Did you read about that boy who lost his vision because he ate too much junk food? While this certainly sounds like something mum would make up just to get us to eat our veggies, it is unfortunately true. In 2019, researchers from Bristol Eye Hospital, United Kingdom reported a rather unsettling case of a boy who lost his vision because of his unhealthy diet. The report states that the 14-year-old first visited his family physician complaining of tiredness, and through the years developed chronic eye problems. A few years later, he was diagnosed with 20/200 vision, declaring him legally blind.
During the study, the physicians investigated the patient’s nutrition and found vitamin B12 deficiency, low copper and selenium levels, a high zinc level, and markedly reduced vitamin D levels and bone mineral density. Since elementary school, the patient confessed that he has avoided foods with certain textures and only ate French fries, chips, white bread, and processed meat. By the time his condition was diagnosed, the patient had permanently impaired vision.
So the question is: Can my diet really turn me blind? That depends. Do your meals consist of only junk food? Are the vegetables you eat only found in a burger? Then yes! It could have a devastating effect on your eyesight.
Let’s look at the junk you should avoid in your diet and your lifestyle in order to keep your eyes healthy.
Worst Foods For Your Eye Health
It can be difficult to curb the huge supply of junk food that we live to eat. A good rule of thumb is to avoid “white processed foods”. So it’s time to say goodbye to favorites like pasta, white bread, pizza, rice, tortillas and chips. While it does hurt to quit, these foods will definitely give us a major heartache (if you know what I mean). Read on to learn about other worst foods for your eyes that you should strictly start avoiding:
1. Fried Food
Chips, crisps, fritters and fries—our midnight munchies and daytime snacks —are neither health-friendly nor eye-friendly. Anything dripped and soaked in thick fatty oils is a big NO if you want a healthy body and eyes. Fried foods have been linked to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). These foods spike the bad cholesterol levels in our body and can lead to clogged arteries, increasing risk of heart attack, and even vision loss; you should steer clear!
2. Table Sauces And Other Dressings
Avoid the likes of ketchup and other sugary store-bought sauces. Your healthy salad drenched in a mix of flavored sauces is downright unhealthy! Because these products are packed with a high percentage of sugar and mono- and polyunsaturated fats, they are linked to the development of AMD which results in blind spots in your central vision.
3. Ready-To-Make Meals
Convenient and tasty ready-to-make meals are full of preservatives to extend their shelf-life. These also contain unhealthy fat and sugar in high quantities. As we already know, a high-sugar diet increases your risk of diabetes-related eye conditions as well as AMD. Don’t be fooled by their marketing gimmick that flashes labels like ‘low-sugar’ or ‘less-fat.’ Their sugar may be ditched, but are replaced by more chemicals, which may lack ingredients that can be unhealthy for your eyes
4. Sweetened Drinks
We’ve all been addicted to colored fizzy drinks and colas, right? These carbonated drinks and packaged juices (yes, them too!) are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives that not only make us obese and increase the risk of diabetes but are also a slow poison for your eyes.
5. Processed Meat
Doesn’t an assortment of delicious deli meats on a wooden board look tempting? But processed meat is notoriously detrimental to your overall health, and that includes your eyes! Processed meats like cooked ham, bacon, and sausages have a high salt content that can lead to water retention as the kidneys try to balance out vital minerals like sodium and potassium. As a result, your eyes can become puffy and swollen. High salt leads to high blood pressure, which when left untreated can also damage the blood vessels present at the back of your cornea.
Instead, opt for healthy food choices that will keep your heart, eyes, and body healthy and happy for years to come.
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
- Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
- Oranges and other citrus fruits
If that’s not all, find out six foods that will make your eyes healthier to understand what to include in your diet.
While diet forms a major part of your overall health, it’s not the only way to stay healthy. A healthy diet needs a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking has been a cause of many diseases in the human body. Studies suggest that smoking increases your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration because it damages the optic nerve and macula.
Go for regular eye checkups
Regular eye checkups keep you updated with your current prescription. Plus it also helps your doctor detect any underlying or early-stage eye conditions.
Wear sunglasses to protect against UV damage
Excessive sun exposure leads to more absorption of UV radiation in the eyes. This eventually boosts eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. The best way to limit sun exposure is by wearing 100 percent UV-protected sunglasses.
Wear computer glasses to protect against blue light
Blue light is mainly emitted from digital screens like your smartphone and television. It is considered harmful as it causes flickering and glaring. This reduces your visual contrast, affecting clarity and sharpness. Computer glasses with blue light lenses filter out blue light emitted from various digital sources and acts as a shield. You really need to have to know one. Find out your pair from our bestsellers’ list, click here.