Can Nuts Cause Acne? What You Need To Know

Acne is a skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Although acne is majorly linked to hormonal activities, it can also result from unhealthy choices and practices. For example, not sleeping well and stressing yourself beyond reason.

Related Post: Causes of Acne.

Like hormones, there are different arguments about nuts and the role they play in acne. We know what some diets trigger acne; however, can nuts cause acne?

Can Nuts Cause Acne?

Can eating nuts give you acne? Nuts can indeed cause acne. The reason is that they often contain the food nutrients that affect how your body produces the hormones that trigger acne. So, although nuts do not directly cause acne, they affect hormonal levels and sometimes trigger acne.

Acne is caused by excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. And, excess oil and dead skin cells are caused by the irregular activities of the oil glands. Hence, whatever can make your body produce more oil than is necessary or affects hormonal activities, can cause acne.

Interestingly, certain nuts fit into this category.

To be fair, not all nuts trigger acne. Hence, depriving yourself of the pleasure of consuming nuts will not suffice as an acne remedy. There are varieties of nuts, each one with the varying nutrients that they contribute to your body.

Nuts are very rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids (EFA). These fatty acids are essential nutrients for your body.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, while Omega-6 acids are inflammatory. Inflammatory meaning that it causes swelling. Your body needs Omega-6 fatty acids so you can maintain that rosy, healthy look, but you do not need too much.

Plus, nuts take a very long time to digest, so the digestion process causes a slow increase in your blood glucose level when you eat them. An increase in the glucose level of your blood makes your body respond by releasing insulin. Insulin triggers an increase in androgen levels, which in turn trigger an increase in sebum production by the sebaceous glands in your skin.

To help reduce the digestion time of the nuts you take, you can soak them in water, so when you chew, it is already soft. Roasting your nuts before ingestion helps reduce the protein and reduce digestion time.

Omega-3 fatty acids are good fatty acids, while Omega-6 fatty acids are bad when acne is concerned. Nuts contain varying amounts of these two acids. Some contain more Omega-6 acids, and their consumption can lead to a breakout of acne on your skin.

It is important to know that the foods that we take do not directly affect or cause acne, but rather, during or after digestion, they produce hormone-like substances that can mirror the hormones that cause an increase in sebum production.

It is no surprise that some nuts trigger your acne while some don’t. All you need to know is that if you have acne, you need to avoid eating nuts that have more Omega-6 fatty acids.

Nuts are very beneficial to the body since they contain fiber and essential protein. Apart from this, they give your skin that smooth look and supple feel. When you can identify the nuts that trigger your acne breakouts and the ones that do not, you will be able to distinguish which to eat.

What Nuts Are Best For Acne?

1. Macadamia Nuts

If you haven’t yet eaten macadamia nuts, you’re missing out. Macadamia nuts are the ideal snack for people with acne since they’re buttery, sweet, and extremely filling. Unlike other nuts, they contain almost no omega-6 fatty acids and very little phytates.

Although macadamia nuts may not have all of the protein or vitamins that other nuts provide, they more than make up for it by being a completely safe nut to consume. There’s virtually no chance that eating macadamia nuts will cause an acne flare-up.

2. Almonds

Almonds are one of the best nuts for acne because they contain a high amount of zinc. Zinc is an important mineral for skin health, and it’s been shown to be effective at reducing pimples and healing scars.

Almonds are also a good source of vitamin E, another nutrient that’s essential for clear skin. However, almonds do contain a small amount of omega-6 fatty acids, so eat them in moderation if you’re prone to breakouts.

3. Hazelnuts

Like almonds, hazelnuts are a good source of zinc and vitamin E, making them an excellent choice for people with acne-prone skin. Hazelnuts also contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help to protect your skin from the damage caused by free radicals.

Hazelnuts are one of the few nuts that are low in omega-6 fatty acids, making them a good choice for anyone struggling with breakouts.

4. Chestnuts

Chestnuts are a type of nut that’s often overlooked, but they’re actually an excellent food for people with acne. Chestnuts are low in fat and calories, but they’re high in fiber and antioxidants.

