Having healthy eyes is essential for maintaining good vision and overall health. The food you eat helps keep your eyes functioning properly or damages them. Avoid these 12 worst foods to keep your eyes functioning well.
Bread and Pasta
Bread and Pasta are simple carbohydrates that can spike your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can increase eye pressure, damaging the optic nerve. High blood sugar can also cause blurry vision, cataracts, and glaucoma. Here’s a fact: Diabetes is the major cause of blindness in adults over age 20.
Switch out white bread, pasta, and processed carbs for whole-grain varieties.
Candy and Sweets
Candy and sweets are full of added sugars that can cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation can make it hard to focus your eyes and may lead to infections such as conjunctivitis and dry eye syndrome. Excess sugar consumption has also been linked to macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in those over 50.
Opt for dark chocolate, rich in antioxidants that may help prevent age-related vision loss.
Salty snacks like chips, crackers, and pretzels are high in sodium and can cause water retention. Excess fluids build up in the blood vessels around your eyes, which can damage the delicate cells of the retina. Damage to these cells can lead to vision problems, including glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Instead, snack on fruits and vegetables as they are a much better source of vitamins and minerals.
Fried foods produce compounds in the body called advanced glycation end products, also known as AGEs. These compounds cause inflammation throughout the body, including the eyes. This inflammation can reduce oxygen flow to your eye cells, leading to poor eyesight. Additionally, fried foods can increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Choose baked or grilled food instead, as these options contain fewer fats and are less likely to cause inflammation.
Processed meats like bacon and sausage are full of sodium, increasing your risk of developing glaucoma. Also, these meats contain saturated fats that can clog the small blood vessels in your eyes, blocking oxygen from getting to the cells of your retina and causing vision problems.
Choose lean proteins like chicken and fish instead, as they are much lower in fat and sodium.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it can cause dehydration. Dehydration can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the eye cells, leading to problems such as blurry vision and dry eye syndrome. Alcohol can also increase your risk of developing cataracts.
Drink plenty of water every day to make sure you stay hydrated.
Soft drinks are full of added sugars and artificial sweeteners that can increase your risk of developing diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Also, some studies have linked the consumption of soft drinks to an increased risk for retinal detachment (diabetic retinopathy).
Drink water instead, as it will keep you hydrated and help to flush out toxins from your body. Or, opt for unsweetened tea and coffee, which can still provide a bit of flavor without the added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Canned foods are high in sodium and preservatives that can cause eye strain. The preservatives in canned foods, such as BHA, BHT, and propyl gallate, have been linked to an increased risk of developing cataracts.
Choose fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables over canned varieties. Fresh produce is much lower in sodium and preservatives and contains more vitamins and minerals essential for eye health. Additionally, many frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.
Refined oils, such as vegetables and canola, are high in omega-6 fatty acids that can cause inflammation. Omega-6 does have some benefits, but when consumed in excess, it can lead to a decrease in eye health.
Opt for extra virgin olive oil instead. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and protect your eyes. It also contains lutein, an essential antioxidant for maintaining good vision.
There’s no denying that fast food is incredibly unhealthy. Most fast food is high in saturated fats, which can clog the small blood vessels in your eyes and lead to poor vision. Fast food contains very few essential vitamins and minerals for eye health.
Choose home-cooked meals prepared with fresh ingredients instead of fast food. Home-cooked meals will provide you with more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help protect your vision.
Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, and shrimp can contain high levels of mercury, which can be toxic to the eye cells. Mercury poisoning has been linked to an increased risk of developing macular degeneration.
Choose lean proteins like chicken and fish instead, as they are much lower in mercury and still provide you with beneficial nutrients.
Butter is high in saturated fats that can clog the small blood vessels in your eyes, blocking oxygen from getting to the cells of your retina and causing vision problems.
Opt for healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts instead. These are much lower in saturated fats and will still provide beneficial eye nutrients.
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This article was produced on Health Makes You.