Is Your Diet Causing Acne?


The following list contains foods that aggravate acne. It’s broken down into two categories, foods high in iodine and foods high in male hormones. I’m not suggesting that these foods be eliminated from the diet completely, but they should be eaten in moderation. Iodine/Iodides- Excessive ingesting of iodide causes major acne flare ups. Once ingested, iodide mixes into the bloodstream and the excess is excreted through the oil glands which irritates the follicle and causes breakouts. Years ago Iodine was added to table salt as nutritionists feared the American diet, particularly in the midwest, was lacking in it. The idea was to reduce enlarged thyroids, or goiter, as it’s the result of iodine deficiency. Now iodine is in so many prepared foods that many people are getting much more than is necessary.



The following foods are high in Iodide:

Iodized Salt

Milk/Dairy (including organic) - although milk doesn’t naturally contain much iodine, cows typically have salt licks so it makes it’s way into milk Whey or Soy Protein Shakes and Protein Bars (these should be eliminated completely from the diet) Soy – tofu, soy milk, tempe, edamame Seafood, Shellfish Spirulina, Chlorella, Blue-Green Algae, Green drinks Kelp, Miso Soup, Seaweed, Seaweed Supplements Vitamins with iodides, iodine, kelp, potassium iodide (also avoid Biotin, it should be eliminated)- supplements are one of the worst offenders and should be eliminated completely if they contain any of these ingredients Seafood/Shellfish Hormones- Any foods high in male hormones can pose a problem. Ingested hormones stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands just like hormones produced in the body do.

The following Foods are high in male hormones: Peanuts Peanut Butter Peanut Oil Corn Oil Canola Oil Wheat Germ Oil Organ Meats/Pate This is just a guideline, some people have triggers like gluten and citrus while others do not. Sugar can also affect acne as it is thought to be inflammatory in the body. Keep an eye on the foods you eat and be mindful of what your triggers are. Simply reducing these foods will not clear your acne but combined with the right home care it’s very effective.

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