You might think that the keto diet is just too good to be true. But this low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet is an effective way to lose body fat and become lean. But you must be aware that a restrictive diet like keto may also have some impact on the skin. Some experts said that the keto diet can help the skin to become clearer and smoother. It is also said that keto can improve acne, reduce wrinkles, prevents dry skin, regulates oil production in the skin, and make thin hair thicker.
The Popular Keto Diet
First, let us try to find out what a keto diet is and why it’s so popular. This diet trains the body to burn fat instead of carbs. This brings the body to a state of ketosis. Your body goes through this process naturally when there’s a shortage of carbohydrates. This diet allows you to consume more fat instead of carbs. But this diet should only be used as a temporary measure to bring down your body fat. You can follow this diet for two to four weeks max only.
Foods to Eat While on Keto
The ideal keto diet contains the following: 5 percent carbs, 70 to 80 percent fat, and 15 to 25 percent protein. Since your carb intake is only 5 percent, the body turns to fat for an energy source. These foods are keto-friendly: protein from red meat, poultry, eggs, and fatty fish (salmon), green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, nuts and seeds, dairy products like cream, butter, and cheese, high-fat food options like bacon and avocado as well as healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil, and lastly non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and peppers.
On the other hand, all these must be avoided: grains whether it is wheat, corn, or rice, bean and legumes, sugar such as maple syrup, refined syrup, and corn syrup, fruit juice and most fruits like oranges and bananas, and starchy vegetables like carrots, beets, potatoes, and squash.
Can Something Go Wrong with the Keto Diet?
Something can go wrong when you do keto the wrong way. With a reduced intake of carbs, you could also have a reduced fiber intake. This could cause problems in your digestive system. This is why constipation is a common issue in a keto diet. On a more serious note, the strict restrictive nature of the keto diet often leads to an eating disorder in some people. The keto diet is prohibited for people who have eating disorders. The high-fat nature of the diet may also prompt some people to increase their intake of processed foods, which could have an adverse effect on their overall health including the skin.
The Keto Diet’s Effects on the Skin
Keto has both positive and not-so-positive effects on the skin. Here are some of those you have to know about.
High-fat content improves the quality of skin, hair, and nails.
The keto diet is loaded with fatty acids like omega-3s. Fatty acids are the ones that keep the cell membranes healthy. They also help in the natural exchange of essential nutrients. As a result, the hair becomes thicker and shinier, nails are stronger and healthier, and skin turns smoother and softer.
Fewer acne breakouts
Several studies have revealed that consuming more fats and fewer carbs can reduce the frequency of acne breakouts. This is because the keto diet has an anti-inflammatory effect, regulating the production of sebum, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation and redness. But you must also try to avoid consuming too much dairy since this may trigger acne breakouts in some people. Stick to fats that come from fish, eggs, and meat.
Smoothens out wrinkles and fine lines
The nature of the keto diet brings down the body’s blood sugar levels. The excess sugar in your diet leads to glycation, which weakens collagen production in the body, causing fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. When you follow the keto diet, you tend to have reduced glycation, making the skin look younger, more radiant, and smoother. Apart from this, a lot of keto-friendly foods help in collagen production. Collagen is a king of protein that holds the structure of your skin. It makes the skin firm and free from wrinkles.
For you to avoid the negative impact of the keto diet, you have to make sure that you eat the right type of fat to avoid acne breakouts. Remember as well that taking too much dairy can trigger an acne breakout in some people. You also have to watch out for keto rash. This is a type of inflammatory dermatosis. This side effect rarely occurs, and this can happen during the early stages of ketosis. With this condition, the skin becomes itchy and irritated. It also usually affects the upper half of the body, not the face. When you find an itchy rash while on keto, avoid touching the area and make sure your skin is properly hydrated. Consult your dermatologist right away to ask for a topical antibiotic cream.
Carbs Reduction and Its Impact on Your Skin
When on a keto diet and you cut your intake of the right carbs and increase your consumption of the right fats, you’re likely to have an improved complexion. When you get rid of simple carbs, you’re trying to avoid excess inflammation. With less inflammation, you’ll notice that your skin is more radiant, less red, and clearer. But you have to be careful since an anti-inflammation diet may also cause prurigo pigmentosa or keto rash.
Increased Fat Intake and Skin Health
According to experts, omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for one’s skin and hair. They also recommend increasing the consumption of fat, especially coming from salmon and walnuts, since this may make ease your skin’s dryness, itch, and scales. It is also advisable to avoid omega-6 fat sources like vegetable oils since it is closely linked to inflammatory acne.
Some Tips for Increasing the Benefits of Keto on the Skin
You can do several things to enhance the beneficial effects of keto on the skin. First, you can drink more green tea. It’s great for cancer prevention due to the agent EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). You must also limit if not completely avoid dark chocolate. A recent report showed that it’s 99 percent possible dark chocolate may intensify skin breakouts in men who are prone to them.