to happen.
Trigger #3: Packaged Products Containing Omega 6 Oils
Foods made with refined vegetable oils are a huge culprit behind acne, when eaten routinely. Some examples of refined vegetable oils are sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed oils. They are in commercial items such as chips, roasted nuts, pre-packaged meals, cookies, spaghetti sauces, canned goods, etc. You must read the ingredient list of any packaged item you buy to confirm that it doesn’t contain a refined vegetable oil.
Extra-virgin olive and flaxseed oil are healthy, but they are rarely used in packaged products because they are unstable at high temperatures and don’t store very well on the shelf. You will be sure to eliminate these types of oils easily by avoiding fried foods and packaged goods. It is fine to buy packaged goods provided that you read the ingredient list.
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