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Diabetic retinopathy is a complication

of diabetes that can lead to blindness. Caused
by changes in the blood vessels of the retina,
diabetic retinopathy is the most common
diabetic eye disease. Usually no symptoms For more information:
are present in the early stages of the disease. American Diabetes Association:
As the disease progresses, a person may
experience spots in vision or blurred vision. American Optometric Association:
Normal Vision Dash Diet:
Idaho Plate Method:
National Eye Institute/National Institutes
of Health: Eating for Your Eyes II

National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Ref#: EDS01
Lindsay Youd, M.S., R.D., Graduate Student
Same scene viewed by a person with
Sherri Stastny, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., C.S.S.D., Assistant Professor
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist Prevention,
diabetic retinopathy Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
Treatment and
For more information on this and other topics, Diet
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Reviewed October 2012
National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Ref#: EDS04
Eat a healthy diet to help
Risk Factors for Diabetic Retinopathy Prevention control blood sugar, blood
Prevention and Treatment is Key pressure and cholesterol levels
Q Presence of Type 1 or 2 diabetes
Q Diabetes diagnosis and pregnant n Control blood sugar
Q Poor blood sugar control Q Maintain a consistent intake of carbohydrate
Q Poor blood pressure control foods at meals
Q Presence of kidney disease Bread/starch/grain, milk/yogurt, fruit/fruit juice
and sweets contain carbohydrate
Q Duration of diabetes
K n ow Your Num n Control blood pressure

d G lu c o se Level Q Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, whole
Fasting B 7 0 -100 mg/d
l grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and nuts
Use the
Normal > 100 mg
/dl Q Decrease sodium intake
Pred ia b e te s
Plate Method
te s > 126 mg Q Moderate alcohol intake
for Healthy Meals
Diab e
bin A1c n Control cholesterol levels
Hemoglo 4-6% Q Choose foods moderate in fat and low in
n Vegetables - plate
o r m a l
N < 7% Q Watery, not starchy
o a l fo r D iabetes saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat
P r e s s u re (mmH n Get regular physical activity n Meat/fish/poultry/tofu/eggs/nuts - plate
Blood < 120/80 Q Protein foods
Nor m a l /90 Q Get moderate or vigorous activity most days of
e r te n s io n $140 the week combined with resistance training
Hyp n Bread/starch/grain - plate for one serving;
n Lose weight if overweight may have two servings
Vitreous gel Q Includes starchy vegetables and dry beans
n Have regular physician and dietitian visits
Optic nerve Q Choose whole grains most often
Iris n Have regular comprehensive and
dilated-eye exams n Milk and yogurt
Q Yearly or as soon as possible during pregnancy use 1 small cup or coffee cup
Q Skim or 1% milk, low-fat or fat-free yogurt
} Pupil

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments n Fruit Use cup dessert dish or
1 small cup or coffee cup
Scatter laser treatment, a vitrectomy and focal laser
Iris Q 1 small fruit, cup sliced fruit or applesauce,
Retina treatments are effective (decrease vision loss by 50
to 60 percent) but are not curative. cup fruit juice, 1 cup melons or berries