Two of the first things people notice when they meet someone new are skin and hair. So before trying the latest diet fad, consider that fat and other essential nutrients may be the fountain of youth. During one of IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo’s scientific session titled “Food Science, Nutrition, and Skin: Lessons for the Food Producer and Consumer on Aging, Beauty, and Healthy Skin,” three panelists explained why fat combats signs of aging and hair loss.
Essentially, fat nourishes the hair and skin in all living mammals. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E are also beneficial in the fight against aging and other skin problems. Without dietary fat, the body cannot absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Moreover, research studies have shown that lab animals deprived of essential fatty acids experienced dry, scaly, wrinkly skin and hair loss. Apparently, the Westernized diet—which is high in red meat, processed foods, and saturated fats—correlates to increased incidences of skin problems such as acne and inflammatory health problems such as type 2 diabetes.
While stressors such as fatigue and smoking also have adverse effects on skin and hair, the panelists concluded that the best route to clear skin, a full head of hair, and a clean bill of health is a low-glycemic load diet—which contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, fish, and unsaturated fats.
Truly, food is the only prescription we need
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