1. Refined Sugar
Example of food:
Sweet drinks: 3 in 1 drinks, carbonated drinks, commercial fruit juice
Snacks: ice cream and candies
Sauces: tomato sauce, chilis sauce, bbq sauce, salad dressings
Desserts: bread with a sweet topping, pastry, jam spread
The damage to the eye starts when a high intake of refined sugar blocks the tiny blood vessels in the eye and causes blood vessels to leak. The new blood vessels begin to grow abnormally. It can result in several illnesses related to blindness.
These illnesses were normally thought to be related to aging, however, it is most likely due to the high consumption of refined sugar in daily diet, and the average age of sufferers is as low as 20 years old.
Tips: Limit sugar intake to less than 25g or less than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day (WHO recommendations).
2. High Trans Fat and High Saturated Food
- Trans fat is commonly found in processed food.
High trans-fat food: crackers, cookies, microwave popcorn, pastry, fried food, and margarine.
High saturated fat food: 3 in 1 drinks, fried food, internal organs.
Both forms of fat raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and also lower HDL “good” cholesterol. Trans fat also interferes with the body’s absorption of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to the eyes. Fatty deposits and bad cholesterol begin to block the capillaries and cause multiple eye problems such as an increased risk of macular degeneration and dry eyes.
Tips: Read through food labels during grocery shopping to avoid food with trans fat. Limit intake of high saturated fat food to only 3 times a month.
3. Alcohol Intake
Drinking frequently over a long period of time can lead to the development of a chronic dry eye, causing discomfort and blurry vision. The blood vessels in your eyes expand, becoming more noticeable and also potentially leading to changes in blood pressure or eye pressure. The risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) also significantly increases as you drink more.
Redness in Eyes
Alcohol causes dehydration and change in blood pressure which leads to widening of blood vessels and dry eyes.
Increased risk of cataract formation
People who drink more alcohol than those who drink lesser would have higher chances of cataract formation in their eyes.
Nutritious Food for Eyes
- Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Eg: Lutein – Green leafy vegetables & fruits: Broccoli, spinach, kiwi
Zeaxanthin – Found commonly in yellow/orange fruits & vegetables: carrot, corn, pumpkin, goji berries, papaya, pineapple.
Eg: Found commonly in purple fruits & vegetables: blueberries, purple sweet potato, eggplant, grapes
- Vitamin A
Eg: eggs, cow’s milk, dairy products, yellow/orange fruits & vegetables.
- Vitamin C
Eg: Guava, kiwi, orange, capsicum
- Vitamin E
Eg: Vegetable oil, nuts, whole grains food.
Eg: Whole grains food, seafood, cow’s milk,
Eg: Salmon fish, prawn, crab
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Eg: Salmon fish, Mackerel fish, nut & seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts), vegetable oils (soybean oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil)