‘Ditch That White Bread’: New Study Reveals High Refined-Carb Breakfast Makes You Unattractive

Researchers think that variations in insulin and blood sugar levels are responsible for the subtle shift in facial attractiveness.

Do you want to look your best in the morning? If yes, then it may be worth swapping the ultra-processed pastries and fruit juice for whole-meal toast and tea without sugar.

Researchers in France found that people who ate a breakfast rich in refined carbohydrates were rated less attractive. However, those who started the day with healthier, unrefined carbs were voted attractive.

How does a high-refined-carb breakfast affect the body?

Scientists at the University of Montpellier suggest that the subtle changes in facial attractiveness may be driven by changes in blood sugar and insulin. It can affect skin appearance and have longer-term effects on sex hormones. (Read More: Early Deaths Linked To Junk Food; What Study Reveals)

“It’s surprising to consider, but our dietary choices can have rapid effects on our appearance,” claims Dr ClDre Berticat, an evolutionary biologist and the first author of the study. “These physiological changes could subtly alter facial features, impacting how others perceive attractiveness.”

The Study

The researchers conducted on 52 men’s and 52 women’s aged 20 to 30. They randomly assigned them to have a 500-calorie breakfast rich in either refined or unrefined carbohydrates.

The refined carb breakfast consisted of a French baguette made from industrially milled flour, jam, apple or orange juice, and tea or coffee with sugar available. The unrefined carb meal included bread with butter and cheese, an orange or apple, and tea or coffee without sugar.

The scientists checked the blood sugar levels of volunteers before and after they ate. They also took headshots of the participants under controlled lighting conditions. The photos were then passed to groups of raters to estimate how old, how masculine or feminine, and how attractive the individuals looked.

Decreased facial attractiveness

The researchers suggest that eating refined carbohydrates for breakfast decreases facial attractiveness for individuals.

The body releases insulin to counteract blood sugar spikes caused by refined carbohydrates. The response can drive sugar levels too low. This condition is called hypoglycemia. It affects blood flow and skin appearance. In the study, only the refined carb breakfast produced hypoglycemia.

David Perrett, a professor of psychology at the University of St. Andrews, has studied facial cues for health. He said that there should be no surprise that diet affects attractiveness. Fruits and vegetables improve attractiveness by increasing plant pigments called carotenoids in the skin. On the other hand, high-sugar diets could age the skin.

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