At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we’re observing American Heart Month. Heart disease is the single largest threat to the health of Americans. It is responsible for more deaths than all forms of cancer combined. It also can wreak havoc with your feet through clogged arteries and poor circulation. One of the best weapons available for fighting heart disease and decreasing your risk for coronary problems is your diet. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah want you to know that maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet can go a long way to improving the health of your heart and your feet. Below are some simple steps to take to move your food plan in a healthier direction.
- Downsize your plate—it’s an easy first step. Start with a smaller plate, and you’ll naturally decrease portion size.
- Divide and conquer—start by filling half of your plate with nutritious, low-calorie vegetables and salad. Use one remaining quarter for lean protein and the last quarter for starch/carbohydrates.
- Add some color—eating a rainbow of produce will ensure that you get a rich variety of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants.
- Be a label sleuth—check the sodium, fat, and sugar content of the foods you buy. Often two different brands of the same food will have very different nutrition facts. Avoid trans fats and limit saturated ones. Look for labels that feature the American Heart Association heart-check mark to indicate good choices for a healthy eating plan.
- Ditch the sugary drinks—instead of sodas and fruit juices, try flavored seltzers and waters.
- Cook more meals at home—you’ll be able to better control the ingredients. Get your whole family involved and learning about healthy cooking and eating at the same time.
Many patients are unaware that symptoms of heart disease may first present in your lower extremities. Be sure to make an appointment at our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802), or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office promptly if you notice swelling, hair loss on your legs or feet, skin discoloration or temperature changes or cramping in your feet or legs.