Leonardo DiCaprio, Salma Hayek, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz - some of the country's most beautiful people - are (or were) plagued by acne. For the 17 million or more North Americans with inflammatory zits (almost 90 percent are teens), neither gender nor good looks offers protection from the often-humiliating skin eruptions.
Simple lifestyle solutions have been few and far between, but a careful review of the facts reveals that eating high-glycemic index foods (and not doing anything to decrease their glycemic effect - we'll tell you how in a minute) and inflammation-promoting saturated fats may be to blame.
Consuming high-GI foods (such as white bread, any grains that aren't 100 percent whole, and anything with added sugar or sugar syrup) spikes your blood sugar and insulin (it's released in reaction). Constantly repeat that roller-coaster ride, and you stimulate overproduction of pimple-producing hormones.
The solution? Decrease the glycemic effect of the foods you eat. Twenty-five minutes before any meal, snack on some healthy fat: walnuts, almonds, or peanuts. Then when you eat, that healthy fat slows stomach emptying, so there's no blood-sugar spike. In addition, opt for low-GI foods - lean protein, most whole grains, non-starchy veggies and most fruits. (There's research showing that in cultures where people don't eat four-legged animals, poultry skin or palm and coconut oils, acne doesn't exist.) And staying with these dietary changes also can reduce wrinkling.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.