3 foods that are bad for your skin

Your diet could be taking its toll on your skin. Find out what foods to avoid

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foods bad for skin

Watch what you eat

The influence of nutrition on the skin is really underestimated, says Alan Logan, a naturopathic doctor and author of The Clear Skin Diet (Cumberland House). "Over the long term [poor diet] can influence the production of inflammatory chemicals in the skin that could lead to acne and other skin conditions," says Logan. "According to research, that could translate into higher risk of developing fine lines and wrinkles." Cut back on these three foods to help your skin look younger and healthier.

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glass of milk

Milk

Several studies have found that milk (regardless of the fat content) is associated with increased acne. One reason could be growth hormones that naturally occur in milk, says Logan. "Eighty to 90 percent of milk is derived from pregnant cows and the researchers are starting to find that the natural growth hormones are stimulating the acne process," he explains.

In fact, all dairy products except yogurt have been shown to raise the risk for breakouts. So if you're acne prone, Logan recommends cutting back on the milk products you eat.

"Experiment with total elimination [of dairy products] for about three weeks, then slowly reintroduce yogurt," he suggests. The reason yogurt won't give you zits: the fermentation process eliminates about 80 percent of naturally occurring growth hormones, Logan says.

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soft drink pop soda

Soft drinks

You want to keep your blood sugar balanced as much of possible in order to keep your skin looking healthy, says Logan. When a medium-size Coke at McDonalds contains 56 g of sugar, washing your Big Mac down with a pop can wreak havoc on your skin, causing everything from acne to visible signs of aging.

Treat soda like a special treat rather than a mealtime staple. Instead, quench your thirst with water flavoured with slices of your favourite fruit.

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deli meats

Deli meats

Sandwich meats may be convenient, but the way they're processed may cause wrinkles. While the exact reason why processed meats cause damage isn't known, experts suspect that the chemicals within these meats may lead to inflammation. "Inflammatory chemicals are essentially like acid rain on the [your skin's] collagen," explains Logan. He adds that there are similar connections between a diet heavy in processed meats (as opposed to fresh, lean meats) and greater risk for type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Can't live without your lunchtime sandwich? No problem. Layer slices of lean meats such as grilled chicken breast between your bread and eat bologna less often.

Related:
5 foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin
The truth about antioxidants and your skin
9 days to younger, healthier-looking skin