You probably already know a great deal about the keto diet. It is almost never out of the news, and ever more people are getting started with keto as a way to reach their weight and health goals. However, do you know how the keto diet effects your skin?
This is a topic that is often overlooked when the keto diet is discussed.
The skin is the biggest organ in our bodies, but it’s seldom mentioned when talking about all the amazing health benefits of the keto diet.
The keto diet is 5% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 70% healthy fats.
All that fat is bound to show up one way or the other in the condition of your skin.
High fat consumption and your skin
There are numerous anecdotes floating around on the web about how the high consumption of oil makes your skin look well moisturized and healthy.
This has certainly been my own experience, and I no longer use a moisturizer on my body.
All the previously dry skin has become soft and glowing.
There are plenty of other people who report the same thing, but does the science stack up behind this claim?
The science of high fat and skin
There is a lot of scientific evidence that supports the claim that high fat is good for your skin.
It has been found to increase the production of sebum
This extra sebum moisturizes and softens the skin .
This is guaranteed to make your skin feel extra hydrated.
In this study (1) the researchers pointed out that the fact that the keto diet encourages the consumption of fatty fish.
Regularly eating fatty fish can influence the condition of your skin.
Fatty fish contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a nutritional super star.
This study (2) demonstrated a clear link between the amount of Omega 3 ingested and a reduction in overall levels of inflammation.
Another feature of the keto diet is the requirement to restrict carbohydrates.
By reducing carbohydrates and eliminating simple carbohydrates, you are going to reduce the levels of inflammation in your body.
Inflammation can cause acne and numerous other skin conditions.
For this reason keto dieters often see that their skin becomes clearer and less red when eating a diet low in carbs.
However, the reduction of inflammation can be a double-edged sword where skin is concerned.
While it mostly has beneficial effects for the skin, an anti inflammatory diet can sometimes cause a side effect called Keto rash.
This is a rare side effect and shows itself as a red itchy rash around the stomach and neck.
The medical name is prurigo pigmentosa. It has been known to occur in people who are just starting with the keto diet.
If this does become an issue for you it is easily treated by adding extra carbohydrates to your diet (3).
It has been demonstrated that prurigo pigmentosa appeared mainly in Asian women of child-bearing age.
If you believe that you have this rash, seek the advice of your medical provider and increase your daily carbs
An often used oil with Keto dieters is MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides).
This oil is popular in the keto world due to its unique properties.
MCT oil is processed in the body much quicker than other oils.
For this reason MCT oil can be directly used for energy as they are converted into ketones as soon as they reach the liver via your bloodstream.
This oil has an astonishingly long list of health benefits, and helps to boost levels of ketosis.
It’s not difficult to see why it’s so popular.
MCT oil is generally very beneficial for the skin, but there is one important exception:
While MCT oil can claim many healthy benefits for skin, there is some research that suggests that MCT oil is not great for people who already suffer from some inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Although the ingestion of LCT fats (long-chain triglycerides) has been shown to be beneficial to everyone, MCT oil should be taken with caution if you have a pre-existing skin condition.
Which keto foods are good for your skin?
The keto diet is very heavy on fats. The recommended intake is 70% of your total consumption each day.
The important point here is that this should be in the form of healthy fats.
Keep away from the trans fats, margarine and vegetable oils. Make sure all your fats come from olive oil, butter, lard, nuts and any fat you eat with your meat.
These healthy fats are not only good for your health, they will be very beneficial for your skin.
For those of you with dry skin, you will soon see that this condition has been completely reversed.
The keto diet encourages the consumption of many of the same foods that have been shown to be of benefit to the skin.
As already mentioned, seafood especially salmon and tuna are packed with omega 3.
Omega 3 is known to help the skin to be clear as well as giving your brain a boost. You should aim for 2 -3 servings of a fatty fish each week for maximum benefits.
Almonds and walnuts
These nuts have the ability to keep moisture in your skin, giving it a more plump and youthful look.
Just a handful each day have shown to have amazing benefits for your skin.
Is there anything that this healthy fat is not good for? Once again it delivers in regard to your skin.
Olive oil can help to prevent wrinkles and protect you skin against sun damage if you’ve had an overdose of UV rays.
MCT oil is another keto favourite that helps protect against UV rays. This light exposure damages the elastin fibers which hold the cells of the skin together.
MCT oil can also be applied directly to the skin to sooth rashes and moisturize chapped lips.
Eggs contain two of the antioxidants which help to keep your skin soft and supple. They will also help to prevent wrinkles and age spots.
Eggs are a valuable source of nutrients, and this fact will benefit your overall health, which will in turn lead to a healthier and more radiant skin.
Leafy green vegetables.
This group of vegetables are a great source of vitamin A.
Vitamin A is the same substance as retinol which is an ingredient in many skin creams sold as moisturizers.
Vitamin A also improves circulation, and this in turn helps to speed up the process of skin cell renewal.
This leads to a more glowing and healthy skin.
This isn’t only a keto diet thing, but it is very often practiced as part of a keto diet.
It is used as a way of super charging the effects of the diet.
Intermittent fasting means that you reduce your daily window for eating down to 8 hours or fewer.
For example the most popular method is known as the 16/8 plan.
You eat for 8 hours each day. It doesn’t matter which 8 you choose but many people follow a pattern of eating between 2pm (Lunch) and 10pm.
It all depends on what fits in with your lifestyle.
The rest of the time you don’t eat at all. For a more detailed description read Best intermittent fasting plan 16/8 plan.
This promotes a process in your body called autophagy. See seven benefits of autophagy and fasting
Autophagy has many healing properties, including being great for your skin. Autophagy promotes the production of collagen, and helps to regenerate skin cells.
When you rarely if ever take a break from eating, you don’t trigger autophagy often enough.
Autophagy plays an important role in keeping the skin healthy and strong.
It has been proved by science that the keto diet can be very beneficial for your skin. This is due mainly to two facts:
- The keto diet omits simple carbohydrates which are the main cause of inflammation in the body.
- The keto diet is a high fat diet. Healthy fats have been shown to be very beneficial to the skin.
Many of the low carbohydrate foods on the keto diet are also the same foods that have many skin enhancing properties.
These will play a part in improving the health and look of your skin.
MCT oil is also very beneficial, and unless you have a pre-existing inflammatory skin condition, this would make a great addition to your skin care routine.
The practice of intermittent fasting, which triggers the process of autophagy in the body has numerous health benefits.
It has also been shown to play a role in regenerating skin cells and improving the appearance of your skin.
The keto diet improves your health overall, and reduces the amount of inflammation in your body.
Once your health is improved, this will soon show up in your skin.
By eating a nutritionally sound diet with plenty of vegetables, proteins and healthy fats both your health and your skin will soon be at their best.
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