Old habits die hard.

Giving up the foods we love that may not be so good for us is really hard.

Especially if those things contain a lot of sugar.

Just a few years ago the New York Times cited a study that shows that sugar can be incredibly addictive – literally as addictive as drugs – and also contributes more to cardiovascular disease than consuming too much salt.

There are many studies out there that clearly show the detriments of eating too much sugar, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • fatty liver disease
  • kidney disease, and, of course
  • obesity

As a podiatrist, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center is especially concerned about diabetes and obesity and their effects on the feet. To be clear, consuming sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes. But it does contribute to being overweight or obese. Obesity makes it difficult for the body to use the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin properly. When blood sugar levels are unregulated, diabetes is the result. And we know that foot problems and diabetes go hand-in-hand.

If eating too much sugar leads to these diseases, then we want our patients to think about ways to cut down. Here are 8 things you can do to break the sugar habit:

  1. Just say “no” to soda.
  2. Cut back slowly. Begin by eating ½ a snack bar or putting less sugar in your coffee.
  3. Read nutrition labels to avoid added sugar (look for words like syrup, molasses, and anything ending in “-ose”)
  4. Focus on eating whole foods – an apple instead of applesauce. A broiled piece of meat rather than a fast-food burger
  5. Eat natural sugar in the form of fruit (also contains fiber)
  6. Eliminate artificial sweeteners, which may increase cravings
  7. Drink more water
  8. Reduce cravings by engaging in cardiovascular and strength-training exercises. They also have the added benefit of keeping your weight in check and helping to maintain strong bones.

Cutting back on sugar paves the way for increasing your consumption of healthy foods that help keep you at a good weight, ward off the onset of Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to healthy feet. For more information on good nutrition and your feet, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Wilhelm by clicking here or calling our podiatry office in Centreville, VA (703) 996-3000.

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