Just about every packaged food item in any grocery store sports a label with “Nutrition Facts.” Learning how to interpret all the different numbers and percentages is an important skill. When you know what to look for, you can avoid unhealthy foods, lower your sodium intake, and work toward keeping your blood sugar levels steady.
Healthy eating helps keep off unwanted pounds, wards off diseases like cancer and diabetes, and promotes the growth of healthy bones and tissues. Your foundation – your feet and ankles – appreciate all these benefits just as much as the rest of your body. So, in honor of National Nutrition Month, let’s help our feet by reviewing some of the components of a nutrition label:
- Servings per container: You may be perfectly capable of eating a 5-oz. bag of chips by yourself, but chances are the number of servings listed at the top of the label is more than “1.” Pay attention to how many cups or grams equals one serving. If you eat double the serving size, you’re also doubling the number of calories, fat grams, sodium, and carbs.
- Added sugars: You’ll find an entry for “Total Sugars” under the heading “Total Carbohydrates.” Some foods, such as dried fruits, contain sugar naturally. What you want to look for is “Added Sugars” and keep those numbers to a minimum. According to the American Heart Association, men should limit their total daily intake of added sugars to 36 grams. For women, it’s just 24 grams.
- Vitamin D and Calcium: At the bottom of the nutrition label, these two nutrients will appear as a percentage of your daily intake. For example, the nutrition label on a container of skim milk shows that you’ll get about 29% of your daily vitamin D in one serving. The same label lists calcium at 46%. With no added sugars and 33% of your daily recommended protein, a glass of skim milk is a nutritious choice!
Our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. Craig B. Frey, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, and Dr. Jim Swienconek, care about your overall health. For more information about good nutrition for your feet and ankles or help with any foot issues you may be having, call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041. You may also contact us online to schedule a consultation. We offer a modern office with the latest technology for podiatric patients in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties, proudly serving our patients from Solon, Aurora, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.