If you need one more reason to watch what you eat this holiday season add your feet to the list. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC we see many patients whose eating habits directly affect the health of their feet. Gout, for example, can be triggered by certain foods that are high chemicals known as purines. Conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis where inflammation is a symptom can also be aggravated or improved by food choices. If you have a chronic foot condition, regular checkups with one of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko should be part of your care regimen. The foot doctor can tell you about dietary changes you can make to improve your condition. Below are some do’s and don’ts to guide you through the holiday food maze:
Do: avoid red meats, red wine, beer, shellfish (such as shrimp and lobster), organ meats (tongue, liver, sweetbreads, etc.) if you are prone to gout attacks.
Don’t: overdo your intake of fried foods, processed snacks and those made with refined flour such as pretzels and chips. Not only do these types of foods trigger an inflammatory response in your body they also quickly increase your total calorie intake.
Do: make healthy swaps. Choose nuts instead of chips, extra greens instead of potatoes, seltzer over a second glass of wine.
Don’t: drink too much alcohol. Although some studies have shown that one drink can help fight inflammation in the body, more than one has been shown to increase the inflammatory response. In addition, alcohol can trigger gout and packs on the pounds.
Do: have a salad or glass of vegetable juice or other low calorie snack before you go to a party or holiday gathering. Your appetite will be curbed and you won’t arrive ready to eat everything in sight.
Do: drink plenty of water. In some cases are bodies are actually thirsty but we perceive it as hungry. Drinking water will help you feel fuller and have the bonus benefit of keeping you hydrated, which can be a challenge in overheated homes and offices.
Maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way to preventing foot problems and lessening the pain of existing conditions. If you have questions about your feet and what to eat, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office by calling: (516) 825-4070 or (516) 327-0074.