Older women may be able to lower their risk of developing cataracts by consuming a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, according to a new University of Wisconsin study.
For the research, lead author Julie Mares and her colleagues examined 1,808 women over the age of 55 who took part in both the Women’s Health Initiative study—which had them complete food frequency questionnaires—and an age-related eye disease study.
Participants were assigned scores based on their adherence to the 1992 food guide pyramid. High marks were given to those who consumed more than the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, while low scores were handed out to individuals who ate foods rich in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
The investigators found that the women with the highest dietary scores had, by far, the lowest risk of developing cataracts.
"Results from this study indicate that healthy diets, which reflect adherence to the United States dietary guidelines at the time of entry in the Women’s Health Initiative study, are more strongly related to the lower occurrence of nuclear cataracts than any other modifiable risk factor or protective factor studied in this sample of women," wrote the authors.