5 Ways to Make Heart-Healthy Eating a Family Affair


Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the number one cause of death in our country. Your diet can play a big part in reducing your family’s risk of heart disease. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, we know that what you eat impacts your weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure—all of which contribute to the health of your heart and also your feet.

Nutritious Choices for Life

Studies show overweight children tend to become overweight adults. We tend to stick with the eating habits we learn as children. That’s why you can have a greater impact on the health of your entire family by giving them a healthy way of eating now. Below are some tips to help you get started. No matter where you are, there are always ways to improve.

1.       Take baby steps. Your odds for successfully changing your family’s eating habits are much greater if you strive for small changes incorporated slowly rather than a total family diet makeover. Pick one or two improvements and work them into your family’s food plan; then move on to others.

2.       Plan more family meals. Sitting down together to eat meals and cooking them at home are great habits that help you control what and how much your family eats. It’s also been shown to have lots of emotional and other benefits for every member of the family from improved vocabulary skills to decreased risk of drug and alcohol use in teens.

3.       Say goodbye to sugary drinks. Sodas, fruits juices, and even some so-called “healthy” sports drinks are high in sugars. These can pack on pounds with empty calories. Switch to water. Get everyone their own cool water bottle. If you want flavor, experiment with adding fruits, berries, cucumbers, and other natural flavors.

4.       Swap in healthy snacks. It’s not hard to find healthy replacements for processed snacks that are high in saturated and trans fats, sugars and calories. Like ice cream? Try low-fat frozen yogurt. Going for crunch? Look for baked snacks in place of potato chips; hummus for dipping instead of sour cream.

5.       Shop the rainbow. Buying produce of all different colors is a simple way to ensure that your family is getting a wide variety of nutrients their bodies need. Let children take turns picking out new produce to try.

If you have questions about how other diseases and health conditions can impact the health of your feet, make an appointment at our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office. Our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, will be able to make suggestions to help you be proactive about your podiatric health.