Acne/Diet Update

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When I wrote about acne in February 2008, some readers were confused about the study I cited, and comments continue to be posted.

As you’ll note in the original article, most dermatologists agree that the foods we eat do not cause acne. Acne develops when our hormones run amok. Consider puberty, when 85% of teenagers contend with their first zits.

Women also notice hormonal shifts as they enter their 30s, 40s and menopause, which can lead to frustrating cases of adult acne—even if they never experienced breakouts during adolescence.

That said, the study did indicate that certain foods can cause flare-ups in patients already suffering from acne. This distinction is extremely important, and it accounts for some of our readers’ confusion.

Foods with a low-glycemic load—fruits, vegetables, fiber, fish and unsaturated fats—are the healthiest choices for acne sufferers (not to mention the rest of us).

Foods with a high-glycemic load—white bread, corn chips, pretzels, doughnuts, waffles and other refined carbohydrates—can exacerbate acne. Excess consumption of high-glycemic foods can also contribute to diabetes.

For a comprehensive list of foods and their glycemic-index scores, click here.

For Your Organic Bookshelf:The G.I. Handbook: How the Glycemic Index Works

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