Eye health: Nutritionist reveals foods that protect your eyes
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Watching a sunset is one of life’s most pleasurable pastimes. It’s made pleasurable by the miraculous process of light hitting the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), which in turn sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain then turns these signals into the images you see. Unfortunately, many things can hinder this process, such as age. However, diet can also play a role in vision loss and there are some surprising associations.
According to Doctor Brian Wachler, Leading Medical review, Ophthalmologist and Tik-Tok star, from leading eyesight experts, All About Vision, simple carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread and pasta, have been linked with a higher chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“This is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults.”
The doc continued: “These types of carbs are digested too quickly, causing a spike in blood sugar levels.”
The association to white bread is particularly concerning given how popular the food is in Britain.
According to the latest estimates, bread is bought by 99.8 percent of British households, and the equivalent of nearly 11 million loaves are sold each day.
Of course, many people eat healthier types of bread, such as the whole grain variety.
Nonetheless, it’s estimated that 60 to 70 percent of the bread Britons eat is white and sandwiches are thought to account for 50 percent of overall bread consumption.
To avoid the risks to vision, Doctor Wachler advised swapping your white bread and pasta for whole grain versions.
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What else does the doc suggest?
Cutting back on processed meats is imperative because “processed meats including hot dogs, bacon and deli meats are high in sodium.
“This increase in salt will eventually lead to high blood pressure.
“In your eyes, this may cause hypertensive retinopathy; blood vessel damage that may lead to blurred vision or vision loss.”
According to the doc, you should try and limit your salt intake to 2,300mg or less a day.
The NHS says adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium) – that’s around one teaspoon.
“You should avoid sugary drinks that are high in sugar or artificial sweeteners,” advises the doc.
He explained: “They can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which can accelerate cataract formation if diabetes develops.
“High blood sugar levels can also make the eye lense swell, which can cause blurred vision.”
According to Doctor Wachler, you should try eating more fruit and vegetables full of vitamin C like citrus fruits, tomatoes and red peppers.
“Foods with lutein and zeaxanthin, like spinach, kale, and mustard greens, are associated with lower risk of AMD too along with beta-carotene, vitamin E, and zinc,” the eye specialist explained.
You should also stay hydrated because the “human body relies heavily on water to function smoothly”.
The doc added: “Dehydration can have an impact on tear production leading to dry eyes. Try getting a drink of water every other hour or get a water bottle with times on it to help keep you on track.”
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