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To study the possible connections between diet and risk of developing cataracts, researchers collected information about health and eating habits from 27,670 British men and women. The study included adults over 40 years old with no prior history of diabetes, a health condition that can increase cataract risk.
The researchers followed each person in the group for a minimum of nine years and documented who developed cataracts. They found that compared with people who eat 3½ or more ounces of meat per day, the risk of developing cataracts was:
Eye health is vital to staying active and happy into old age. This study suggests that eating less meat and more plant foods—vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes—may safeguard our eyes against cataracts. The study cannot prove cause and effect, because it was not a controlled, clinical trial. However, there are few downsides to improving our eating habits. Use our tips to fashion a vision-friendly dietary plan today:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2011; 93:1128–35)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.