By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 27, 2018
Category: Heart Health
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

February is American Heart Health Month. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we believe in a total body approach to podiatric health. Taking care of your heart benefits your feet and vice versa. That’s why we want to focus on an issue today that can greatly impact your health—avoiding an excessive amount of added sugar in your diet.

In a startling study published in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, it showed that the chances of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in a person’s diet—regardless of age, sex, body-mass index or physical activity level. The study also showed that the average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day—more than 3 times the recommended amount! In addition to raising your risk for heart disease, sugar plays a large role in weight control. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can tell you that being overweight or obese can put excessive strain on your feet and ankles and can cause or worsen many foot conditions such as chronic ankle pain and plantar fasciitis.

It’s clear that cutting down on added sugar is a good idea. Below are some tips on how to do it:

Learn the Lingo—when you check the nutrition label on foods the line for sugars contains both natural sugars (those that occur naturally in foods like dairy products and fruits) and those that are added, so that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Read the ingredients and look for any types of sugar (brown, malt, raw, invert), sweeteners, syrups (including corn and high-fructose corn) and any words that end in “ose.” Dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose, for example, are all types of added sugar. The further near the top of the list they are, the greater the amount contained in the food.

Cut it In Half—whatever sugar you put in your coffee or tea, sprinkle on your cereal or use in recipes, try to use half the amount you currently do. Chances are you won’t notice the difference.

Find Sweet Substitutes—put fresh or dried fruits in your oatmeal, add flavorful extracts (lemon, almond, orange) or spices such as ginger, cinnamon or allspice to recipes in place of sugar. Switch from sodas (one of the worst added-sugar offenders!) to flavored seltzers and other low or no sugar drinks. Choose zero-sugar yogurt over ice cream and pudding.

To learn more ways to improve your heart and foot health, contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.