Add seasonings to chilled foods, such as salad dressings and dips, several hours before serving to allow time for their flavors to blend. If you’re making a hot dish such as soup or stew, add herbs toward the end of the cooking time so their flavor won’t disappear.
Yes. Make the soups or stews ahead of time, then refrigerate. Skim off the hardened fat on top before reheating to serve.
Yes. If you want to substitute fresh herbs for dry in a recipe, use one tablespoon of fresh herb for each teaspoon of dried.
For the best flavor, buy the freshest ingredients you can find. Buy locally grown fruits and vegetables in season, when possible, or purchase frozen fruits and vegetables, which are generally frozen immediately after picking, so they retain a fresh taste and maximum nutrients.
Eat more vegetables, and add beans to soups, salads, and stir-fries enhance both the fiber content and the flavor.. However, don’t forget to count the carbohydrate content of added beans: 15 grams of carbohydrate (and 5 grams of fiber) per one-third cup of cooked beans. You can also use whole-grain pasta or brown rice in recipes to boost their fiber content.
Yes. Whole wheat flour can replace from one-quarter to half of the all-purpose flour in most recipes.
It depends — for some artificial sweeteners, a special baking version of the sweetener may be necessary. For foods that will be heated, consult the sweetener manufacturer’s directions to determine whether a particular product can be used.
It’s perfectly OK to use ready-to-eat foods, but they usually taste better and have greater nutritional value if you jazz them up. For example, try complementing a pre-prepared meal with fresh fruits or vegetables.
No. One quick trick for eating more healthfully while still enjoying favorite foods is to simply decrease your portion size when eating high-fat, high-sugar, or high-sodium foods.
Reduce the fat content in homemade baked goods by substituting unsweetened applesauce, pureed prunes, or another pureed fruit for part of the oil, shortening, margarine, or butter.
Yes. You can lighten up packaged mixes by trying lower-fat options in preparation. For example, use half of the oil called for in packaged pasta salad mixes, or try using low-fat or skim milk when making instant pudding. For packaged rice dishes and similar products, use only half the flavoring packet to cut down on sodium.
Adding herbs, spices, and other low-calorie but flavorful ingredients such as garlic and citrus zests and juices makes nutritious dishes more appealing to eat.
Cured foods such as bacon and ham, foods packed in salty brine such as pickles, olives, and sauerkraut, and condiments such as mustard, ketchup, and barbecue sauce can be significant sources of sodium and should be eaten in small amounts only. Low-salt or low-sodium versions of canned vegetables, soy sauce, broth, and seasoning mixes substitute nicely for the full-salt versions, but read the labels: Some of these are still fairly high in sodium.
Tasting foods before salting them and removing the saltshaker from the table are two great ways to reduce the sodium content of your diet.
To improve the health benefits of a favorite recipe, look over the list of ingredients, consider the role each plays in the recipe, and modify only one at a time. This gives you an opportunity to judge the success of your single change.
Shoes should not need to be "broken in" — if it is suggested that a pair of shoes needs to be broken in, stretched, or otherwise modified, do not purchase those shoes, because they are the wrong ones for your feet.
If you have narrow feet, choose shoes with wide-set eyelets to allow you to pull the laces tighter, if necessary. If you have wide feet, shoes with closely set rows of eyelets may work better.
Many people have one foot that’s larger than the other, so have both feet measured. Also be sure to stand naturally with your weight divided evenly between both feet.
Any custom insert you buy should have at least three layers — a soft layer of foam on top and two stiffer layers on the bottom to provide some resilience.
Yes. It is a good idea to avoid high heels, as they put increased pressure on the ball of the foot, place the back of the foot in an unstable position, and increase the movement of foot tissues in opposite directions, a primary cause of calluses, blisters, and ulcers. (Heels should be less than one inch in height.) It is also a good idea to avoid slip-on loafers, which provide inadequate foot support, and sandals with straps between the toes, which can cause irritation.
Always wear socks with shoes to prevent blisters. Wear socks that fit well (tight socks impair circulation) and are seamless (to prevent blisters). Socks should be made of breathable material such as cotton or wool, ideally blended with a material that draws moisture away from the skin, such as acrylic.
People with lack of sensation in the feet, other changes in the feet caused by diabetes, or a history of foot ulcers may be candidates for orthotics, or specially designed insoles that are worn inside the shoes. If orthotics don’t do the trick, it may be necessary to get custom-made shoes. To qualify for depth-inlay shoes, custom-molded shoes, or shoe inserts under Medicare Part B, your physician must certify that you have diabetes and are being treated, that you need the insert or shoe because you have diabetes, and that you have a condition such as an amputation, foot ulcers, calluses, poor circulation, or foot deformity.
You should have your feet measured every time you buy shoes because feet change in size and shape over time. Also, it’s better to be fitted for shoes in the afternoon or evening rather than first thing in the morning — walking around all day causes your feet to spread, so getting fitted when your feet are at their largest can help you to ensure a comfortable fit.
Many foot ulcers start with rubbing from ill-fitting shoes, so it’s important that your shoes fit well and don’t cause any abnormal pressure on your feet.
Yes — if you smoke, your risk for foot problems increases. Lowering your risk, obviously, involves quitting. Several options are available to assist with smoking cessation such as individual or group counseling and use of nicotine products or certain prescription medicines.
Your doctor should examine your feet at least once a year to check for the presence of foot problems and to assess your risk of developing problems in the future. If you have neuropathy or peripheral arterial disease, your feet should be carefully inspected at every office visit. To make sure your doctor checks your feet at each checkup, take off your shoes and socks before your doctor comes into the room.
People with diabetes can safely use over-the-counter athlete’s foot creams, and all athlete’s foot creams are equally effective. To use an athlete’s foot cream, wash your feet and dry well between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet. Rub the medicated cream in twice a day. If you see no improvement in five days, call your podiatrist. It might not be an athlete’s foot fungus after all.
Capsaicin cream or ointment can sometimes reduce pain associated with diabetic neuropathy if used regularly over the course of several weeks. It can also relieve arthritis pain in some cases.
Because foot soaks can dry your skin, you should not soak your feet every night. You also should not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as antiseptics on your feet, since these will dry your skin as well.
If you have an ingrown toenail, see your podiatrist for treatment. Don’t use over-the-counter ingrown toenail remover products from the drugstore. If you see your toenail looking red or swollen, or you see drainage, blood, or pus on your toe, consult your podiatrist immediately. This is an emergency.
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