Having high levels of cholesterol can damage the blood vessels throughout the body – and that includes the vessels in our eyes. The increased amount of pressure caused by eating a diet that’s high in trans fatty acids can end up damaging the optic nerve, which plays a vital role in our vision. This condition can lead to glaucoma, which can eventually lead to blindness. Though this condition cannot be cured, it can be slowed down and even prevented if it’s caught early.
Diet plays a major role in almost every kind of disease, so it’s important to pay attention to what you’re consuming. If you’re suffering from this condition, here are some key foods to avoid if you have glaucoma.
Avoid Trans Fatty Acids
Since trans fatty acids are largely linked to this disease, it’s the most important one to avoid. Foods that contain trans fatty acids have hydrogenated oils in them, which basically means they’re fried foods. As tasty as they can be, they lead to higher levels of cholesterol which can exacerbate glaucoma. Try to avoid fried foods as much as possible, such as donuts, French fries, and baked goods.
Avoid Saturated Fats
Obesity and high cholesterol go hand in hand, and weight gain can worsen glaucoma over time. To reduce and maintain a healthier weight, avoid saturated fats, such as red meats, sausages, cured sandwich style meats, butter, and cheese.
Avoid Simple Carbohydrates
Not all carbs are created equal. Complex carbs like veggies, whole grains, and beans are good for you. Simple carbs are found in many processed foods, which can elevate blood pressure and worsen glaucoma. Avoid items like white potatoes, white rice, pasta, baked goods, white bread, and cereal.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Organic, black coffee actually offers benefits for our health when consumed in moderation. However, adding cream, milk or sugar to it, and indulging in several cups each day can lead to health problems. You don’t have to give up your morning pick-me-up, just try to reduce it to one or two cups and day and try drinking it black or adding healthier alternatives, like plant-based milk and stevia.
Identify and Avoid Food Allergies
Food allergies and even food sensitivities can trigger inflammation and other reactions within the body. If you’re aware of your food allergies, make sure to avoid them. If you’re unsure what you’re allergic or sensitive to, it’s a good idea to have an allergy test so you can learn what your body reacts to. Some of the most common sensitivities include wheat, soy, corn and dairy.
If you’re suffering from glaucoma or if you’re concerned about potential vision problems, book an appointment at Laurier Optical today. You can also swing by any of our walk-in locations for a check-up with our on-site optometrist.
Article has been reviewed by an Optometrist.