Don’t Eat These 10 Foods If You Want Good Eyesight, Eat These 10 Instead

Don’t Eat These 10 Foods If You Want Good Eyesight, Eat These 10 Instead

Conditions like cataracts and glaucoma can strike at any time, especially when we’re older, but proper changes in diet are part of your eyes’ front-line defense. With that, let’s look at 10 foods that can increase your odds of eye trouble and 10 that promote good eye health. 

1. Margarine

Though margarine is often better than butter in most cases, pay attention to the kind you buy because some brands have a bunch of trans fats. Trans fats are among some of the worst things for healthy eyesight, often getting in the way of nutrient absorption and causing spikes in blood cholesterol.  

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2. Red Meat

The occasional steak probably won’t do it, but a diet with excessive red meat can increase your risk of cataracts. Not only is red meat loaded with iron (too much of which is already bad enough), but certain cooking methods have been linked to a higher chance of eye disease. For example, studies found that people who constantly cook with wood or coal are at bigger risk for eye trouble down the road. 

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3. Excessive Sodium

Thankfully, sodium isn’t a surefire path to glaucoma, but that doesn’t mean excessive consumption is without its risks. Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which can affect the eyes, and potentially lead to greater risks, like glaucoma, in more sensitive individuals.  

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4. Deep-Fried Foods

As good as they are, deep-fried foods are saturated in unhealthy fats and oils—not to mention the high levels of trans fats. As we learned, trans fats aren’t great on the eyes, often leading to blood cholesterol spikes and even eye inflammation. Too many deep-fried goodies now can lead to a higher risk of cataracts later.

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5. Trans and Saturated Fats

As detrimental as trans fats are, saturated fats also target eye health and are best avoided en masse to preserve your health. Though you don’t need to cut saturated fats out entirely, too much of it in your diet can cause cholesterol deposits around the eyes or general poor health.

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6. Processed Meat

It’s hard to part ways with bacon and deli meats, but cutting down on their consumption is crucial for preserved eye health. Highly processed foods lead to an increased risk of inflammation and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that mainly causes blurry eyesight. 

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7. Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbs are digested pretty quickly and can spike blood sugar—untreated, those high levels put you at a greater risk for conditions like AMD. Studies have shown that low-carb diets also have the potential to ward off additional eye trouble like glaucoma. 

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8. Salad Dressings

Though advertised as healthy, some salad dressings are loaded with fat, making them bad for both your eyes and overall health. Veer away from creamy dressings like Caesar or ranch as they’re often packed with more fat than other varieties and can therefore affect the eyes. 

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9. Excessive Sugar

Commercially baked goods, sugary breakfast cereals, energy drinks—these high-sugar culprits can cause abnormal blood sugar levels and increased risk of eye vessel damage. When your vessels are harmed, you could experience any number of eye conditions like AMD, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy.

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10. Artificial Sweeteners

On paper, artificial sweeteners seem like a healthier alternative to sugar, and while that’s true in some cases, popular varieties like aspartame can harm the eyes. Some particularly sensitive individuals may experience light sensitivity or blurred vision, so it’s best to speak with your physician if you notice any irritants.

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The right adjustments to your diet not only promote better overall health but also can protect your eyes from any frightening damage down the line.  


1. Leafy Greens

Spinach and kale are powerful superfoods rich in vitamins and antioxidants—one of which is particularly important for eye health. Both contain impressive levels of lutein, which reduces inflammation and your risk for conditions like AMD and cataracts.

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2. Fatty Fish

Salmon and mackerel are well-known friends of the sea and our health, particularly because they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Those healthy fats are responsible for your retinas’ health and reducing your chances of AMD. They, too, also come with anti-inflammatory properties. 

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3. Carrots

That old wives’ tale wasn’t complete gibberish! Our eyes need vitamin A to stay strong and carrots are full of it (among other nutrients). Vitamin A promotes good vision by preventing night blindness and shielding your eyes from damage.

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4. Eggs

Lutein, protein, vitamins, additional antioxidants—what more could you ask for from this delicious breakfast option? Don’t be shy about indulging because eggs maintain eye health by protecting you from damage caused by free radicals and help ward off eye conditions later in life.

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5. Berries

As if we needed another reason to love berries, these low-calorie snacks are full of enough vitamin C to reduce your chances of cataracts and AMD. Just about any berry will do, but standouts include blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.

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6. Nuts

A handful of almonds or walnuts can protect your eyes from age-related conditions, not to mention provide a healthy amount of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are also packed with vitamin E, which is especially important in warding off cataracts. 

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7. Bell Peppers

Your dinner’s favorite side dish is so much more than bright and nutritious—bell peppers are full of lutein and vitamins A and C, all of which keep your eyes strong and lower your risk of cataracts down the road. They also protect your retinas from oxidative stress.

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8. Citrus Fruits

Your eyes benefit from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and heck, we’ll throw tomatoes in there, too! The reason why is that citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and can reduce your risk of age-related eye conditions like cataracts or AMD.

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9. Kiwis

Even if oranges aren’t your thing, you can score vitamin C from other fruits like kiwi. These fuzzy helpers are among the top fruits for vitamin C and do just as much to protect you from eye conditions as citrus fruits. They also maintain overall eye health. 

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10. Seeds

Chia and flaxseed are both loaded with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which maintain eye health and reduce inflammation. They’re also packed with fiber, which not only keeps you healthy but your eyes, too.

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