This month is National Nutrition Month. One disease that is significantly impacted by diet and greatly affects the health of your feet is diabetes. For patients with diabetes, even seemingly minor foot ailments, athletes’ foot, ingrown toenails and warts, for example, can quickly become major threats. Poor circulation, which is associated with diabetes, makes wounds are very slow to heal. This increases the risk of infection and even amputation. Therefore, even the smallest breaks in the skin pose a problem and have to be diligently monitored and aggressively treated.
At Texas Foot Specialists, we’d like to help our patients learn more about how your food choices can raise or lower your risk for this disease. There are many factors that we don’t have control over. Your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes increases as you age, if you have a family history of the disease, or belong to certain races/ethnicities. But research has shown you can delay the onset or even prevent diabetes with just moderate changes in your eating habits.
Change What You Eat—Because diabetes is about how your body produces and uses insulin, which regulates your blood sugar level, it’s very important to limit foods that contain high amounts of added sugar. Avoid sugary sodas, processed baked goods and snacks and foods made with refined, white flour. Eat carbohydrates in moderation and make sure they are in the healthiest form possible like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Focus on healthy fats like avocados, nuts and olive oil and eliminate saturated fats whenever possible.
Change How You Eat It—Use a smaller plate to automatically help you reduce portion size. Eat purposefully and not mindlessly while you watch TV or work on the computer. Measure and weigh portions.
Change When You Eat-- Instead of three big meals each day have 3 smaller meals with nutrient dense snacks between meals. A little while before a meal have a salad or tall glass of water to help you feel less hungry.
An added bonus: reducing your risk of diabetes also lowers the chances of complications associated with the disease such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney disease and blindness. At your next appointment at our Sugar Land (281-242-4448), Houston (713-664-6677) or Pasadena (281-991-0600) office, talk to our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller, about the impact of other lifestyle choices on the health of your feet and ankles.