A healthy diet helps in not only cutting down on health care costs but in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other sight-robbing diseases.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists at the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research have found that a food's glycemic index is an indicator of how fast the carbohydrate it contains will spike blood sugar levels.
The macula is a 3-millimeter-wide yellow spot near the center of the retina responsible for the central field of vision.
Led by Chung-Jung Chiu, the researchers ranked intake of each of several nutrients consumed during the AREDS study, then calculated a compound score to gauge their combined dietary effect on the risk of AMD.
The scoring system allowed them to evaluate associations between individual-and combined-dietary nutrients.
The nutrients that were found to be most protective in combination with the low-glycemic-index diet were vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and the omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA.
The study was published in Ophthalmology.