Last year we posted a blog about the best foods for your vision. Just as there are foods that have nutritional properties that are excellent for the health of your eyes, there are foods that negatively impact your vision. To create the best diet possible for your eyes, don’t just add the good-for-your-vision foods to what you already eat, but avoid the negative foods as well.
Avoid foods that are high in bad fat
Trans fat and some saturated fat. We have vascular eyes, so anything that you should avoid eating for your arteries’ sake you should avoid for the sake of your eyes, as well. The eye is full of tiny capillaries and when you eat high-fat foods, fatty deposits and cholesterol can block a capillary in the eye, causing vision problems. Avoid fried foods and foods with hydrogenated oil; these are the biggest culprits of bad fat. Not all fat (even saturated!) is bad, so you can still enjoy your eggs and avocadoes (in moderation).
Avoid salty food
High levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which reduces the blood flow to the eyes. Since blood carries pollutants away from your eyes, reduced blood flow can also decreases the quality of your vision. Restaurants and convenience foods are often high in salt content. Limit the number of times you eat out and choose low-sodium or reduced-sodium items instead of the sodium-loaded alternatives.
Stay away from excessively sugary and starchy foods
A 2006 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-glycemic foods were linked to a higher instance of age-related macular degeneration. This includes foods like white bread, sugary foods, and processed carbohydrates in general. Instead of reaching for white or partial-white bread (like honey wheat), choose a whole-grain loaf. And eat apple slices with natural peanut butter instead of a candy bar for a snack.
Cut down on coffee and caffeine
Finally, cut out or at least cut down on caffeine, especially if you drink more than two cups of coffee per day. In 2012, Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science published a study showing that there is a link between drinking three or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day and an eye disease called exfoliation glaucoma. The good news is that there was not a link found between other sources of caffeine and this disease, so if reducing your caffeine intake to two cups per day sounds like a feat equivalent to climbing Mount Everest, try drinking another caffeinated beverage like green tea or chai instead of that third cup of coffee.