November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Northern Virginia podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm wants to play a part in raising awareness of this potentially devastating disease. One way we can do that is to remind you of ways you can reduce your risk. One very specific strategy you can use is to focus on food swapping.

Why food swapping?

Learning what foods to swap out for other foods is just a technique to get you thinking about what you’re eating. It’s a way to stop and be more mindful of what you’re putting in your body. And it’s a good way to begin to change behaviors that can lead to weight gain and obesity – one of the leading risk factors for diabetes.

So what is it?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: think about the foods you normally reach for and figure out a better choice. For example

  • If you normally snack on fatty high-salt chips between lunch and dinner, swap them out for air-popped popcorn with herbs and spices
  • Reach for lemon-infused water instead of high-sugar cola or iced tea
  • Love your ice cream after dinner? Try high-protein, plain Greek yogurt with a spoonful of low-sugar strawberry preserves instead

Small changes like these add up to big gains in terms of your overall health. They can also reduce your risk of diabetes. Moreover, if you already have diabetes, adopt food swapping as a great strategy to keep your blood sugar under control.

Diabetes can be extremely damaging to your feet. The ups and downs of high blood sugar eventually take a toll on your whole body, but your feet are especially vulnerable. Damaged blood vessels make circulation difficult, and the feet suffer the most because they’re so far away from the heart. Damaged nerves cause numbness, tingling, pain, and even deformation.

Use strategies like swapping out one food for another to reduce your risk of diabetes and maintain your good health. For more information about diabetes, care of the diabetic foot, and diabetes prevention, contact Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville at (703) 996-3000. Or, make an appointment online to see Dr. Wilhelm.

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