While it may be a myth that greasy foods like pizza or french fries contribute directly to breakouts, some foods actually do! The easiest way to determine whether a particular food is good or bad for acne is the Glycemic Index (GI): a scale that ranks a carbohydrate-containing food or drink by how much it raises blood sugar levels. Here are 4 foods that you should be avoiding due to their sky-high GI rating,  and some healthy alternatives that you should be reaching for.

#1: Processed Foods

Highly processed foods tend to have the highest glycemic index value – this includes foods such as grains that have been stripped of their fibre content. Fibre helps to slow down digestion which reduces the negative affects of high GI ratings, but highly processed foods like white breads, donuts, and many processed breakfast cereal lack fibre. A healthier alternative is to substitute white breads with whole grain breads in your diet. 

#2: High GI Fruits and Vegetables

It may sound sound strange to hear that fruits and vegetables can have negative effects on your skin, but it’s true. Although most vegetables are low on the glycemic index, there are still a few of them like parsnips and pumpkins that have a GI rating over 70 – and that’s out of 100! As for fruits, watermelon and over-ripe banana’s are the highest on the GI. Not to worry though – there are many other fruits and vegetables that have very low GI ratings, and eating a fruit or vegetable is always a better option than eating processed foods. 

#3: Starchy Foods

Think potatoes, rice and pasta. While you may be blaming those crispy french fries for causing breakouts because of the “grease”, it’s actually the starch. Our blood sugar levels – which directly affects acne –  are negatively affected by sugar and starch, and and are positively affected by fibre. So if you plan on consuming a meal with high GI levels, try adding foods that are rich in fibre to help balance out your diet. 

#4: Sugary Drinks

This isn’t just a tip for your complexion, but your overall health. As you can imagine, drinks that are artificially sweetened with sugar and syrup have very high GI ratings. Real fruit juices made from ripe vegetables and fruits also have a high GI, but the pulp can help in lowering the overall GI rating. Drinking water is always recommended, but if you’re looking for a sweet beverage, go for the all-natural juices that include pulp.