• The Simple Truth About Foods and Macular Degeneration

    The Simple Truth About Foods and Macular Degeneration

We all know your diet can affect your weight and put you at risk for developing diabetes. But did you know that it can also have a major effect on your eye-sight and can prevent age-related macular degeneration? So, what is macular degeneration and how can it be avoided?

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs when the macula, a part of the eye, is damaged. The macula becomes damaged when deposits, known as drusen, begin to grow on the macula. The macula can also become damaged when new blood vessels begin to leak which in turn scars the macula. 

Diet and Eye Deterioration

These conditions can occur in a number of ways. Genetics and smoking have been long known factors, however, growing research indicates that it is heavily influenced by diet. In one study, 1,300 people participated and of those that had macular degeneration many had what is considered a “western” diet (containing high levels of red meats and fatty foods). The study found that some foods are linked to late-stage macular degeneration. Foods associated with degeneration include:

  • Red meat
  • Processed meats
  • Fried foods
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Fats in butter and margarine

Diet is one way to prevent risk factors of vision loss, especially if you are in the high-risk category due to a family history of the condition. Though it is important to point out that this study was observational and so inconclusive. This means there is no direct proof that a diet high in fats and processed food will cause macular degeneration, but simply that there was a correlation between the two. This led doctors to believe that if individuals were at high risk for the condition, they would likely want to reduce the problem foods in their diets since it indicates what doctors have suspected for years.

What You Can Do to Reduce Risk?

You can’t undo a lifetime of eating poorly. That is why it is important to adjust your diet now. If you have a diet high in processed foods and fatty items, it may be worth your consideration to change.

Try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as leaner proteins like fish. Understand that changing a life-long habit won’t happen overnight and may take as much as a decade to achieve. So, starting now and working toward a healthier future is important for the preservation of your overall health.

Additionally, at the risk of backlash, smoking has been observed as an additional connection and research indicated that your doctor will advise you to quit if you are in this high-risk category.

Want to learn more scientific tips and tricks about aging well? Here is your FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want. Click the icon and get your copy today!

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