How Processed Foods Are Trashing Your Skin

How Processed Foods Are Trashing Your Skin

In our modern, fast paced world, convenience often trumps health considerations, especially when it comes to our dietary choices. The allure of processed foods, with their tantalizing flavors and easy accessibility, has led many astray from the path of wholesome nutrition. However, what often goes unnoticed are the profound effects that these processed edibles can have on our skin. At Natural Skin Revival, we believe that healthy, radiant skin emanates from within, and that starts with what we put into our bodies. In this article, “How Processed Foods Are Trashing Your Skin”, we delve into the intricate relationship between processed foods and skin health. Furthermore, we’ll shed light on the detrimental impacts and offer guidance on how to nourish your skin from the inside out.

Understanding Processed Foods

Before we dissect the impact of processed foods on our skin, let’s first understand what exactly they are. Processed foods undergo various alterations from their original state through techniques such as refining, canning, freezing, and packaging. These alterations often involve adding preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, and other additives to enhance taste, texture, and shelf life. Consequently, they often strip the food of its nutritional value, leaving behind empty calories devoid of essential nutrients.

What are Highly Processed Foods?

Highly processed foods take the concept of food alteration to another level. These products typically contain a laundry list of additives, including artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and refined sugars. Examples include sugary cereals, microwave dinners, fast food burgers, and snack chips. Moreover, these products are often engineered to be hyper-palatable, leading to overconsumption and subsequent health issues.

What is the Difference Between Processed Foods and Highly Processed Foods?

While all processed foods undergo some degree of alteration, the key distinction lies in the extent of processing and the additives involved. Processed foods retain some nutritional value, whereas highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients and loaded with artificial ingredients that offer little to no benefit to the body.

Examples Of Highly Processed Foods

Supermarkets today are stocked with thousands of ultra-processed foods. Some of the most common include:

  • White pasta
  • White bread
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Sweetened juice products
  • Soft drinks
  • Sweetened breakfast cereals
  • Margarine
  • Reconstituted meat products (e.g., hot dogs)
  • Candy
  • Cookies and cakes

The NOVA System

While the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have an official classification for highly processed foods, nutrition researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil developed the NOVA system, which categorizes foods into four groups based on the type and extent of processing that they undergo:

  • Group 1: Unprocessed or minimally processed foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables; single-ingredient canned fruits, vegetables, and beans; dried beans; intact whole grains; unprocessed meat; and dairy milk.

  • Group 2: Processed culinary ingredients, such as oil, sugar, and salt, which have been extracted from foods and are commonly used in home kitchens. 

  • Group 3: Processed foods are derived directly from whole foods and typically only contain a main ingredient plus one or two others, usually from Group 2. These include foods such as tofu, brined olives, salted nuts, and whole grain pastas. 

  • Group 4: Ultra-processed foods are industrial formulations made entirely or mostly from substances extracted from foods. They often contain no whole foods; instead, they are reconstituted from extracted substances and substances synthesized in labs. They typically contain five or more ingredients. (See the list above for examples.) 

Are the “Healthier” Vegan and Gluten-Free Processed Foods Bad for You?

The rise of health-conscious eating has led to the proliferation of vegan and gluten-free processed foods marketed as healthier alternatives. However, despite their labels, many of these products still fall into the category of highly processed foods. While they may be free from animal products or gluten, they often contain excessive amounts of refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives. Consuming these products in excess can still lead to adverse health effects, including skin issues.

What are the Basic Health Risks of Processed Foods?

Processed foods have been linked to a myriad of health issues, ranging from obesity and cardiovascular disease to diabetes and cancer. Additionally, from a skin health perspective, the high levels of refined sugars and unhealthy fats found in these products can exacerbate inflammation, leading to acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and other chronic skin conditions. Additionally, the lack of essential nutrients in processed foods deprives the skin of vital building blocks needed for repair and regeneration, accelerating the aging process.

A new study published in February 2024 by the British medical journal BMJ, researchers present the strongest evidence yet linking processed foods to a range of health problems, both mental and physical. The researchers pooled data from 14 studies, which encompassed 9,888,373 participants in all, to look at connections between ultra-processed foods (UPFs) and different health outcomes, including Type 2 diabetes, anxiety, cancer, and early death. Learn More.