They also contain a small amount of zinc, which makes them a good choice for people looking to improve their skin health. However, chestnuts do contain a significant amount of omega-6 fatty acids, so eat them in moderation if you have acne-prone skin.

What Nuts Are Bad For Acne?

1. Brazil Nuts

I first learned about these odd and costly nuts from The Four Hour Body. Brazil nuts are a fascinating dish because they’re big and native to South America, as well as being highly sought after by many South American tribes.

They’re one of the only good sources of selenium on the planet, but they also have high anti-nutrients. As a result, when it comes to brazil nuts, balance is essential.

2. Cashews

Cashews are a rather uninteresting nut to discuss, and there isn’t much that stands out here. They’re higher in carbohydrates (not keto-friendly), and they have a decent amount of phytic acid. While there aren’t many advantages of cashews, there aren’t any disadvantages either.

3. Pecans

Pecans, which are not only delectable, but also frequently overlooked for their health advantages, are one of my personal favorites. With just a few carbs and a decent amount of protein, pecans aren’t all that unhealthy after all.

The omega-6 fat content is where we hit snags. Just a handful of pecans can send your whole omega ratio off the rails and cause acne-causing inflammation. It’s important to maintain moderation here.

4. Pistachios

Ahh, pistachios. Pistachios are one of the most challenging nuts to consume because they’re so delicious. Not only do pistachios taste good, but they’re a wonderful source of vitamin K and high in prebiotics, and they’re also low in antinutrients compared to other nuts.

Overall, they aren’t as nutritious as almonds or macadamia nuts or as low in inflammatory fatty acids as macadamia nuts, but with moderate consumption, there shouldn’t be any problems.

5. Pine Nuts

I’m sure you’re just as shocked to find out that pine nuts are a thing. Yes, and they’re also pretty popular (and inexpensive). The issue with pine nuts boils down to the fact that they have an exorbitant amount of omega-6 fatty acids per serving. Just one ounce of pine nuts contains roughly 10 grams of omega-6 fats.

You’d need to eat 4 or more cans of sardines or 3+ salmon fillets in order to make up for the omega-6’s from a single meal. Is it worth it for acne-prone folks to binge on pine nuts? I doubt it.

6. Walnuts

Walnuts are high in omega-6 fats, which have been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Because of the large number of inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acids they contain, you should be cautious with walnuts.

This omega-6 content is enough to cause inflammation that can aggravate acne in most people, much like pine nuts. Despite the fact that walnuts include a lot of omega 3s, the sheer amount of omega 6s cancels out any anti-inflammatory advantages.

Walnuts are frequently used in trail and nut mixes due to their antioxidant and health benefits, so keep an eye out for them when buying one.

7. Peanuts

Despite being referred to as a nut, peanuts are often eaten like one. Despite their deliciousness, peanuts are one of the most damaging meals for acne-prone people. They’re so terrible that I’ve dedicated an entire article to them. Not only are they high in phytic acid and lectins, but they also have a poor omega-fatty acid profile. If you can, choose healthier nuts like macadamias or almonds instead.

Peanuts have many advantages, but they are not a good fit for most individuals with food allergies. This is especially true for peanut butter, which frequently contains inflammatory vegetable oils and is better replaced with almond or macadamia butter.

Omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory and have been medically linked to obesity. It is also known to be unhealthy for people with arthritis.

The omega-6 fatty acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that the body can not produce by itself, so you cannot entirely starve yourself of it. It still serves a nutritional function for your body.

However, to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, the intake of Omega-6 fatty acids should be minimal and balanced out with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Which Types Of Food Cause Acne?

what foods cause acne scars

This is the question everyone asks. Acne can be devastating, especially in severe cases. So, even people who are not affected by this condition ask this same question to avoid or prevent acne.

The answer is not that simple. The relationship between food and acne is strained. Most dermatologists have attributed the cause of acne to be due to hormonal influences and bacteria, not food types.

