8 Ways Nuts Are Making Your Acne Worse

I can distinctly remember multiple instances in my life when people told me to eat nuts and almonds to have healthy glowing skin. Keep in mind that I also had acne for what felt like my entire life and people were prone to giving me unsolicited advice. Seems everyone had SOME miracle cure to clear my skin - it just never worked for me.

I can't tell you the amount of time I spent thinking that I was somehow more so unlucky than others or that I was just 'different' because these things that worked to clear EVERYONE else's skin never worked for me.

What I didn't know at the time of course was that almost no one knew what they were talking about when it came to healing acne. 

The amount of random topical creams and systems I have used in an attempt to clear my skin is actually insane. But I always just believed the problem was me. Not the product of course!

Nuts are a prime example of this.

At one point I was told to eat exactly 8 almonds a day and my acne would clear up. I did this diligently until I realized that it wasn't making any difference and I gave up. Plus usually once I started eating some almonds I wanted to eat ALL the almonds. Not to mention that at the time I didn't even read ingredients so who even knows what kind of gross oils those almonds were roasted in.  

It's a common myth that nuts are somehow amazing for acne. Especially tree nuts like almonds are actually one of the MOST COMMON food sensitivities in the world. Knowing that, it makes you question if they're actually good for your skin at all. Personally my answer typically is: NO. 

Let's talk about why nuts might be making your acne worse so that you can decide for yourself if it might be time to say goodbye to that gorgeous jar of almond butter you're currently dipping your apple in. I know it's hard. I'm a recovered nut butter addict myself. But trust me, your health and clear skin are totally worth it!

8 Ways Nuts Are Making Your Acne Worse

1. Acne Can Be Autoimmune in Nature

Have you heard of this nifty little thing called the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol or AIP? Well you see acne on it's own is not an autoimmune condition however, it does have some autoimmune tendencies just like PCOS does. This is a big part of why doing a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol can be so helpful if you have PCOS and or regular old acne. It really all come back to inflammation and....

2. Nuts Are Hard On the Gut

If you read my post about the connection between your skin and your gut you know all too well how important it is to keep your gut happy in order to clear your skin. The fiber in nuts are not only hard to digest, but they're also very harsh on that gut lining that you're working to hard to heal. It goes without saying that for this reason alone nuts are not the best choice for you as a person who's trying to heal naturally. Don't work against yourself!

3. Tree Nuts Are a Top Allergen

Even if you're one of those people who's like "I don't have any allergies, I can eat whatever!" **cough cough ME** you can still have food sensitivities and not be aware of it. Just because you don't swell up and float away like Aunt Marge (Harry Potter reference, DUH) after eating nuts doesn't mean your system isn't sensitive to them. I know it's sad because nuts are magical. But cut them out and you might see some major improvements really quickly!

4. Nuts & Nut Butters Are TOO Good

Let's be real here for a second you guys.... Who has even opened a jar of {insert nut butter of choice} and EVER just eaten a teaspoon? I mean I have killed an entire jar of almond butter in less than 24 hours. Don't act surprised, I'm sure you've done similar damage before. Nuts are just a really slippery slope. Whether you're eating them in crunchy bite sized nut form or in nut butter form, it's hard to stop once you start. Many people turn to nuts as a 'healthy' snack but when does it turn from a healthy snack to an unhealthy addiction? Let me tell you - if the thought of cutting out nuts has you saying "but then what will I snack on?" then you might have a problem. Too much of these bad boys is a recipe for acne disaster.

5. They're High in Omega 6 Fatty Acids.

Omega 3's shunned triplet Omega 6 is rearing it's ugly head. Did you know there were Omega 9's also? Anyway that's not the point here. Omega 6's on their own are not bad for you. HOWEVER, the reason we hear so much about Omega 3's is because our diets have a surplus of Omega 6's in them. From conventional meats, to industrial seed oils and nuts and seeds, Omega 6's are in just about every conventional food item you can get your hands on. Omega 3's however are harder to find. They're in in whole food sources like grass fed meats, wild caught seafood, eggs, and many other sources. Our body's goal is to have Omega 3's & Omega 6's BALANCED. This becomes a challenge for the average person because the SAD (Standard American Diet) includes almost no Omega 3 sources but it's rich with Omega 6 sources. Hence the imbalance and problems. Just know this, imbalances of Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios = Inflammation. Inflammation = Acne. Enough said I think.

6. Nuts Are High in Phytic Acid

I'm not going to get all science-y on you here - but just know that too much Phytic Acid can cause mineral deficiencies in your body. It can also contribute to leaky gut and make your digestion worse by reducing the power of certain digestive enzymes. This doesn't mean you don't want ANY of this acid in your diet, but it does mean that an excess can lead to some pretty big problems when it comes to your skin!

7. You Can Develop Sensitivities

So maybe when you started out on this Paleo journey you felt awesome and you ate nuts all the time. But you also noticed that your acne wasn't exactly getting better and you didn't know WHY. Often times many Paleo recipes use almond flour in place of wheat flour. So you're snacking on nuts in between meals, you're having baked paleo goods, and your also indulging in some nut butters here and there. This adds up to A LOT of friggin nuts! Many times you won't even realize it until you try to cut them out. Over time if you start feeling itchy in your throat after eating a nut, some heat in your cheeks or face, or even just some uneasiness or discomfort - these can ALL be signs of a newly developed sensitivity.

8. They're Often Roasted in Gross Oils

Now if you're already a health nut you can skip this one. But for many of us (this was me too) we don't really bother to read ingredients. This means you could be picking up a bag of nuts that are COVERED in industrial seed oils like canola oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, and so many more gross ones. These oils alone with wreak HAVOC on your skin BIG TIME! If you're picking up a bag of raw nuts, then this doesn't apply of course - but seriously always read your ingredients of everything you're going to put in your body. Even meats. You'd be surprised what you might find!

I do want to say that nuts are by far NOT the worst thing in the world for you if you have acne. But it is work cutting them out for 30-90 days before you try small reintroductions. For me personally, I ate so many nuts for awhile that I developed a bit of an allergy especially to almonds. Then I did an AIP and continued to strictly cut out nuts for months because I just felt better without them in my diet.

I slowly started experimenting with adding them back in and these days I can let myself have some nuts here and there without experiencing a crazy breakout. But I've gotta say my body still does not love nuts.

And it's probably for the best.

In the end you have to experiment and decide for yourself what works for you. But I want to remind you that attachment to food is not the best thing. If you feel like you would be lost without nut butters it really might be time to reevaluate your relationship with them.

Have a conversation: It's not you, it's me. I'm sorry but we need to take a break for awhile.

Break up with your nut butter! You got this boo! Don't forget if you need help with clearing your skin that my free resource library is available below!

Have an amazing week and tell me below: what's your nut butter of choice and favorite way to eat it?? Mine is Almond Butter and I love eating it with honey!


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