The Best And Worst Foods For Acne

If you’re struggling with acne breakouts, you should know that what you eat has a BIG impact! The middle aisles of the grocery store are loaded with foods that contain ingredients that are not very skin friendly. Here’s some tips on what to avoid for acne - and the options you should choose instead:

Public Enemy #1: Sugar

Sugar is just about the worst thing for acne! When you eat large amounts of sugar, your body cranks up its insulin production, and excess insulin in your body triggers your skin to produce more oil, which in turn clogs your pores and follicles, which leads to breakouts. To minimize breakouts you’re going to want to avoid sugar and added sugar.

You might be thinking, “Bobby, I don’t eat candy, I don’t eat added sugar…” but do you realize how much might be lurking in the foods you already eat? Even if you think you’re avoiding sugar, you really need to check the labels to see what’s in there. You also need to look out for what I call “fake sugar” - things like sucralose. 

Let’s take a look at some common condiments:

Barbecue Sauce

To give you an example: Sweet Baby Ray’s. This, my friends, is the kind of barbecue sauce I literally grew up with - but this stuff is scary, the added sugars here are off the charts! 

There's 16 grams of added sugar per two tablespoons serving, and two tablespoons is nothing - you're easily gonna eat four tablespoons of this sauce. 16 grams of sugar is four teaspoons so if you actually have two portions of this you're having 32 grams of sugar - or eight teaspoons - which is insane!

Instead, try an unsweetened organic barbecue sauce - I like Primal Kitchen’s Classic BBQ Sauce. With only 2 grams of sugar per serving (and no added sugars), this is a way better option.

“Even if you think you’re avoiding sugar, you really need to check the labels to see what’s in there.”


Next up in the wall of condiments is ketchup. Be very careful! Even if you get an organic ketchup (which is nice, since tomatoes are in the dirty dozen produce-wise), the typical amount of added sugar is 4 grams per tablespoon. And let’s be honest, you know you’re gonna squeeze at least three servings of ketchup all over your hot dog or hamburger.

Primal Kitchen also offers a great ketchup option here: with only 1 gram of sugar (and no added sugars) per serving, you can enjoy it guilt-free!


Be super careful when it comes to salad dressings; they can be a sugar bomb. My favorite offender is Brianna’s Strawberry Dressing - it has the most sugar I’ve seen for pretty much any dressing - it has a whopping nine grams of pure added cane sugar per two tablespoons. And I can promise you, you’re going to use at least twice that much on your salad!

Even the OG, Kraft Catalina has 4 grams of added sugar per serving. All of that sugar adds up quickly - even if you think you’re not eating added sugar, you are, look at what you’re eating, it’s LIVING in the middle aisles!

Instead, I suggest an avocado-based dressing, like Chosen Foods - the ingredients are fantastic, it’s all non-GMO, and they use xanthan gum as an emulsifier, which is a much better option than carrageenan.