Just about every teenager's cosmetic nightmare is to gain weight that won't come off and to break out in acne at the same time. The social challenges of adolescence are bad enough without having two major strikes against you at the same time (and, as we'll explore a little later in the article, overweight teens who break out also tend to have bad breath). With the right information and discipline, however, juicing can do double duty for keeping weight in check and even helping to control bad breath.
How Juicing Can Help You Lose Weight
Scientists have considered just about every conceivable kind of diet for treating acne. Low-fat, low-carb, low-protein, high-fat, high-carb, and high-protein diets all have been used as part of acne skin care. The optimum diet for acne, however, is a little heavier on protein than carbohydrate and limits consumption of fat.
The point of dieting for acne is to slow down the conversion of testosterone, the sex hormone that is at its lifetime peak production just after puberty in both girls and boys, into dihydrotestosterone, the form of the hormone that accelerates the growth of skin and causes skin to flake and clog delicate skin pores.
Physicians conducting diet research have found that a diet consisting of 44% protein, 35% carbohydrate, and 21% fat slows down the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone.
Going on this relatively high-protein and low-fat diet can being to visibly clear up skin in about two weeks. The same group of researchers also put teens on a high-carbohydrate diet consisting of 10% protein, 70% carbohydrate, and 20% fat. This diet accelerated the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and began to increase the number of blemishes in just two weeks.
The human body turns carbohydrates into sugar. Candy bars and Coca Cola just happen to be converted into carbohydrate more quickly than bran cereal and whole wheat bread. All carbs, and all excess protein, are eventually turned into sugar. Where acne is concerned, it is not the glycemic index, how fast a food is digested into sugar, that counts. For acne, it is the glycemic load, the total amount of carbohydrate consumed, that has an effect on breakouts. Too much whole wheat bread and too much fruit can be just as harmful as too many candy bars and energy drinks. Too much meat is also a problem, since the body can only store excess amino acids about 24 hours before it has to convert them into sugar and urea, acidifying the urine.
Keeping the conversion of testosterone into its active form, however, does not require a strange diet that eliminates whole classes of foods. It just requires eating more protein than carbohydrate, without eating too much of either. It does not require any to avoid all kinds of fat, just eating too much fat. Calorie restriction that helps you lose weight also helps you control acne, and diet modification that helps you control acne also helps you lose weight—as long as you don't eat too much. And vegetable juices are a great way to keep from eating too much.
Using Your Macerating Juicer for Weight Loss and Clear Complexion
The simple fact is that most teens lose weight by reducing calories, not by increasing exercise. Growing bodies still require protein, carbohydrate, and fat, but the total amount of calories consumed should only be enough to promote muscle mass, not fat mass. The single most important thing any teen can do to lose weight and clear up acne is to stop drinking sweetened soft drinks. Either cane sugar or high-fructose corn syrup will increase the production of a compound called substance P, which makes the skin more sensitive to pain, priming the skin for “caulking” itself to make repairs with oily sebum. And vegetable juices help fill you up so you don't feel as great a need to indulge in soft drinks or energy drinks—if they are made with a macerating juicer.
A macerating juicer “chews” rather than crushes vegetables to make juice. The macerating process sends more fiber from vegetables and pulp from fruit into the juice. Tiny amounts of vegetable fiber or fruit pectin slow down the process of digestion in the stomach. The longer juice stays in the stomach, the longer it takes you to get hungry again. Filling up on a low-calorie juice made with green leafy vegetables is a good way both to get antioxidants and minerals that fight acne along with potassium that keeps you alert.
And if you just have to sip on something all day long, let it be wheatgrass juice or barley green mix instead of Dr. Pepper or even fruit juice. You still need to eat high-protein foods, in moderation, carbohydrate foods, in moderation, and even several hundred calories in fat. But reducing total calorie consumption helps you lose weight and reducing carbohydrate consumption (sugar is 100% carbohydrate) helps you fight acne.
What About Fat in an Anti-Acne Diet?
When it comes to acne, all fats are not created equal. It is primarily highly refined plant oils that cause problems for acne, especially when they are used to make fried foods or snack foods.
The fat in butter, cheese, whole-fat milk, whole-fat yogurt, meat, and fish does not aggravate acne. You still need to keep total consumption of fat low to keep total calorie consumption low, but there is no reason to stay away from natural animal fat (even lard) on account of acne. The fat in nuts, eaten in 100-calorie servings, may even help you control your appetite between meals and lose weight. (Nuts contain an amino acid called arginine that may activate certain viruses in the skin, but it causes outbreaks of cold sores, not acne.) The fat in chocolate is also beneficial to health, although the theobromine in dark chocolate, the chemical that gives chocolate its aphrodisiac effect, makes most teens break out.
The kind of fat teens need to avoid in anti-acne diets is the highly processed fat in corn oil and soybean oil. Both of these oils are refined in the same kinds of towers used to make gasoline from crude oil. They are combined with nickel catalysts at temperatures of up to 450° C (840° F) to convert the oil into a form that stays liquid at room temperature. Traces of nickel catalyst can aggravate acne, and the omega-6 fat that predominates in both corn and soybean oils is used by the body to make pro-inflammatory hormones. This kind of fat does not create oil in your skin—your sebaceous glands do that—but it used to create the inflammation that closes pores and creates pimples.
Diet for treating acne does not have to complicated. Don't consume any form of food or drink in success, not even juice. Make sure you get protein at every meal. Don't eat snack foods that are packaged in cellophane so they can sit on the shelf without going bad for weeks or years. They usually are made with corn oil or soybean oil. And get a small amount of fat every day so your body can absorb the healthy plant chemicals you get from the 5 to 9 servings of vegetables and fruits you eat every day, along with your 2 or 3 cups of vegetable or fruit juice.