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Skin-Friendly Sweets

By Dr Jessica Wu

Do you have a sweet tooth? I admit -- so do I! With Easter around the corner, there may be tempting treats at home or at the office, so it pays to be extra careful. While jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps can sabotage your skin and your figure, you can treat yourself and not feel guilty.

But you have to be smart about how and when you indulge if you want to keep your complexion smooth and clear (and still fit into your clothes). Here’s how to satisfy your sweet tooth without irritating your skin:

 

Plan ahead. Save your sweet treat for the end of the day. Studies have shown that a breakfast consisting of more protein and less sugar and carbs can keep your blood sugar stable throughout the rest of the day, even if you eat more sugar later on. A steady blood sugar level means less inflammation, and fewer angry rashes and breakouts.

Choose homemade desserts. Fresh, home-baked cookies made with rolled oats (for fiber), eggs (for protein to build collagen), and freshly chopped almonds or walnuts (for skin-softening omega-3 fatty acids) are healthier for you than Oreos and Twinkies. If you bake, try tweaking your recipes — for example, add less sugar, add more good stuff like flaxseeds and nuts, and substitute dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa) for milk or semisweet chocolate.

If you suffer from acne, avoid ice cream, custards, cheesecake, and anything creamy. Dairy products (even the organic kind) have been linked to acne breakouts, perhaps because of the effects of the natural cow hormones on skin. Just be sure to get your calcium and vitamin D through other sources.