Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cataracts and Carbohydrates

There was an interesting study published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding carbohydrate intake and the development of cataracts. The study found that the quantity of carbohydrate in the diet - not the quality - increased the risk of developing early cortical cataracts (the second most common kind).

Researchers reviewed dietary date on 417 participants in the Boston area included in the Nurses' Health Study and found that those who ate the most carbohydrates (>200g per day) were 2.5 times more likely to have cortical cataracts when compared with those eating the least carbohydrates (<185g per day) each day. A high carbohydrate intake was not, however, associated with the most common cataracts - nuclear cataracts. Interestingly, the glycemic index of the carbohydrates eaten were not associated with the development of either type of cataracts.

The evidence already shows that controlling your carbohydrate intake - specifically eating whole foods instead of processed foods - helps to control weight and maintain health. This new research adds to what we already know and reveals how important it is to eat right. Controlling your carbohydrate intake to levels below 185g per day isn't low-carb - it's controlled-carb. And, it's healthy for you if you avoid the added sugars, refined grains and other processed foods that are all too available in our diet today.

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