People have been known to keep strict diets and still struggle with acne. However, that is not stating that the types of food we ingest do not affect our skin’s health.

Sugar: Yes, Sugar! The glucose levels in your blood are important, as it determines the amount of energy your body can generate. You can get acne from overconsumption of sugar. Like we saw above, an increase in sugar levels in the blood makes your body release insulin. Insulin can cause an increase in the sebum in your skin, leading to the blockage of pores. You know the rest.

Oily foods: You should understand the connection between your acne and the fats and oil in your body in literal terms. Consumption of fast foods or greasy foods can cause an outbreak of acne on your skin.

Omega-6 fats, for instance, as we saw above, have inflammatory properties. So, if you have an existing acne bout, you might want to reduce the ingestion of foods that contain omega six fats.

The list of untouchables to reduce or avoid acne is lengthy, and in cases where one’s pocket is strained, most of these food items cannot be avoided.

However, it is important to stress that the type of food you eat might not be your acne’s direct cause. The cause of acne differs in individuals. Various foods, therefore, cannot be generalized or categorized into acne causatives.

Related Post: The Acne Diet: How To Eat Your Way To Clear Skin Fast

Can Peanuts Cause Pimples?

can peanuts cause pimples

Yes, peanuts’ consumption can increase your risk of developing acne if you don’t have it. It can also worsen or cause an increase if you already have an existing case of acne.

There is no direct scientific link connecting peanuts to acne breakouts; however, peanuts contain an androgen-like substance. We have already established above that excess sebum that traps dirt and debris in your skin pores is the major causative of acne. This oily substance that protects and moisturizes your skin is secreted according to the hormonal changes in your body.

That is why acne is most common in pregnant women and teenagers since hormones fluctuate wildly in these two kinds of people.

The androgen-like hormones present in peanuts can cause a significant increase in Sebum production in your skin, thereby leading to a breakout of acne.

When there is too much androgen in the body, it forces the oil glands to produce more oil than is necessary. When this happens, it increases the chances of an acne breakout. Hence, eating peanuts can cause pimples.

What Should I Eat To Avoid Pimples?

The average US diet is composed mainly of Omega-6 fatty acids as it is saturated with fast food, processed materials, or greasy foods. Substituting foods that are rich in Omega-6 fatty acids with that of Omega-3 fatty acids would be an apt thing to do, as it does not only protect you from acne, but it protects you from diseases that can occur in the future, such as Arthritis, Heart Complications, Psoriasis, and Eczema.

You should also know that your lifestyle alone can trigger acne. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you keeping your hands clean? Stress can drastically affect your hormonal levels and cause the outbreak of acne on your skin.

If your hygiene level is low, and you are not keeping your hands clean, touching one’s face is an almost subconscious gesture. The Sebum your skin secretes traps the debris or dust you have carried from your hand to your face. The worst-case scenario is that you carry a bacteria that infects your skin and causes a more severe acne case.

Acne is a condition that can do damage both physically and psychologically. Some people develop low self-esteem as a result of it. Identifying the types of food, variety of nuts, lifestyle choices that trigger this condition is the best form of prevention.

However, in the case of hormonal changes like pregnant women and teenagers, it is most likely impossible to prevent but can still be managed.

Related post: Acne Before And After Pregnancy: Causes, Treatment, Tips.


A well-balanced diet combined with personal hygiene and a prescription of antibiotics from a certified medical practitioner can help keep the pimples and zits away. Although nuts do cause acne, it is not enough reason to stay away from nuts forever. Luckily, there are the ones that don’t cause acne and the ones that do.

More importantly, individuals have different body structures; hence, we respond differently to diets. By implication, what triggers acne in someone may not do so in another person. To be sure, we recommend you monitor changes to your skin, especially after eating nuts, to know if it affects your skin or not. If it does, you should refrain from eating nuts, and speak to your doctor for recommendations.

Related Post: 15 Most Popular Acne Home Remedies: Do They Work?

In this series – 

Leave a Comment