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One common belief is that anyone with acne should avoid eating nuts. But research reveals this is not necessarily the case. Studies from both the American Academy of Dermatology and the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that diet is not responsible for acne. The general consensus, however, is that a low-glycemic diet, which consists of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein, works best overall for avoiding acne. Whether or not this includes nuts depends on a variety of factors.
Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands overproduce oil (sebum), which then mixes with dead skin cells and blocks pores. Bacteria may develop in these blockages, and inflammation produces skin eruptions called pimples.
Vegetable Oils & Acne
One possible drawback of eating nuts is that their high protein and fat content may make them difficult to digest. If these fats and proteins don’t properly digest, the immune system may create antibodies that inflame sebaceous glands and cause pimples. If your skin seems worse after you eat nuts, try roasted rather than raw nuts because the roasting process decomposes many of the proteins. Another option is to soak nuts before eating to help facilitate digestion.
- One possible drawback of eating nuts is that their high protein and fat content may make them difficult to digest.
- If your skin seems worse after you eat nuts, try roasted rather than raw nuts because the roasting process decomposes many of the proteins.
Acne may also develop from allergies. If you suspect your breakouts stem from consuming nuts, keep a food diary. Monitor what you eat and your acne level 1. Share you findings with your physician and together you can determine any diet or other changes you need to make.
- Acne may also develop from allergies.
- Share you findings with your physician and together you can determine any diet or other changes you need to make.
Raisins And Acne
Studies show that nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful as an anti-inflammatory. Walnuts, in particular, are high in omega-3's. However, nuts are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered the “bad” fat. A healthy diet contains a three-to-one ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements, another excellent source of omega-3's, help offset a high omega-6 intake.
- Studies show that nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful as an anti-inflammatory.
- However, nuts are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered the “bad” fat.
Vitamins and Minerals
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and zinc. Almonds contain vitamin E.
What Not to Eat
While certainly not proven to cause acne, certain foods raise flags and may have adverse effects on skin in general.
Vegetable Oils & Acne
Raisins And Acne
Are Brown Rice and Sweet Potatoes Good for Acne?
Cocoa and Acne
Do Chips Cause Acne?
Is It Possible to Get Rid of Acne in Two Days?
Butter as a Cause of Acne
Kidney Beans & Acne
Does Eating Apples Help Acne?
Soy Protein & Acne
- FamilyDoctor.org: Acne
- American Academy of Dermatology. Acne: Who gets and causes.
- American Academy of Dermatology. Adult acne.
- Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, Berson, DS, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;74(5):945-73.e33. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2015.12.037
- Ju Q, Tao T, Hu T, Karadağ AS, Al-khuzaei S, Chen W. Sex hormones and acne. Clin Dermatol. 2017;35(2):130-137. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2016.10.004
- Dréno B. What is new in the pathophysiology of acne, an overview. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017;31 Suppl 5:8-12. doi:10.1111/jdv.14374
- Juhl CR, Bergholdt HKM, Miller IM, Jemec GBE, Kanters JK, Ellervik C. Dairy intake and acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 78,529 children, adolescents, and young adults. Nutrients. 2018;10(8) doi: 10.3390/nu10081049
Lorraine Shea writes about yoga, fitness, nutrition, healing, philosophy, art, decorating and travel for magazines and websites including Fit Yoga, Pilates Style and Country Accents. She teaches Anusara-style yoga and specializes in breath technique, active relaxation and therapeutics. She has a B.A. in English from New York University.