Greasy bacon, greasy face? One of the nation’s most beloved (and trendiest) breakfast foods might be wreaking havoc on your skin, a new study suggests. According to some medical researchers, the high levels of sulfates, nitrates and sodium found in bacon causes inflammation that can damage skin over time. Although inflammation is usually one of the body’s best immune response, prolonged low-level inflammation can contribute to a host of skin problems including acne, rosacea and wrinkles. This isn’t good news for the average American, who reportedly eats more than 18 pounds of bacon each year, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says. It doesn’t help, either, that bacon is nearly ubiquitous in today’s food world—hidden in salads and pastas, crumbled on top of pizzas, even sprinkled on ice cream.
More bad news: Other time-honored breakfast favorites, namely bread and milk, can also create breakouts by leading to insulin spikes. Say it ain’t so! Luckily, certain antioxidant-packed foods offer a protective effect on your skin and can even reverse the anti-aging process. Check out this slideshow to see some of the best skin-saving eats for a flawless face.