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Which Foods to Eat & Avoid to Prevent Late-Age Vision Loss

Which Foods to Eat & Avoid to Prevent Late-Age Vision Loss

So, you are hit by a post-lunch sugar craving. Which of these are you more likely to choose? …Be honest.

 

OR

If you chose the orange slices, you could safely skip this post. But if rich cakes and cream buns are your go-to comfort foods, here is an eye-opener:

Your choice of desserts and other high-sugar foods can hurt the health of your eyes, especially later in life, suggests a study by researchers at Tufts University.

Led by Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts, the study establishes a clear link between high blood sugar and vision loss.

Nearly 4,100 U.S. adults aged 55-80 took completed dietary surveys that listed 90 foods. Researchers asked participants how often they ate these foods, and in what portion sizes.

The foods listed were picked according to their glycemic index—that is, their tendency to increase blood sugar levels. Those who consumed more high-glycemic-index foods were more likely to have advanced age-related macular generation (AMD) in at least one eye.

The researchers estimated that a fifth of the advanced AMD cases in their study might have been prevented by eating foods low on the glycemic index. ”Sugar [in carbohydrates] is fuel for the cells, but too much is destructive,” says Taylor. His advice: Choose carbohydrates that do not cause a quick spike in blood sugar, such as whole wheat breads, beans and oats.

The connection between high-sugar foods and eye disease lies in body chemistry. When you consume high amounts of carbs and/or sugars, the body releases too much insulin. This causes inflammation in the blood vessels, including those in the eyes. This makes you more vulnerable to AMD, the leading vision problem in America.

AMD is a condition in which the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina, is damaged. As a result, your vision becomes blurred and dull, making you unable to see objects straight ahead.

While AMD itself does not lead to blindness, it affects simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write, or do close work, such as cooking or fixing things around the house, say experts at the National Eye Institute.

Yes, AMD does occur most commonly in people above 50, but foods that cause a rapid spike in blood sugar can hasten its advent.

On the other hand, consumption of fruits and vegetables containing red, yellow and orange phytochemicals may be linked to a reduced risk for age-related macular degeneration, says D. Max Snodderly, Ph.D., head of the laboratory at The Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

So, eat your oranges, apples, carrots, and beans to keep your eyes bright and healthy late into life.

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Life, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

88 comments

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3:44AM PDT on Sep 15, 2014

Thanks!

2:18AM PDT on Sep 10, 2014

I honestly would prefer the orange slices.
Worked in 3 bakeries at an early age and thankfully that put me off of craving sweets very much. I can go in to a bakery now, look at all the treats, then I feel like I have already tried them.....and end up buying a loaf of whole wheat or rye bread, and rarely, for a change, a loaf of white bread. I ONLY BUY BREAD from Cobb's bakeries in Canada because at the end of every day.....they give their bread to a church in every community, and the church delivers all the leftover bread and sweets to people who are in need.

4:41AM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

thanks

12:44PM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

Well, I don't know... I might take both. Depending how the cake is made (staying away from dairy)----- I don't crave sugar like I used to, but do indulge periodically . Fruit, on the other hand, is daily - strawberries, orange, blueberry and grapes this morning. Good article, people need to be aware that bad sugar habits, especially added sugar in processed foods do bad things to your eyes and your body and may cause diabetes. Thank you, Shubhra.

7:25PM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

Thanks for sharing ,

2:39AM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

Thank you :)

8:52AM PDT on Aug 30, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

6:20AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Thank you.

5:58AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

I have been eating carrots regularly since I was a great fan of Brer Rabbit in my young days. I recently got my eyes tested and the doctor was shocked to find my number is still the same now as it was when I first wore specs at the age of 28 in 1972. I do eat ice cream and cake, maybe once a month any one of the two - no more than that. Even my weight has remained the same since 1985.

4:37AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Thanks

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