If you are reading this, chances are that you’re aware of the many demerits of taking high-sugar food. For instance, too much refined sugar is thought to cause obesity, weight gain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure [1].

So, does eating too much sugar affect your eyesight? Or better still, can quitting sugar help improve eyesight? And if yes, what can one do to curb their craving for sweet things?

Sugar and healthy adult woman's eye

What You Need to Know About Sugar and Vision Health

One thing you need to keep in mind is that different types of sugar exist. And just as it is the case with fats, there are good and bad sources of sugar.

Indeed, high sugar food sources like soda, some snacks, candy, pineapple etc can leave you vulnerable to eye problems. Therefore, avoiding those sources of sugar can ultimately help improve your vision health.

If anything, a significantly high intake of refined sugars may lower your immunity and put immense pressure in your eyes thereby contributing to severe vision impairment.

Macular Degeneration

Persons who take too much of high sugar food items are at a high risk of macular degeneration [2]. Although macular degeneration is often associated with old age, eating too much sugar can speed up the process and end up triggering the disease early.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is yet another one of the eye diseases commonly associated with old age. It develops when one’s eyes are unable to properly drain out excess fluids. Eventually, this causes a gradual build up in eye pressure which can trigger eye pain and even impaired vision in some cases.

One thing you need to know is that high sugar intake tends to increase cholesterol levels [3]. Higher cholesterol levels typically causes blood vessels to become narrower which in turn leads to fluid buildup in the eye. And as you’d expect, this contributes significantly to the development of glaucoma.

Cataracts

Although cataracts are typically caused by a build-up of protein deposits on the lens, excessive of sugar can significantly aggravate it.

It is generally thought that excessive consumption of sugar causes pressure to build up in the eye. And when this happens, the probability of protein deposits building up on the lens also increases.

As a result, this can speed up the rate at which cataracts form.

Benefits of Quitting Sugar For Your Eye Health

Sugary stuff shares numerous similarities with addictive drugs like opioids, heroin, cocaine, and alcohol.

For instance, both can be addictive i.e. causing cravings that are pretty difficult to control. Indeed, even quitting sugar itself can lead to withdrawal effects.

And as we have seen above, sugar has a direct impact on your vision health. It can lead to the early development of issues that are typically experienced in old age.

Healthier Alternatives

Good eye health can significantly improve/maintain your quality of life. And clearly, fueling up with caramel lattes and cookies doesn’t do you any favors. So, if you’re wondering if quitting sugar can improve eyesight, the answer is a big yes.

Happy woman eating salad

All you need to do is embrace healthier sources of glucose instead. By healthier alternatives we’re talking about low glycemic fruits and food items. Some examples of those include:

  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Berries
  • Peaches

Also, stevia, erylitol, and yacon syrup are all less harmful than ordinary sugar. However, even these should only be used sparingly.

To Quit Sugar to Improve Eyesight or Not? Final Thoughts

High sugar intake has its downsides. It can cause blood vessels in the eye to become narrow thereby contributing to glaucoma (by raising intra-ocular pressure). When you eat too much sugar, you also increase your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts too.

So YES, quitting high sugar intake is highly recommended. Instead, replace with low glycemic fruits such as: Grapes, Apples, Figs, and Cherries among others.

References

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31484293/

2. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/41/10/2202

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4856550/

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