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Expert says extreme diets can damage eyesight
PEOPLE who follow fad or extreme diets could be risking their eyesight later on in life, a leading eye expert from York has said.
Chris Worsman, senior optometrist at Viewpoint Opticians in Feasegate has expressed serious at the increasing prevalence of fad diets, and the lack of public awareness of diet when it comes to eye health.
Diet plays a huge part in the health of your eyes but years of excessive and extreme dieting could make people more prone to develop eye-conditions such as age related macular degeneration, which is the main cause of blindness, he has warned.
Mr Worsman said: “If someone is not eating enough food then the resulting effects of the lack of vitamins could go on to impact their sight. Wearing glasses or contact lenses will not lessen the risks associated with not eating enough of the correct nutrients, so people increase their risk of becoming blind by starving themselves.
“A healthy diet won’t restore any eyesight that has already been lost, but it certainly can slow down the process of optical ageing diseases. Adopting a healthier attitude towards diet and cutting out cigarettes really can help keep your sight in good health.”
According to RNIB the number of people living with sight loss is predicted to double to four million by 2050.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the over 60s. The condition results in loss of central vision including reading and face recognition. There is no cure for AMD but it can can be prevented or delayed.
Studies have shown that vitamins of the antioxidant group can slow down conditions like macular degeneration. Your eyes need vitamin A for normal vision and nutrients including, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and an antioxidant called lutein. All are beneficial to your eye’s health, helping to reduce the risk of disease. Mr Worsman advised that eating the recommended foods below which are packed with the essential nutrients and antioxidants, along with regular sight tests, could prevent the onset of damaging eye conditions.
Top foods for healthy eyes
• Leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale are rich sources of lutein, which protects the eyes.
• Carrots provide vitamin A and beta carotene an antioxidant that protects eyes from free-radical damage due to pollution and excess sun exposure.
• Oily fish contains omega-3 fats which help lower the risk of conditions like AMD and glaucoma.
• Eggs are another food good for vision.
• Nuts and seeds contain zinc, which helps with retina function.
• Fruit is recommended as it contains a lot of vitamin C, vVitamin A, vitamin E and beta carotene.
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