The health of your eyes is directly connected to the health of your heart and blood vessels. The foods you eat and drink can have a lasting impact on both your vision and your cardiovascular health.
About 250 million people around the world have mild to serious vision loss. Here are some of the foods that negatively affect and weaken the eye strength.
Bread and Pasta
Researchers have linked simple carbohydrates, like those found in white bread and pasta, with a higher chance of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a leading cause of vision loss for older adults. The reason is that the human body digests this type of carbohydrate quickly and then causes a spike in blood sugar. To prevent this, health experts suggest that you swap white bread and pasta for whole-grain versions.
Processed meat is any meat that has been modified in order to either improve its taste or to extend its shelf life. Methods of meat processing include salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, and/or the addition of chemical preservatives. Hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats are some examples of processed meats (they contain a lot of sodium). This salt spike can eventually lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). In your eyes, this may cause:
Hypertensive retinopathy, blood vessel damage that causes blurred vision or loss.
Choroidopathy, a buildup of fluid beneath the retina.
Neuropathy, a blockage of blood flow that kills nerves and causes vision loss.
Try to limit your sodium to 2,300 milligrams or less a day.
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat. Pan-fried foods are generally turned over once or twice during cooking, using tongs or a spatula.
Deep-fried foods cooked in trans fats raise your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and could lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. They also create molecules called free radicals that can damage and kill cells. This all connects to eye disease — AMD and diabetic retinopathy. Fight back against free radicals by eating fruits and veggies full of vitamin C like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and red bell peppers.
Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic liquid fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking. It is used in food preparation and flavoring not involving heat, such as salad dressings and bread dips, and may be called edible oil.
A landmark study 30 years ago linked too much linoleic acid, a type of unsaturated fat, with a higher chance of AMD. You can find it in these cooking oils: Safflower, Sunflower, Corn, Soybean, Sesame e.t.c.
Health experts suggest cooking oils with less than 4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Stay away from ones with hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
Margarine is a food product made from one or more vegetable or animal fats or oils in which an aqueous portion containing milk products is dispersed, (either solid or fluid, salt) and other ingredients such as flavouring agents, emulsifiers, yellow food pigments, butter, vitamins A and D, and preservatives.
It has unsaturated “good” fats as it is made with vegetable oils, which may be better than butter. But some margarine also has trans fat, which raises your cholesterol levels and the chance of heart disease and eye problems. The more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it has. Instead of a stick, use the spread or liquid kind. You can also look for brands with 0 grams of trans fat on the label.
Ready-to-eat foods do not need cooking or reheating before serving. This includes salads, cooked meats, smoked fish, desserts, sandwiches, cheese and food that you have cooked in advance to serve cold.
Prepackaged foods like canned foods, tomato sauce and soup often have high amount ( up to 75% ) of sodiumt of the suggested amount to preserve it. Eating less of these foods can lower your chance of related eye problems and high blood pressure. When you shop, look for “low sodium” or “no salt added” versions of your favorite foods then add your own spices and herbs for a natural flavor boost.
Sugary drinks refer to any beverage with added sugar or other sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, and more). These drinks are also known as sugar-sweetened beverages or “soft” drinks. It includes pop soda, cola, lemonade, tonic, fruit punch, sweetened powdered drinks, e.t.c. They are all full of sugar (sometimes 7 to 10 teaspoons). They’re also the number one source of calories and added sugar. When all these sugar add up, it can lead to related eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy and AMD. Your best bet for a healthy drink is water or smoothies.
Fish and Shellfish
Most people have no reason to worry about the mercury in fish and shellfish in moderation. But at high levels and for certain groups of people, it can cause serious health problems, eye damage included. Health experts say children, those who may become pregnant, pregnant women and those who are nursing should stick with 8-12 ounces of fish and shellfish each week.
This is a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties. Experts have linked alcohol to eye disease when consumed. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to cataracts. This is a common condition that causes a cloudy area in the eye lens at an early age.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class. There are several known mechanisms of action to explain the effects of caffeine. It reversibly blocks the action of adenosine on its receptors; thereby prevents the onset of drowsiness induced by adenosine. This is the most prominent one.
The caffeine in your cup of coffee or tea may raise the pressure inside your eye, or intraocular pressure (IOP). Studies show that this pressure goes up in people with glaucoma or ocular hypertension (OHT) who have had caffeine. IOP can cause vision loss and blindness when it is too high.