Eat with your Eyes – Foods to Avoid for Healthy Vision

A nutritious diet is critical for achieving optimal eye health. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to let junk food dominate our meals, which can lead to significant health issues that affect our vision. Here are a few categories of food you should keep off of your plate to ensure strong and healthy vision for the long-term. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

We know that it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods to enjoy peak physical health. We also know that limiting our diets to highly processed, caloric, low-nutrition foods makes us susceptible to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other preventable illnesses. However, many of us aren’t necessarily aware of how an unhealthy diet compromises our vision. Here are a few of the types of foods we should severely limit to keep our eyes healthy.

High-sodium foods.

Excessive amounts of sodium raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and also type 2 diabetes. All of these medical conditions take a toll on eye health. High blood pressure increases risk of retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss.

It can be very easy to eat excessive amounts of sodium if your diet consists of processed convenience foods – even ones that seem healthy. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of American’s sodium intake comes from processed convenience foods and foods eaten at restaurants. When you cook food at home from scratch, you end up eating significantly less salt.

Sugary foods and beverages.

Most of our sugar intake comes from beverages – soda, juices, and soft drinks. However, sugar from desserts and candy should also be avoided. Sugary foods, and especially foods with high fructose corn syrup, contribute to the extremely high incidences of type 2 diabetes in the U.S.

If you’re a sugary soda drinker, switch to water with cucumber slices, which is refreshing and contains healthful antioxidants, too.

Also, don’t think that diet sodas are a healthy replacement for regular sodas. Diet sodas have been shown to contribute to insulin spikes and metabolic syndrome, and might put you at risk of diabetic blindness.

Saturated fats.

Overindulgence in saturated fats – animal fats, margarine, and dairy fat – can lead to a variety of health conditions. Some studies link macular degeneration to the consumption of dietary fats. Reduce your overall fat intake, and switch to healthy fats high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, like avocados, olive oil, and canola oil.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is widely considered one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists, having practiced in South Florida for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.