People with acne occasionally face difficult challenges, sugar for example. There’s no doubt that sugar contributes to acne, so you should do your best to avoid it. On the other hand humans seem to come hardwired with sweet tooth, and I’m sure you’ve faced times when sugar cravings become almost overwhelming. In this post I’ll share a few ways you can indulge your sweet tooth without harming your skin (at least that much). So you can have your cake and eat it too.
Fruits and smoothies
Fruits are nature’s candy. They have sugar to ease those cravings, but because of all the fiber most fruits fall into low to medium GI range. Some good low GI fruits include:
- Apples and pears
- Berries: blueberries and strawberries
- Citrus fruits, like grapefruits and oranges
You can also turn fruits into healthy smoothies. Try the following recipes:
Banana chocolate shake
- 1 or 2 bananas
- ½ cup of coconut milk or 1 cup of soy milk (or other milk substitute)
- 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder
Banana strawberry smoothie
- 2 bananas
- 1 ½ cup of coconut milk (or other milk substitute)
- Handful of mild tasting green, leafy vegetables (optional)
- Handful or two of strawberries (frozen or fresh)
While these recipes call for bananas that have somewhat higher GI, sugar absorption is blunted by the other ingredients, so are still easy on blood sugar level and don’t cause massive insulin spikes. If you make the smoothies with coconut milk they are high in fat and calories and thus make for excellent meals.
You can also substitute sugar for artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners taste sweet but have no or negligible effect on blood sugar level.
Artificial sweeteners are a controversial subject in the natural health industry, with some people claiming they can cause a wide range of health problems, especially neurological problems. I personally don’t find such claims very credible.
Most of the controversy surrounds aspartame. Yet, the research on safety of aspartame has been reviewed by food safety authorities of several countries who have all accepted aspartame into the food supply. For the allegations against aspartame to be true, all the food safety authorities need to willingly conspire against their own people and suppress ‘damaging information’ from the public.
Furthermore, and more importantly, it assumes that scientists working on food safety issues are either part of the conspiracy or too stupid to notice the dangers of aspartame. I find this highly unlikely. The problem with this is that a scientist who would ‘expose’ the dangers of aspartame would gain instant reputation and authority. Despite these incentives, and relative simplicity of showing aspartame is dangerous, nobody has convincingly demonstrated it. That’s why I don’t put much stock in such claims.
Reduce overall carbohydrate intake
The total insulin burden on your body depends largely on how much carbohydrates you eat. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more your body needs to produce insulin, and the more prone you are to getting acne (huge oversimplification, but serves our purpose for now).
So what you could do is to make your meals mostly of fat and protein and then have something sweet for dessert, perhaps the banana chocolate shake from above. Since your meals are low in carbohydrates having something sweet after the meal won’t overload your body with carbohydrates and insulin.
That’s it, with these three tips it’s possible to occasionally indulge your sweet tooth without damaging your skin.
What’s your favorite way to satisfy sugar cravings without harming your skin? Share in the comments below!
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