Dairy, Sugar and Acne – Oh My!

5 Aug

I met my friend Sarah in Italy and not only is she a great travel buddy, she’s a wealth of information regarding skin care, beauty tips, hair secrets and all kinds of other girly stuff (that I normally don’t pay much attention to). But when she started talking about diet changes that affect your complexion, my ears perked up real quick!

She posted this link on her Facebook about how dairy and sugar cause acne no matter what age you are.

Here’s a sample of what the study said:

“Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity. Other large randomized prospective controlled trials (the gold standard of medical research) found that people who had higher sugar intake and a high glycemic load diet (more bread, rice, cereal, pasta, sugar, and flour products of all kinds) had significantly more acne. The good news is that chocolate (dark chocolate that is) didn’t seem to cause acne.”

Sorry, had to bold that last line. My recommendation for excellent dark chocolate? Dove Silk. Pair the squares with raspberry sorbet and you have my new favorite dessert.

Back to the study: The dairy and sugars cause a spike in hormones, androgens and insulin which causes pimples! The article lists a slew of hormones that are found in cow’s milk (even organic, raw, etc.) which quickly makes it become as bad for you as all the sugar in soda.

Basically, cow’s milk is essential for growing calves just like mother’s milk is essential for human babies. Do humans continue drinking breast milk after being weaned? No. Do cows continue suckling other grown bovines? No. Why do we then continue to drink hormone-filled cow’s milk as adults?

The Alternatives

Personally, I love carbs. And after taking a test on what my specific metabolism is like, my body needs carbs. So I can have wheat and grain-based breads and pastas (that are better than bleached, heavily processed carbs that cause acne) without feeling guilty. Thank God! Eventually I’ll start exploring starch substitutes and post on those, but for now I’ve got a few dairy replacements to talk about.

I’ve already tried almond milk and recently picked up Trader Joe’s low-fat original soy milk. The soy milk’s texture and consistency is much better for cereal than almond milk. It’s thin like the fat-free cow’s milk I drink but unlike fat-free milk, the soy milk is a little bit sweet. I’ve heard people say that fat-free milk is basically water (heavily hormoned water…) but low-fat soy milk is just as light and has more taste. It also works great in my coffee, taking the bitterness out and complimenting the splash of Splenda I use.

The shelf life of soy milk is also super long – my half gallon doesn’t expire until October!

However, this particular soy milk has more calories than the almond milk – 110 per 8 oz. serving. Yikes! 2.5 grams of fat (in the low fat variety) and 10 grams of sugar. BUT! No hormones. There’s also 5 grams of protein and a substantial amount of calcium, Vitamin A and D.

Different brands may have lower-calorie varieties and I believe there may be an unsweetened type with less sugar. (I’m new to the soy milk party so I just grabbed a carton and went on my merry way.)

There’s also the option of rice milk, which is next on my “To Try” list.

Little adjustments like these are a great way to be healthier and have prettier skin, too!

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One Response to “Dairy, Sugar and Acne – Oh My!”

  1. Vanessa August 5, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Awesome post! I don’t drink milk too often, usually just in cereal or when I have random cravings for strawberry quick. I’ll usually grab soy milk whenever it’s in the fridge.

    Yay for dark chocolate and raspberry sorbet :D, next bff night!

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