Can You Eat Your Way to Better Skin?
As skincare products become more and more high-tech, the way to better skin may still come from simpler beginnings - your grocery store aisles.
There are so many different scientific theories these days that say our diet may affect our skin’s health - one of the ways I have tried this out is by eating a low-glycemic-index diet. But does this contribute to a blemish-free face and a healthy glow?
To figure out how the Glycemic Index may affect you and your complexion, first you need to understand how it works...
The Glycemic Index - What Actually Is It?
An increasing amount of studies indicate that certain nutrients, foods, or dietary patterns may affect our skin positively and negatively.
One of the most convincing theories I’ve come across is the Glycemic Index ...
In case you didn’t already know the body converts the carbs from our food into energy (glucose). The Glycemic Index assigns a number to a particular food that gives us an idea of how it is affecting our blood glucose level (high or low). This typically ranges on a scale between 1 and 100. The number which a food is given is referred to as the “glycemic load”.
This means that foods with a high glycemic index (e.g. white bread, sugar, refined carbs etc.) make our blood sugar skyrocket quickly, while foods with a low glycemic index (e.g. whole grains) keep our blood sugar stable.
The closer the number is to 100, the higher the glycemic load. The glycemic load is a good indication of the glycemic effect of whole meals or diets.
Why Could This Help Our Skin?
Scientists at The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that a low-glycemic-load diet may reduce the severity of acne symptoms. Unfortunately an entirely certain connection could not be established (as per usual!). However, the idea is that foods with a high glycemic index raise our blood sugar. Rising blood sugar triggers a hormone (insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I)), which accelerates oil production in our skin. As we know, sebum overproduction can cause new breakouts.
Although, these findings have got limitations (surprised?!) - a low glycemic index is not an 100% adequate indicator for a correct and healthy food intake. Things like nutrients, calories and serving size are also important.
However, high insulin level has been linked to many other diseases like diabetes, cancer, cardiological problems and obesity. So, cutting “empty” carbs and sugar from our diets and eating a more balanced (low-glycemic-load diet) is definitely good for our body. Skin is the body’s largest organ, and like other organs it is supported by the nutrition and food we are eating every day.
How Do I Lower My Glycemic Load?
1. Get Those Grains
Replace foods made mainly with white flour (e.g. white bread, rolls etc.) buy/make sourdoughs and grainy or stoneground wholemeal breads. It’s a yummy and easy way to reduce your GI load.
2. Keep Up the Combos
You don’t need to completely cut out high GI foods. A manageable way to lower your intake is to combine high and low GI options to achieve a moderate GI and GL. That way you can enjoy the things you like while keeping a low GI diet.
3. Savvy Snacking
When you fancy a snack go for fresh fruit/dried fruit, nuts and yoghurt. Try to avoid refined flour products like cookies, crackers and biscuits! It’s a tasty and healthy way to get rid of hunger.
I don’t want to overload you with tips today but If you feel like you want to know more about this topic leave us a comment and we can get more in depth!
psst... Download our Food Journal below! ;)