All too often, the fat in our diets gets the blame for the grease on our skin. We assume that because our skin is producing grease, there must be too much fat in our bodies, and therefore in our diets. However, when we actually eat too much fat, it comes out in fecal matter, not in our sweat. Likewise, although we blame fatty diets for spots and black heads, because of their fatty texture, these substances are in fact made up of dead skin and white blood cells, not fat. So where does this oily complexion come from? And how do we prevent it?
Actually, a lot of our skin problems can be down to carbs. It isn’t always about the sugars in our foods. After all, carbohydrates are a perfectly good source of energy which our bodies have used for thousands of years. Just as often it is about the things that come with the sugars, or about the sheer amounts of sugars that we are eating. We all know that eating too much candy can make us oily, and that is basically pure sugar. We need to think seriously about the foods we eat and perhaps reduce our carb intake to attain great skin.
Gluten and other grain proteins can cause minor allergies in almost anyone. Gluten allergies are all too often faked right now by people who think not eating gluten will help them lose weight. But there is a legitimate point that gluten, in its least processed form, can cause allergic symptoms in many people. And often they’re not serious symptoms. But a puffy face, oily skin, and spots are some of them. Likewise, for lactose. A common symptom of lactose intolerance is greasy, spotty, sore skin. As our bodies try and fight these compounds they believe are hurting us, we produce too many platelets and white blood cells. When these cells die, they are often eliminated any way we can, including through our pores, as spots.
Carbs can dehydrate our bodies. When we store glucose we store three grams of water for every one of glucose. This causes an odd paradox where we suffer terrible water retention, but are also dehydrated. To fight this, the best solution is to eat fewer carbs and drink more water. This way we encourage our bodies to release fluids and rebalance. With more freely available fluids in our bodies, our skin cleans and heals itself better, reducing shininess and blackheads.
On the flip side, not eating the right fats is terrible for your skin. Although trans fats are best avoided, natural, whole fats are essential for good skin health. Again, this is as much about the fats as it is about the things we usually eat with them. For instance, eating more omegas will add radiance to your skin. Omega oils, especially omega 3, are vital for encouraging tension and healthy color in the skin. They are powerfully antioxidant and this means they make our skin look more youthful and radiant. They also add some plumpness by rehydrating the fat in the cheeks and under the eyes, which are areas prone to dehydration and sagging when on a high carb, low fat diet.
What’s more, vitamins D and E, key skin strengtheners, rely on fat to transport them. These vitamins are essential for maintaining the health and strength of our skin cells and immune systems. The stronger our immune systems are, the less likely we are to be sweating our piles of dead platelets and white blood cells. And the stronger our skin cells are, the more often we will shed dead layers, revealing fresh new skin underneath. Many fatty foods are full of collagen too. Rather than rubbing collagen into your skin, consider adding it directly into your body. Bone broths, offal, and home-rendered animal fats are full of collagen which will strengthen and plump your skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
All in all, if you suffer skin problems it is well worth considering removing or reducing many carb-sources from your diet and increasing the amount of healthy natural fats that you eat.