7 Unexpected Foods to Avoid That Can Be Toxic for Your Skin

Sometimes things we love can actually be harmful. And it's really unfortunate when the consequences don't let you go out somewhere or what's worse, make you feel sick.

To avoid these unpleasant feelings and to provide you with a healthy appearance, Bright Side would like to show you some food you may want to consider cutting back on or completely excluding from your food ration.

1. Alcohol

"Drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do for your skin," says Time Bomb skincare expert Michaella Bolder. Unfortunately, after the positive feelings you were having while drinking alcohol fade away, you'll be left with many side effects. First, alcohol promotes hormone disruption that leads to acne. Second, it lowers your immune system by replacing very important bacteria in your gut, microbiome. Third, alcohol dehydrates your skin and makes you look and feel puffy.

If you don't want to suffer from the negative effects of alcohol, try to set a spending limit, don’t drink before you leave home, and eat up and pace yourself.

2. Rice cakes

You’re probably surprised to find out that this supposedly “healthy” food is actually harmful. Rice cakes can lead to wrinkles on your skin and they can even influence your brain function. First, it’s easy to overeat them, which can result in weight gain. Second, if you check the nutrition label on the back, you’ll see that rice cakes consist of a whole lot of nothing, and even if you do find a healthy ingredient, there will be only a tiny amount of it. Third, rice cakes can cause blotches and acne by damaging molecules called Advanced Glycation End products, otherwise known as AGEs.

But if you really enjoy rice cakes, consider choosing the ones containing flaxseeds and adding sprouts, turkey, tomatoes or any other favorite vegetable so that you’ll get healthy unsaturated fats, calcium, and iron.

3. Sushi

Did you know that this delicacy leads to premature aging and causes acne? If not, now you do. Yes, unfortunately, it's true. First, your favorite rolls contain a large amount of salt, one of our health's worst enemies, and this can lead to dehydrated and dull skin. Second, salty food makes cells retain fluid, which makes your face puffy. Third, rice is high on the glycemic index and it can take away moisture and circulation from the epidermis, causing dry skin and premature aging. Julianne Moore was the first to call this phenomenon "sushi face."

If you do eat sushi, it's recommended to drink more water, do facial exercises, sleep at an incline so as not to allow fluid to collect in the face, use a cold compress, and avoid alcohol to prevent puffiness.

4. Dairy products

If you do eat dairy and still struggle with acne, this information may be helpful. First, milk from cows contains a growth hormone which exacerbates your skin’s oil glands and makes your skin extra oily. As a result, you become more prone to breakouts. Second, there is a lot of low-quality milk out there because cows are being fed with moldy GMO corn and soybeans. During the processing of the dairy, the milk gets damaged due to ultra-pasteurization, evaporation, skimming, and so on. All of this creates the perfect conditions for acne. Third, 75% of the world population is lactose intolerant, and this intolerance can lead to the appearance of acne and eczema.

You may want to consider switching to alternatives, such as goat's milk, or buy raw milk from a local farm where you can be sure that the cows are fed grass. Also, 2% milk is a better choice when considering that it's lower on the glycemic index.

5. Breakfast cereals

Sad, but true. Even such seemingly innocent cereals can be harmful for your skin. First, don't believe the word "natural" until you see what the cereal consists of. You may find out that some of the ingredients are in fact GMO ingredients, which can make your skin itchy, increase allergies, and cause acne. Second, because of the process called extrusion, breakfast cereals are actually toxic to our body. Third, popular cereals also often contain synthetic vitamins our body cannot physically utilize.

If you can’t give up eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast, choose one containing less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Pay attention to your portion and use the portion control information on the packaging for guidance. Read the consistency as the product usually contains more of the first 2-3 ingredients listed.

6. Processed meats

One of the reasons you could be seeing swollen skin, especially after visiting a café or a restaurant, could be due to consuming processed meats. First, there is a lot of sodium in processed meats such as ham, bacon, cured meats like chicken brine, and since too much salt makes you puff up, this could be why you feel swollen or puffy. Second, these types of meats also contain nitrites, which destroy collagen and elastin in your skin. Third, processed meats can cause premature aging due to broken elements that can no longer be relied on to support a youthful complexion.

To make processed meats less harmful to your body, make sure you don’t eat too much and that you don’t eat them every day. If you’re on a diet, base it on fresh foods.

7. Juices

Who doesn't love juice? Especially when it's considered to be so much healthier than soda. First, juices contain just as much sugar as soda does, and this sugar breaks down collagen in your skin and makes it rough. Second, juices lack fiber and this means that what you're drinking isn't providing your skin with the necessary nutrients. Third, lemon juice mask lovers are prone to a potential chemical burn. If you go out in the sun, the lemon juice can permanently damage your skin.

You can blend fruits and vegetables into smoothies to make sure your body gets all of the good vitamins and minerals. But it would be better to eat fruits whole so that you'll get antioxidants and vitamins that are naturally found in fruits.

Do you know of any other harmful effects that our favorite foods can have on us? Feel free to share what you know in the comments below!

Preview photo credit Shutterstock
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