Kin Hubbard was a funny guy. He once said:
“…Beauty is only skin deep, but it is a valuable asset if you are poor or have not any sense…”
We would go as far as to say it’s a valuable asset in all cases. You don’t have to be a classic beauty, but it certainly helps to look your best. While you can’t change the size and color of your eyes, the form of your lips or your facial bone structure, there is no reason why you can’t have beautiful skin.
Diet is the foundation of your beauty
All the characteristics of beautiful skin – smoothness, firmness, elasticity, plumpness, and healthy skin tone – are a result of properly nourished skin. Nutrients are supplied to your skin cells via blood. The more nutrients you keep sending to your skin cells, the fresher and more radiant your complexion will be. This means that proper diet is the foundation of your beauty.
If you look around this website you’ll see that we wrote a lot about all kinds of skin-healthy vitamins and nutrients. Today we are going to talk about dietary fats and their role in health and beauty of your skin.
It’s easy to get confused about dietary fats. There are many different kinds of fats and while some are good for us, some fats are deemed to be dangerous for our health. In addition, some experts have different points of view, which makes things even more complicated.
When it comes to skin, unsaturated fats are your allies. Both types of unsaturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, are great for your skin. The largest share of your fat consumption should come from monounsaturated fat. The best source of monounsaturated fat is olive oil, followed by canola, avocado, almond, and peanut oils. These oils don’t go bad when heated. Avocados, pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts also contain monounsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3. Omega-3 is vital for skin health. A lack of omega-3 essential fatty acids will may manifest as dry skin, cracked nails and weak hair. It can be hard to get enough omega-3 from your diet, and many nutritionists recommend taking supplements.
You get polyunsaturated fats from seafood and some vegetable oils, such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, sesame and flaxseed oils. These oils shouldn’t be exposed to excessive light, heat, or air before consumption. Your best bet is to purchase them unrefined, because extraction process may generate heat, affecting the quality of these oils. Omega-3 is also destroyed by high heat – something to keep in mind when cooking fish.
Fats that don’t help your skin
Saturated fats do little good for your skin. This type of fats increases LDL cholesterol, clogging arteries and diminishing the blood flow to your skin. This means that skin cells won’t receive many important nutrients it needs for optimal health and beauty. As a result, your skin has an unhealthy color and looks fragile.
According to some, excessive consumption of saturated fats may promote inflammation, which accelerates aging by increasing the level of free radicals in the body. While you shouldn’t refuse from foods containing saturated fats altogether, limiting the intake of these foods to about 10 percent of your daily calories is generally a good idea. This type of fat is found mainly in meat and diary products and some oils, such as coconut and palm oils.
Finally, there is another class of fats that you should avoid (and there is no difference in opinions about this). These are trans-fats, a special class of manufactured fats, found in ready-made foods, such as baked goods, chips, crackers, fried foods, fast food, margarine, and shortening. These fats are listed on product labels as partially hydrogenated oils. These are extremely harmful for your health and beauty and although it takes a huge effort to avoid them, it will pay off.
Confused? Here is visual representation: