If you want to achieve clear skin, free of acne, you need to examine your diet more carefully but first off, let’s examine the root cause in more detail.
There are 2 places on the human body where it is not possible to get acne – the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. What do those 2 places have in common? Easy, there are no hair follicles there.
Acne is caused by the clogging of the hair follicle by excess sebum which is produced in the sebaceous glands with the primary function to lubricate the skin and hair of mammals. The sebaceous glands are usually found in areas covered by hair and are connected to the hair follicles. That is how the sebum is transported to the skin’s surface – along the hair’s shaft.
It stands to reason, that to help achieve clear skin – or prevent acne in the first place, you must reduce the amount of sebum that is being secreted from the sebaceous glands which are stimulated by the male hormone, testosterone. Meat contains hormones and hormone like substances which can upset the delicate hormonal balance of the body so cutting down on meat can help.
It is no secret that the typical western diet which is high in saturated fats, simple carbs, red meats etc and low in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and complex carbohydrates is one of the main factors causing the massive epidemic we are now seeing in such diseases as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers etc. It is also a major factor causing acne and making it extra difficult to achieve clear skin – you are continually feeding the condition.
There are regions of the world where acne is unheard of and what kind of diet do you think they are following? Certainly not burger and fries that’s for sure!! There was a report published in the December 2002 edition of the Archives of Dermatology where 1200 Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea (including 300 aged 15-25) were studied for over 840 days and not 1 case of acne (grade 1 with multiple comedones or grades 2-4) were observed. There is also the Aché tribe of Paraguay who were subjected to a similar study with a similar result – all the subjects had clear skin.Tubers, fruit, fish, and coconut represent the dietary mainstays in Kitava. Dietary habits are virtually uninfluenced by Western foods in most households. The intake of dairy products, alcohol, coffee, and tea was close to nil, and that of oils, margarine, cereals, sugar, and salt was negligible. Estimated carbohydrate intake was high, almost 70% of daily energy, while total fat intake was low (20% of daily energy). Virtually all of the dietary carbohydrate intake was in the form of low–glycemic load tubers, fruits, and vegetables – the total opposite of the typical westerner.
I won’t go into the exact mechanism behind it, but it appears that high-glycemic load foods could have a profound effect in the propogation of acne so a low GI diet may help you to achieve clear skin.