7. Acne, sugar, and sweets

Today we're going to be talking about acne, sugar and sweets. This is part of step one in the Acne Stopper, the four-step strategy - removing causative or exacerbating factors from acne.

The sweets are things that spike the sugar and the insulin levels inside the body, and the oil glands which are the root cause of acne, that sludge up the pores with oil, they are responsive to the spikes in insulin caused by sweets. Sweets are high glycemic foods, for example foods that dump a lot of sugar into the blood really quickly, trigger that spike in insulin and the oil glands are sensitive to it and spike in their oil production, sludge up the pores and you get acne. So I'm going to talk about high-glycemic foods, which is a more refined and scientific way to talk about sweets as a category. But it's not all sweets, for example white bread dumps a lot of sugar into the blood really quickly and is a high glycemic food. Things like cereal, French fries, even other starches such as corn and potatoes can dump a lot of sugar into the blood really quickly. Even certain fruits and sweeteners like sugar, maple syrup and honey, and of course sweets like ice-cream, chocolates - and I'm talking about sweetened chocolate, not just the bitter cocoa powder. That's not what causes acne, it's the sugar in the chocolate, the sweetened chocolate, that's what dumps the sugar into the blood really quickly.

On the flip side of the coin there are the low-glycemic foods, which release sugar very slowly into the blood. Those are things like proteins and fatty foods that contain fewer carbohydrates. Or if they do contain carbohydrates, they are carbohydrates which are more complicated and are more slowly broken down by the body.

Most meats are low-glycemic index foods, or good for acne type of foods. Most fatty foods, for example butter or mayonnaise are not going to flare up your acne. There are many fruits which are low glycemic, for example apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries. These foods are not going to flare up your acne either. I encourage all my listeners to go out and open a browser and type into any search engine 'glycemic index' and 'foods' and you'll get tons of lists of low-glycemic index foods and high-glycemic index foods. Now you'll know which foods are more prone to exacerbating acne.

In particular, of all the different types of acne which we talked about, I have found through my experience that hormonal acne, or adult female onset hormonal acne is the most prone to flaring with high-glycemic index diets.

I'm Doctor Jacob, we'll see you next time.