Decrease carbs, dairy to get clear skin

 
By Shayna Brouker • Published: November 3rd, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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You’ve sampled every over-the-counter cream, gel and face wash in the drugstore to banish those pesky pimples. Maybe you’ve even tried prescription medication to clear up your acne. But the key to clear skin may start from within; after all, you are what you eat. Take a cue from the low-carb craze and cut down on sugars and starches to keep your complexion looking clean.

November is National Healthy Skin Month, and recent research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s summer conference suggests that diet plays a large role in maintaining healthy skin. Dermatologists from the SUNY (soo-nee) Downstate Medical Center in New York say some people who suffer from acne may actually have hyperinsulinemia, a condition characterized by high levels of the hormone insulin in the blood. Eating low-carb foods that keep blood sugar levels from spiking can better control hormones … and acne.

Past studies have also found that getting three or more servings of dairy a day can lead to acne, thanks to hormones used to make cows grow bigger and components in milk that stimulate insulin production.

These studies may explain why sugary, milky chocolate causes breakouts for some acne sufferers.

Just like our bodies, skin constantly restores itself, and nutrition plays a strong role in the process. Acne occurs when cells fail to renew themselves quickly, trapping dirt and oil and sprouting unsightly zits. So which foods get cells going?

Dermatologists recommend a diet high in vitamin A, E and C, zinc, selenium, omega-three fatty acids and H-2-O. Hydrated cells make for happy skin. So guzzle water and nosh on nuts, fish, eggs, brown rice, carrots, spinach and broccoli. And of course, slather on the sunscreen. Opt for an oil-free variety to get healthy, happy spot-free skin.