Sugar, Macular Degeneration, and Healthy Living

Okay Friends, we know how harmful refined sugars can be to our overall health and more specifically our eyes, now what? Today I want to focus specifically on sugar and weight loss (and why weight loss matters to our eyes), as well as some encouragement for moving forward.

Sugar and weight loss

It’s no surprise that eating refined sugars in excess can cause weight gain. Wanna lose weight? Try eating no (or significantly less) sugar for a few weeks, and weight you will lose. This is called sugar detoxing. It isn’t easy because our bodies crave the sugars we have become accustomed to eating, but once the cravings wear off, you will notice a huge change in your energy levels and in your weight.

A healthy weight matters for people with MD

In a previous article I’ve written called Why People with MD Don't Just Exercise to "Get Skinny", I explained that being a healthy weight matters for people with macular degeneration. Increased weight increases the pressure on our eyes. That also increases our risk for retinal tears and detachments.

The benefits of a sugar detox

If you couple a sugar detox...yes, I said detox because that’s what it is...with living an active lifestyle and eating eye healthy foods, we can really benefit our bodies and eyes in so many ways.

Be wary of "healthy" advertising

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but many of the foods we eat that are advertised as 'healthy' are PACKED with sugar. Here are some examples that may surprise you:

  • 1/3 of a cup of name-brand dried cranberries has 26 grams of refined sugar in it.
  • One single-serving container of strawberry yogurt can have between 18 and 14 grams of refined sugar in it, depending on the brand you choose.
  • One cup of chocolate milk? 26 grams of refined sugar.
  • Two tablespoons of BBQ sauce has 14 grams of refined sugar in it. 1 Tablespoon of ketchup has 4 grams.
  • One can of orange soda has 44 grams of added sugar.

Wondering about anything else? Google it and the information comes right up!

You don't have to completely cut out refined sugars

Y'all we are human. And we have to be able to live our lives. I would be the first to say enjoy life and do what makes you happy!  But, I feel very strongly that knowledge is power when it comes to tackling this eye disease.

I'm in no way saying that we should not all celebrate life and eat the delicious cakes at birthday parties and weddings. Nor do I think you should not indulge once in a while. There's food that's good for the mind and body, and then there's food that's good for the soul. I'm just wanting to make everyone aware that the more selective we are with the foods we choose to consume (choosing healthier options as much as we can), the less chance we all have of getting early stages of macular degeneration, as well as advanced stages - if you already have the disease.

Leaving a legacy of healthy lifestyles

With all of this knowledge about sugar, we may even be able to help our children and grandchildren form healthier lifestyles and eating habits so they are at a lesser risk too.

Choose Wisely,

Andrea Junge

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