How Processed Foods Are Trashing Your Skin

How do Processed and Highly Processed Foods Contribute to Skin Issues?

Processed and highly processed foods wreak havoc on the skin through various mechanisms:

Inflammation: Refined sugars and unhealthy fats found in processed foods triggers inflammation in the body, leading to flare-ups of acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Hormonal Imbalance: Processed foods often contain artificial hormones and chemicals that disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance, exacerbating hormonal acne and other skin issues.

Oxidative Stress: The high levels of free radicals present in processed foods can induce oxidative stress in the body, accelerating the aging process and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Nutrient Deficiency: Processed foods lack essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are crucial for maintaining healthy skin. The deficiency of these nutrients compromises the skin’s barrier function, making it more susceptible to damage and infection.

How Do You Prevent the Health Risks and Chronic Skin Disorders Associated with Consuming Processed Foods?

Preventing the adverse effects of processed foods on skin health starts with making mindful dietary choices:

Opt for Whole Foods: Prioritize whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These nutrient dense foods provide the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for optimal skin health. Additionally, have a meal plan for the week. Make 80% of your food intake whole food plant based.

Read Labels: Be vigilant about reading food labels. Avoid products with lengthy ingredient lists full of artificial additives, preservatives, and refined sugars. The less ingredients the better.

Cook at Home: Take control of your meals by preparing them at home using fresh, wholesome ingredients. Cooking from scratch allows you to monitor what goes into your food. Furthermore, it ensures that you’re nourishing your body and skin with quality nutrients.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and flush out toxins. Hydration is key for maintaining skin elasticity and promoting a radiant complexion.

Practice Moderation: While indulging in processed foods occasionally is unlikely to cause significant harm, it’s essential to practice moderation and balance in your diet. Aim for a predominantly whole foods based diet while allowing yourself the occasional treat.

Treating Skin Disorders With Natural Skin Revival

At Natural Skin Revival, we offer a range of skin care products made with natural ingredients that nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Furthermore, our products harness the power of plant ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to address various skin concerns. Whether you’re dealing with blemishes, redness, rashes, dryness, or premature aging, our gentle yet effective formulations can help restore your skin’s health and vitality.

Treating Acne:

Explore our collection of natural skin care that targets the symptoms of acne from mild pimples to cystic acne. Our products are gentle yet effective. They balance oil production, reducing redness and inflammation while reducing the likelihood of breakouts caused by processed food induced acne. Learn More

Product Recommendation:

Treating Eczema:

Discover our collection of natural skin care made to calm irritated skin and eliminate discomfort associated with eczema flare ups from processed food induced. This collection is separated into product for Facial Skin Care and Body Skin Care.  Additionally, we’ve created a separate link for family’s with Infants and Children suffering with the many symptoms of eczema. Learn More

Product Recommendations:

Treating Rosacea:

Combat redness and inflammation with our collection of natural skin care products for sensitive and rosacea skin. This group of products are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that calm and soothe while reducing redness and inflammation caused by processed food induced rosacea. Learn More.

Product Recommendations:

Treating Psoriasis:

Try our collection of natural skincare that are formulated to alleviate discomfort associated with psoriasis flare-ups aggravated by processed foods. This collection soothes, softens, and repair skin, while eliminating itch, irritation, and pain. Learn More.

Product Recommendations:

For Scalp Psoriasis

Nourishing & Moisturizing Conditioners & Serum

Treating Aging:

Combat the effects of glycation with our collection of natural skin care products. This collection is packed with antioxidants that neutralize free radicals while promoting new skin cell growth. Furthermore giving a youthful vitality to your skin. Learn More

Product Recommendations:

Embracing a New Journey

The connection between processed foods and skin health is undeniable. Consequently, by understanding the detrimental effects of processed foods on our bodies and taking proactive steps to prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods, we safeguard our skin from the ravages of inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies. At Natural Skin Revival, we are committed to offering natural solutions for chronic skin conditions while promoting holistic wellness. Moreover, our goal is to empower individuals to embrace a healthier lifestyle for radiant, glowing skin from the inside out while improving your quality of life.

Written By: Mary Ellen Wank, Wellness Advocate and Founder of LATIV, Natural Skin Revival DISCLAIMER

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References:, Dr. Michael Gregor

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April 6, 2024 7:34 am

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