Eye health: This bad eating habit can cause irreversible vision loss? Read on
By eating right you can protect your vision. iStock
Research shows that your family history or genetics is not the only factor that can cause poor vision or retinal health problems. Your diet too can impact your eye health. According to a report in The Express, a leading doctor from the US has warned that including too much-fried food in your diet may be ruining your eyesight.
In fact, this bad eating habit may be linked to blurry vision as well, reports the Express.
Even though it is common knowledge that eyesight declines as age advances, it seems what we eat could accelerate the process. According to the NHS, Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that is reported to impair the vision of more than 600,000 people in the UK. It is also the leading cause of blindness in the western world.
Doctor Brian Wachler, who is popular on TikTok for his health advice, told the Express that it is the trans fats that are often found in fried food that is linked with the onset of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that affects the center part of the vision severely, reports the Express.
Dr Wachler is quoted as saying, “Fried food is cooked in trans fats, which can raise your cholesterol levels.”
He adds that high cholesterol levels have “been connected to AMD and diabetic retinopathy.”
Information on WebMD cites that deep-fried foods cooked in trans fats are responsible for raising your “bad” cholesterol levels which could lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are also known to create molecules called free radicals that can damage and kill cells. All of this is linked to eye disease – AMD and diabetic retinopathy, which is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes.
A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology supports Dr Walcher’s suggestion, said the report in Express. According to the study, those who eat plenty of fried foods, processed meats, high-fat dairy, and refined grains are triple as likely to develop late-stage AMD.
Nvision informs that a diet that includes whole foods with appropriate nutrients can help to maintain your vision and improve overall eye health. These foods include oily fish that provides omega-3s, citrus fruits that are rich in antioxidants, and green leafy veggies that contain phytochemicals – chemicals that are produced by plants and which have preventive or protective properties.
Additionally, Dr Wachler advises adding to your diet, more fruit and vegetables that are loaded with vitamin C. Foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and red peppers are beneficial, he said.
“Foods with lutein and zeaxanthin, like spinach, kale, and mustard greens, are also associated with lower risk of AMD,” he adds.
The NHS recommends eating cold-water fish such as sardines, mackerel, and tuna. These are rich sources of DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids, providing structural support to cell membranes in the eye. They are recommended for managing dry eye, and the treatment of macular degeneration. These foods are also good for preserving overall vision.
Recent research, informs the NHS shows that eating fish just once a week can reduce the risk of developing early AMD by up to 40 percent.
Speaking about the ill effects of simple carbohydrates for AMD, Dr Wachler said, “Simple carbohydrates, like those found in white bread and pasta, have been linked with a higher chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).”
He adds, “These types of carbs are digested too quickly, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. To avoid this, swap your white bread and pasta for whole-grain versions.”
High blood sugar levels cause fluid to move into your eyes, and this creates swelling in the lenses which in turn changes the shape of your eyes – leading to temporary blurry vision. For your vision to return to normal, your blood sugar levels will also need to return to normal, cites a report published in Healthline.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates generally cause spikes in blood sugar, leading to blurry vision. Some common examples of high carbohydrates include:
French fries and hash browns (also potatoes in any form)
white flour pasta
most fast-food meals
packaged baked goods
The NHS says, eating a healthy balanced diet can reduce your risk of developing common eye conditions. Also, nutrients that are good for eye health and which can also help protect against AMD can be found in plenty of fruits and veggies including spinach, leeks, kale, red peppers, blueberries, and peaches.
AMD can affect either one or both eyes and can show up as:
Objects looking smaller than usual
Seeing straight lines as wavy or crooked
Colours seeming less bright