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Diet And Acne

Can you eat away pimples?

You may have been watching “What’s Good for You” on channel nine recently as they asked the question does chocolate cause pimples?

The short answer to this is obviously no, but the long answer is maybe?

 Some researchers have looked at the link between diet and acne and the findings are quite interesting. Dr George Varigos a dermatologist at the Royal Melbourne Childrens’ Hospital has found an improvement in the rates of acne in people following a higher protein, low Glycaemic Index diet.

The study looked at those people following a diet which was slightly higher in meat and other protein foods with a little less bread and other high Glycaemic Index (GI) carbohydrate.

They found that those on a high protein, low GI diet had a 50% improvement in their Acne, whilst those on a typical diet using face wash improved by about 30%.

It seems that improvements in Acne are due to a change in the level of hormones like testosterone, and androgen which can promote acne. One problem with the study is that they did not include a standard weight loss group to see if there was any difference between the high protein, low GI diet or a standard low calorie diet.

Now I am not suggesting that Chocolate causes Acne, however if you are eating too much foods high in saturated fat, along with refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice, soft drink and lollies you may be promoting acne. Changing to a low GI eating plan is easy, the first thing you should start doing is throwing away your refined breads and cereals. Look for wholegrain and multi-grain bread or fruit bread. Try using Basmati rice instead of jasmine and include more of the winter fruits like apples, oranges, pears and plums. Low fat milk, yoghurt and custard are all low GI foods and are a good source of protein.

Acne can be a problem for many young teenagers today and when following a typical Australian diet you may be making the problem worse. If you know a troubled teenager with Acne you should encourage them to make healthy low GI choices and suggest they stay away from soft drink and other high GI foods. If you would like more information about the Glycaemic index visit or see your Accredited Practising Dietitian.

29 Feb 2012

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