Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid with Diabetic Retinopathy

Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid with Diabetic Retinopathy

Seeking perfection in everything is a hot topic in today’s society. I mean wouldn’t you want to have glowing skin, zero fat, perfect shape, a 6/6 vision with absolutely no signs of flaws or disability?

Well, that’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of papayas and carrots to get there!

There is no sincere love than the love of food. Speaking of which, are you too obsessed with molten lava cakes or anything sweet enough to cheer you up? but hey there! go easy on the sweetness.

Did you know…?

Excess sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina and end up cutting off its blood supply. It causes a medical problem called Diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a secondary disease which occurs in people who have had diabetes for a prolonged time period. A statistical analysis shows an unfortunate number of upto 80% of people who have diabetes, later become affected by this eye disease, which ultimately leads to complete loss of sight.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people aged 20 to 64.

While there may not be much that can be done to reverse the vision damage that is caused due to diabetic retinopathy, however, you can take preventive measures by maintaining a healthy diet to keep the problem at bay and to keep it from progressing towards further decay. The key is to keep blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels on an optimum level.

To protect your healthy pair of eyes, some of the must-haves in your daily diet are the following:

Green Leafy Vegetables

The vegetarians do get an advantaged hand here because what we suggest first are a hefty list of vegetables that can keep the water levels in your body on an ideal level. Several of these vegetables such as celery, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, asparagus and broccoli contain both lutein and zeaxanthin, which perform important antioxidant functions in the body. These are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C.

Dairy; Milk, Yoghurt and Eggs

Skimmed milk, low-fat or fat-free yoghurt is another big YES! if you’re a person who wants to give a big boost to their eye-sight, as these are a rich source of vitamin C, E and Zinc. However milk and yoghurt should preferably be taken in less quantity and in skimmed form to avoid high-blood sugar.

Fish and Seafood

Seafood such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and oysters contain protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for eye health. However, you should keep in mind that the healthiest ways to cook fish are steaming or stewing rather than fried fish.

Here’s a steamed fish recipe that is guaranteed to help you prepare an enticing meal that is as nutritious as it is delicious.


A good reason for you to eat plenty of fruit is because it helps prevent eye complications that would lead to vision loss, especially for people who already have developed diabetes. A PhD study at Kyoto University Hospital concluded that, “Those who ate the most fruit were the least likely to develop diabetic retinopathy“.

Whole Grains

Having high cholesterol levels is bad for your eyes, so whole grains are high-fiber foods that help keep cholesterol levels in check to ensure that your system is working well.


Nuts are an exceptionally nutrient-packed snack, a fistful of which you can easily add to your breakfast meal. They help in regulating blood-pressure and contain vitamin-E that is good for eye-health. It helps prevent age-related macular degeneration as well as cataracts.

Some of the main foods that are not-so-eye-friendly and ones that you should avoid are given below.

Sugary Foods

Sweet foods may cheer your spirit up but they contain a dangerously high quantity of refined carbs that are bad for your overall health as much as for your diabetic blindness. A good alternative to unhealthy-sweet is taking juicy fruits, which are nutrient rich and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.

Snacks such as a sandwich or a hamburger also may actually leave you feeling hungrier, for the same reason. So you can replace them with brown bread to cut down its cons.

Fried and Fatty Foods

Fried foods may give you a nice treat but your eyes will not thank you if you’re putting lots of these on your plate, a lot of the time!

These are full of fatty oils and raise cholesterol that can clog arteries and cause vision loss. Certain fats, such as those found in fish can be healthy so you can replace the likes of chips, crisps and other junk food with this healthy fat.

Salty Foods

The sodium present in salt is bad for your eyes because it causes hypertension and resultantly cause damage of the retina and vision problems. So to satisfy your taste buds you can make use of other herbs and spices instead of salt, and avoid eating too many processed foods.

Keep this nutrition-guide as your go-to list before every meal and you’re sure to do your eyes a healthy favour!


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