Understanding the Glycemic Index and Why It's the Likely Culprit of Your Latest Breakout

Understanding the Glycemic Index and Why It's the Likely Culprit of Your Latest Breakout

In a world where we are constantly tempted by fast food, sugary snacks, and a quick meal, understanding how these decisions may be impacting the quality of our skin is important if your still struggling with achieving the clear skin you’ve always wanted.

Enter the Glycemic Index (GI). This index was initially created to assist diabetics in managing their blood sugar levels. We know that foods high in GI are rapidly digested and absorbed, leading to an almost instantaneous spike in blood sugar levels and release of the much-needed insulin.

While an extremely beneficial tool for diabetics, it results in an unfortunate consequence for those who are looking to limit their breakouts.

Elevated levels of insulin have been linked to increased sebum production, inflammation, and abnormal skin cell growth, all of which are primary contributors to the development of acne. Excess sebum, when combined with the clogging of hair follicles and the proliferation of bacteria, creates an environment conducive to the development of acne.

A landmark study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted the correlation between high GI diets and the exacerbation of acne. The research revealed that individuals consuming diets rich in high GI experienced more pronounced acne symptoms compared to those following a low GI diet. More importantly, the study demonstrated that reducing the consumption of high GI foods led to a significant improvement in acne severity.

What Foods are Most Notorious for Their High GI?

The following foods top the list:

- White and whole wheat bread

- White Rice

- Breakfast cereals and cereal bars

- cakes, cookies, and sweet treats

- potatoes and fries

- chips and rice crackers

- fruits such as watermelon and pineapple

- sweetened dairy products such as fruit yogurts

Simply put, think foods high in refined carbohydrates, non-naturally occurring sugars, and those that have been processed. Unfortunately, the foods above have become increasingly pronounced in a Western diet dominated by high consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugary beverages, and processed foods.

Adopting a Low GI Diet for Clearer Skin

Instead of the foods listed above, opt for whole grains, legumes, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits with lower sugar content and think twice before you jump into the drive through. Prioritizing complex carbs over refined sugars and processed foods can significantly improve your hormone levels and regulate your sebum production, directly resulting in clearer skin and fewer breakouts.


Obviously, it’s ok to have a cheat meal every now and then, but if you find your diet is consistently made up of high GI foods and you’re struggling to develop clear skin, it may be time to question what your including in your diet on a regular basis.


PS. If you found this information helpful, please share it with your friends. I will be circulating regular tips and tricks like the above that have helped me on my journey for clearer skin.

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