Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. While cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to remove cataracts, prevention is always better than cure. Recent research suggests that a healthy diet may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
A new study published in the journal Ophthalmology has refined the recommendations for a diet that may help prevent cataracts. The study followed 324,644 participants from the UK Biobank over 10 years and found that a diet rich in certain nutrients may reduce the risk of cataracts by up to 15%.
The study identified six key nutrients that may help prevent cataracts: vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, α-carotene, and β-carotene. Foods that are high in these nutrients include fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Specifically, the study found that eating three servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day reduced the risk of cataracts by 18%. Eating two servings of whole grains per day reduced the risk by 8%. Consuming one serving of nuts or seeds per day reduced the risk by 10%. And eating one serving of lean protein per day reduced the risk by 4%.
The study also found that certain types of fats may increase the risk of cataracts. Specifically, consuming more than 17 grams of saturated fat per day increased the risk by 16%. Consuming more than 7 grams of trans fat per day increased the risk by 7%.
The researchers noted that while their study provides strong evidence that a healthy diet may help prevent cataracts, further research is needed to confirm these findings and to identify the optimal diet for cataract prevention.
In the meantime, it is important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. By doing so, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing cataracts and other eye conditions.