Special Report

25 Foods That Damage and Protect Your Eyes

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Margarine

Contrary to popular belief, margarine is not a healthy alternative to butter. Margarine contains a lot of trans fats, and that’s not good for the eyes, Sheren said. Trans fats are pro-inflammatory, can increase bad cholesterol levels, and lead to the narrowing of the blood vessels, he added.

Berries

Berries are a great source of antioxidants, which you always want in your food because of their many beneficial properties, including reducing inflammation in the tissue of the eye, Sheren said. They protect the blood vessels and help cell metabolism, he noted. Berries contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoids that support eye function, he noted.

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Ready-to-eat meals

Ready-to-eat meals are convenient but contain too much of several ingredients you simply don’t want in your body — sugar and salt. Salt retains water. When you have too much of it, the body swells. As a result, blood volume increases and the heart works harder to pump blood, leading to high blood pressure. This puts pressure on blood vessels, including those in the eyes, possibly damaging them over time.

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Carrots

Carrots, like many orange fruits and vegetables, are rich in lutein and carotenoids that benefit the eyes by protecting them against age-related degenerative eye diseases, Shereen said. “We are big on carrots in my family,” he added. The body converts carotene into vitamin A, which helps the eyes process light. While vitamin A is important to keep your vision healthy, it won’t improve it if it’s already been damaged.

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Soda

A study of more than 600 people, published last year in the Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology Journal, found that diabetics who consumed more than four cans of diet soda a week were twice as likely to have vision problems, including blindness. Diet soda may not be a safer option. Artificial sweeteners in diet soda may lead to insulin spikes, which worsens insulin sensitivity over time, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which may lead to damage to the retina.

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