low carb benefits : the skin edition

Are you struggling with acne or skin problems? A low-carb diet may be the answer.

A low-carb diet means getting most of your daily calories from good fats, proteins, and nutrient-rich vegetables with fruit in moderation. In general, most low-carb followers try to sick with less than 5-10% of calories from carbs per day.

While the low-carb diet will help you lose weight (1) and increase your energy (2), how does it affect your skin?

High blood sugar and high insulin levels play a role in acne and other skin issues. By changing your diet and lowering your carb intake, you can control your blood sugar and hormone response.

Insulin is a hormone that helps bring sugar into our cells to use as energy, it also helps store excess sugar in our liver and muscles. Some people with chronic acne or skin sensitivity may have hyperinsulinemia, meaning their insulin hormone levels are high.

This happens when you eat too many carbs for your body to handle, so more insulin is made to try and shuttle the sugar into cells and tissues.

On a low-carb diet, you won't be relying on chips and cookies to get you through your day, you'll be eating foods with more vitamins and minerals to fuel your body in a healthier way.

Choose leafy greens and deeply colored vegetables like beets, tomatoes, and broccoli for skin loving nutrients.

More nutritious foods = glowing skin (3)

Eating more good fats, like from high quality salmon, olive oil, and nuts can decrease inflammation in the body (4).

Acne is typically associated with inflammation which is why your skin can look red and swollen.

While we may think something we put on skin can cause irritation and inflammation, what you eat plays an even bigger role in the inflammatory process and it will show on your face.

Interested in trying a low-carb diet? Check out niKETO blogs and guides to get started!


(1) Brehm, B. J., Seeley, R. J., Daniels, S. R., & D’Alessio, D. A. (2003). A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 88(4), 1617–1623. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2002-021480.

(2) White, H., & Venkatesh, B. (2011). Clinical review: ketones and brain injury. Critical Care (London, England), 15(2), 219. https://doi.org/10.1186/cc10020.

(3) Boelsma, E., Hendriks, H. F., & Roza, L. (2001). Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 73(5), 853–864. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/73.5.853.

(4) 13 most anti-inflammatory foods you can eat. (2017, June 3). Retrieved October 4, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods.