Combine a short attention span and a millennial “I want it now” expectation and you get a perennial diet hopper. Yup, that’s me. Years ago it was first a low carb – high protein diet, followed by a vegetarian lifestyle for a while, with a short raw-vegan blip, and most recently, a low fat – high carb routine. But I’ve moved on. Now, I’m trying out the latest diet trend – low carb, high fat or LCHF for short. No matter which diet du jour, I typically lose weight (if I adhere to it), but this most recent stint which focuses primarily on eating LOTS of healthy fats – avocados, coconut oil, seeds, nuts and high-fat protein sources, like grass-fed beef and wild caught salmon – in addition to weight loss, has my skin GLOWING. And not just any glow. My skin is channeling Jessica Alba’s radiant complexion during her pre-kids years. Remember her in ‘Honey?’ Yah, that good.

While healthy dietary fats rich in essential fatty acids play an important role in producing hormones, assisting with the absorption of micronutrients and keeping insulin levels balanced, they’re also key for healthy skin. (And definitely responsible for my newly acquired youthful looking skin.)

Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Center For Weight Loss & Nutrition at The Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills, CA, Dr. Adrienne Youdim, says eating an increased amount of healthy polyunsaturated fats (which contain the lauded omega-3s) improves skin function, boosts skin hydration, and imparts the plump, dewiness we all strive for. (Here’s a list of omega-3 rich foods you should add to your diet for glowing skin, in case you were wondering…)

But how exactly do omega-3 fatty acids do all this? Dr. Youdim explains…

Anti-Inflammatory Response

“Omega-3s serve to dampen inflammation throughout the body, as well as the skin. When there’s a deficiency in the body of omega-3s, we know it can result in dermatitis; a general term for inflammation or skin disorder. The symptoms of this are scaling of the skin, dryness and water loss (TEWL – trans epidermal water loss).”

Collagen Protection

“It’s been found that having increased omega-3s in the body helps prevent the collagen destruction that occurs with aging, smoking and sun damage. And collagen is the main component of skin making it look nice and plump. Other studies have shown that when people supplement with omega-3s as part of a healthy diet, it reduced signs of overall aging; people noticed less wrinkles, less dryness, and less thinning of the skin.”

UV Protection

“In animal studies, it’s been shown that omega-3s prevent damage from sun exposure and the various steps that result in tumor growth as a result of ultraviolet radiation. (Though, these results have only been found in animal studies, so far.)”

Improved Vitamin & Mineral Absorption

“Most vitamins and minerals are water soluble; meaning they don’t require fat for absorption. But a few are fat soluble, namely, vitamins A, D, E and K. Which if you have a diet deficient in healthy fats you could have trouble absorbing these vitamins because they require fat to be bioavailable.”

-by Amy Chang
Image source: polyvore

For more…

What happens when you ferment superfoods? Read our “Getting Ready with Carla Oates, founder of The Beauty Chef” to find out.

And for an INSANE face oil made with ancient wine making technique, check our our interview with the founder of Vintner’s Daughter.


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