The balance of fats and oils in your diet can affect your vision, according to a new study. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a currently untreatable disease of the eye causing fuzziness, shadows and severe visual impairment. As the name suggests, it gets worse with age and diet has been implicated in its development.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary carried out a study of 349 individuals aged 55 to 80 with AMD, and compared their diet to a control group with eye disease other than AMD. Those who consumed foods high in vegetable fat had a two fold greater risk of AMD than those whose intakes were low. Foods high in monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, carried a 71 per cent higher risk of AMD and those high in polyunsaturates, like margarine, had an 86 per cent increased risk.
But diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like tuna and salmon, were protective against AMD. The message is that if you want to look after your eyes, cut down on processed foods high in vegetable fats, but eat more fish.