Participants who ate a diet high in red and processed meat, fried food, refined grains, and high-fat dairy were three times more likely to develop an eye condition that damages the retina and affects a person’s central vision, according to the results of a study, “Diet patterns and the incidence of age-related macular degeneration in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study,” from the University at Buffalo (UB) that appears in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
The condition is called late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is irreversible and affects a person’s central vision.
[Researcher Shruti] Dighe and colleagues used data on 66 different foods that participants self-reported consuming between 1987 and 1995 and identified two diet patterns in this cohort: Western and what researchers commonly refer to as “prudent” (healthy) that best explained the greatest variation between diets.
“Our work provides additional evidence that that diet matters,” [researcher Amy] Millen added. “From a public health standpoint, we can tell people that if you have early AMD, it is likely in your best interest to limit your intake of processed meat, fried food, refined grains, and high-fat dairy to preserve your vision over time.”
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