Researchers have been investigating possible links between diet and acne for many years.

Western diet: Native people in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay do not get acne. Their diet consists of low glycemic index (GI) foods and no dairy. (See more on foods and their glycemic index ratings below).

The “Western diet” – high GI carbs, dairy, fat and sugar – has been seen as a possible culprit for acne outbreaks or increased severity. To date, there is no reliable evidence that anything we eat affects this condition. (See more on foods and their glycemic index ratings below).

However, consuming some foods may cause flare-ups and make acne worse in some people and so should be avoided. If you regularly experience acne outbreaks after eating pizza or fries, try avoiding these foods and see how your skin reacts.

• One study showed men on a low glycemic index (GI) diet had fewer acne spots after 12 weeks compared to a group that ate lots of high GI carb foods.

Specific Foods: Some foods have long been said to cause acne or outbreaks. Here’s the facts to date:

shutterstock_102488759-682x1024 aDairy
Evidence linking acne and dairy foods is weak.
• A study of 6,000 females between 9 and 15 years old found some links between those who had acne and drank milk.
• A similar study of boys found little to no association…

Chocolate
The belief that chocolate causes acne is a myth. There is a lack of evidence to prove this. Experts say large scale studies are needed to investigate what, if any, role chocolate may have…

Q & A What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index (GI), a numerical value, reflects the impact of a food on blood sugar levels.
• High glycemic index (GI) foods raise blood sugar levels quickly and have been implicated in the development of diabetes and heart disease. These foods include white bread, flour and potatoes.
• Low glycemic index foods raise blood sugar levels more slowly. These include uncooked apples, peas, skimmed milk and kidney beans.