In the United States, acne affects 17 million people every year.

The primary cause of acne breakout is rise in the level of androgens. Higher androgen level induces the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Sebum is the oil like substance secreted by the sebaceous glands that is used to moisturize the hair follicles and surface of the skin.

This article shall discuss the effectiveness in the treatment of acne vulgaris to cause prevention and reduction in the severity of the breakout by following a low glycemic diet.

It has been established in various studies that high glycemic diets contribute towards the causes of acne breakouts by aggravating its symptoms.

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What is Low Glycemic Diet?

A glycemic diet is a diet planned to suit to or adhere to proper glycemic index and glycemic load in the body by in taking such food items which are high in carbohydrates so that the blood glucose level is maintained.

Food items that have low glycemic index tend to keep the blood glucose and insulin level unaffected mostly, by keeping the rate of digestion and food absorption to a minimum.

It was initially developed to keep control of the blood sugar level in diabetic patients.

This diet simply tells you what kinds of carbohydrate to eat for your health’s maximum benefit.

The glycemic index has been formed based on a rating of food items on the basis of their carbohydrate content on a scale ranging from 0 to 100. Given below is the glycemic index, also known as GI:

  • High GI food (70 to 100): This includes white bread, white rice, sugary beverages, among other items.
  • Medium GI food (56 to 69): This includes bananas, ice creams, raisins and corn among other things.
  • Low GI food (55 to 0): This includes oatmeal, carrots and kidney beans, among others.

You should concentrate more on taking food in the last category of low GI.

How does Low Glycemic Diet help in Acne?

The link between low glycemic diet and prevention of acne is established through the impact high glycemic diet has on the causes of acne vulgaris.

There are several ways in which high glycemic diets do this.

Firstly, taking high glycemic diet tends to increase your blood sugar level and insulin. This high level of insulin is known to have increased body’s inflammatory reaction which means that there will be increased chances of acne inflammation.

Moreover, this increased level of insulin also tends to stimulate the production of sebum which acts as a major contribution towards the cause of breakouts.

Furthermore, insulin is also known to have increased the androgen level in your body. Increased androgen level, stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum which acts as the cause of acne breakouts.

Thus by cutting down on the high glycemic food, you can prevent the inducement of these causes and thereby reduce the chances of acne breakouts.

What to Eat?

You can follow simple steps to include low glycemic food items in your diet. Some suggestions are enlisted below:

  • Your breakfast should contain cereals like oats and barley.
  • Opt for bread that is made of whole grain.
  • Include more and more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Rice, pasta and noodles should be avoided as much as possible.

Benefits of low glycemic diet

The benefits of following a low glycemic diet are enumerated below:

  • It helps in keeping diabetes in control.
  • It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Such a diet is effective in controlling blood cholesterol.

Possible Side effects

Low glycemic diet is considered favorable for your health in general and also helps you maintain skin health. However, there are certain factors that you must keep in mind. They are enumerated below:

  • Very strict adherence may lead to low blood sugar levels because of the metabolism of carbohydrate which gets released slowly in the body as a result of the diet. It is important that you maintain the blood sugar level at a normal and stable level.Extreme in any direction can be harmful. This is especially concerning for those who are hyper or hypo glycemic.
  • Because of the slow release of carbohydrate, energy is released slowly into your body but at a stable speed throughout the day.


In order to minimize the risks of side effects and ensure maximum effectiveness of the diet, you must follow certain precautions that have been enumerated below:

  • Sometimes, a food with low glycemic index is not essentially healthy. You must be sure of what foods you are taking in.
  • You must also make sure to include other essential nutrients in your diet rather than just concentrating on this one type of diet, in order to fulfill the requirements of your body.
  • These low glycemic food items do not essentially have to be packaged.
  • Do not follow diets that aim at extreme approaches. Try to keep it moderate.
  • This diet plan does not include exercise in it.
  • There is certain food items which do not contain any carbohydrate and are therefore not included in the glycemic index. However, it is very essential to consume them for their other nutritional properties. Such food items may include vegetable, meat, fish and egg among others.

Customer Reviews of low glycemic diet for Acne

We did an analysis of online consumer reviews to determine the effectiveness of a low glycemic diet in affecting a reduction in the frequency and intensity of acne breakouts.

Here is a summary of what people, who have tried this out, liked and disliked about the diet:

What they liked about it

Whiteheads: Many of the consumers were of the view that when they followed a strict low glycemic diet, not only did it reduce their acne breakouts but also helped in the deflation of whiteheads.

Whiteheads are a significant symptom of acne vulgaris and often remain untreated. This is one of the few methods of treatment that has led to the deflation of whiteheads.

Scars and spots: A lot of consumers were of the view that following this diet helped in the reduction of the acne induced spots and scars along with reducing the possibility of breakouts. This came as an added benefit.

What they did not like about it

In our survey of the consumer’s reviews, there was no particular point or comment which exhibited dislike towards the diet. Hence no points have been included under this section.


Following a diet plan is considered so much better than swallowing medicines.

With time you discover your own ways of adjusting to a diet and it is always better than relying on medicines and being under constant risks of suffering from its side effects.

Low glycemic diet will help in controlling the causes of acne vulgaris thereby ensure a reduction in its probability. Additionally, it will also improve your body health in general. Including food items with a low glycemic index is not exceptionally difficult as you already usually take such food items.

Following this diet plan will serve as a solution to multiple problems and also improve the health of your skin. This one does deserve a try, it will rarely cause any harm.


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