We have all heard it before: You are what you eat. But you might not realize how true that is. As an example, let’s look at how your diet can negatively affect your eye health and ways to improve both.
Diet and eye health
Again, you may be surprised at just how your diet can negatively affect your eye health. For example, a diet of mostly processed, high-fat foods can lead to eye problems.
Diets with lots of added sugar and simple carbs can also affect your vision. Be mindful of how many sodas, diet sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and juices you drink a week.
All that extra sugar can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which is typically linked to an increased risk of eye conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
Simple carbs include white breads and pastas. Our bodies digest those types of carbs quickly, which causes blood sugar to spike. This process is directly related to a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration.
Too much sodium can lead to at least three different eye conditions.
This includes foods like deli meats, hot dogs, certain frozen meals, salad dressings and sauces, to name a few.
First, high sodium can lead to hypertensive retinopathy. Damaged blood vessels can then cause blurred vision and loss of vision. Second, too much sodium can lead to a build-up of fluid beneath the retina. This is known as choroidopathy.
Third, there is an increased risk of neuropathy. To clarify, blood flow is blocked killing nerves, which causes vision loss.
Eat this, not that
We’ve looked at how your diet can negatively affect your eye health. Now, let’s look at ways your diet can help with eye health.
For starters, choose more whole foods rich in nutrients and vitamins. By nutrients and vitamins, we mean beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
This includes foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, oily fish, whole grains and other fruits and vegetables. Plus, drink more water!
Finally, remember eye health is directly connected to heart-health and blood vessels. Therefore, what you drink and eat can have a long-term effect on your eye health and vision. That means both positively and negatively.