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Consuming refined carbohydrates can make you less attractive

Participants in a study who breakfasted on white bread and jam were more likely to be rated as having a less attractive face.

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Less than 1 minute Minutes

Eating a breakfast high in refined carbohydrates could be reducing your physical attractiveness, a study published in the science journal, Plos One, recently found.

Conducted by a team of French scientists, the study involved 104 male and female adults who were randomly given a breakfast that had either a high level of refined or unrefined carbohydrates. The former consisted of a baguette made from industrially milled flour, jam, fruit juice, and tea or coffee with sugar if requested. The latter comprised stoneground wholemeal bread with butter and cheese, an orange or apple, and beverages with no sugar available.

The researchers also took photos of each subject before and after they had eaten the breakfast. Afterwards, the images were assessed by a separate group of participants who rated each individual in terms of their facial attractiveness. 

The authors found that there was a statistical relationship between the amount of carbohydrates eaten and the perceived attractiveness of a subject, writing that “immediate consumption of a high glycemic breakfast decreased facial attractiveness for men and women.” Attractiveness levels, however, were found to increase with the consumption of the healthier breakfast. 

[See more: Ultra-processed food is even worse for you than you think]

“Our findings serve as a compelling reminder of the far-reaching impact of dietary choices not only on health but also on traits having particular social importance such as facial attractiveness,” said one of the researchers, who spoke with the Guardian.

University of St Andrews academic David Perrett, who also spoke with the UK media outlet and was not an author of the paper, concurred. He explained that diets high in sugar have the potential to accelerate ageing, while refined carbohydrates can impact blood flow, which can alter the appearance of one’s skin. 

Despite the results, the paper noted that further research is required due to the limited sample size and the exclusion of other influencing factors. 

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