March is National Nutrition Month. What’s that got to do with your feet? One of the biggest risk factors for many podiatric conditions such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis and sesamoiditis is carrying too much weight. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we want our patients to be aware of the benefits to your feet of losing weight (if needed) and maintaining a healthy weight for your entire family. In addition to reducing the stress on your lower extremities, good nutrition can also help reduce the risk of several diseases such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis that also have a significant impact on your podiatric health. Don’t attempt a total diet makeover. Instead, try incorporating some of these easy tips to slowly improve your eating plan:
- Whenever you’re making pasta, throw some fresh or frozen vegetables into the water part way through the cooking time to boost your veggie intake without having another pot to wash.
- Use smaller plates—this will automatically decrease portion size.
- Get the kids involved by allowing them to help pick out different salad ingredients in the grocery store. On busy nights, let them make the salad and encourage them to mix and match as many colorful ingredients as they like.
- When eating out, consider ordering a la carte items to get smaller portions. You can also increase the vegetables you get by sharing an entrée with someone and adding a side salad, steamed vegetables or plain baked potato.
- Chop up leftover fruits and veggies and put in bags in your freezer to use in smoothies or add to soups or stews. This saves time, avoids waste and increases nutrients in your meals.
- Look for substitutions that will satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your nutrition goals. Try raisins instead of jelly with peanut butter, dessert flavored yogurts instead of pudding or ice cream and whole grain granola bars in place of processed baked goods.