March is National Nutrition Month and we at Patrick Fettinger, DPM know that your diet can have a big impact on your feet. You may not make the connection between what you put in your mouth and your feet but there are several important ways that your food habits can positively or negatively influence your podiatric health.
Your feet carry the weight of your entire body. It makes sense that the more you weigh, the more strain you put on your lower extremities. There are many podiatric disorders in which carrying excess weight is a risk factor. These include flat feet, sesamoiditis and plantar fasciitis, to name just a few. But the effect is even greater than you may think. For every pound that you gain, you increase the load on your lower extremities (knees, ankles, and feet) by three pounds when you walk and up to seven pounds when you run. The good news is that every pound you lose decreases the stress by the same amount. If you are very overweight, you may want to consider consulting a nutritionist to get a meal plan that can help you reach a healthy weight.
Research has shown important connections between diet and inflammation. If you suffer from gout, for example, you are probably already aware that certain foods—shellfish, red meat, organ meats, brandy, beer, and red wine—can trigger an attack of this painful arthritic condition. Also, some foods, like olive oil, fish rich in Omega 3’s, nuts and certain fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and strawberries) have all be shown to reduce inflammation.
Diet also plays a key role in preventing certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, all of which can have detrimental effects on your feet. Choosing foods that help you control your blood sugar levels and decrease cholesterol and plaque buildup in your arteries greatly lowers your risk for these and other diseases.
If you are experiencing foot pain and want to know if your diet may be a factor contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office to get your condition evaluated by our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger.