Learn to Eat Healthy during Holidays

Your Health and the Holidays: What to Eat to Manage Your PAD Symptoms During the Holidays

On average, individuals gain nearly two pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. People with a BMI over 25 were more at risk for gaining extra weight during the holidays.1Obesity and diabetes are two risk factors for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and the extra few pounds could increase your PAD symptoms. What can you do to stay healthy this holiday season?

Adapting what you eat and how much you exercise can make a difference in your overall health, blood flow, and PAD symptoms. Are you still interested? Keep reading to learn more about how diet plays a role in PAD and what foods you should start eating this holiday season!

What Is PAD?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects arterial vessels, usually in your lower extremities.2 With PAD, your blood vessels narrow to the point where you could develop blood clots or increase your risk for coronary artery disease. PAD can also limit blood supply, making it difficult for wounds to heal and increasing rates of gangrene or amputation. 

Common PAD Symptoms

The most common PAD symptom is muscle or leg pain. In spite of that, nearly 40% of PAD patients do not have any pain, often making it more challenging to diagnose. Here are other common PAD symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Poor healing wounds
  • Skin discoloration
  • Cool skin or lower temperature
  • Lack of hair growth
  • Reduced pulse

The most common types of PAD symptoms stem from atherosclerosis. When plaque hardens on arterial walls, it reduces pliability and blood flow, causing exercise restriction. Once PAD has progressed to more severe cases, individuals might start noticing neuropathy or pain at rest. 

PAD Symptoms and the Holidays

How can you start staying healthy over the holidays with your PAD? Dieting and exercising play a critical role in PAD symptoms. Following healthy lifestyle changes can reduce your likelihood of developing PAD or manage your symptoms. 

PAD is a vascular condition and is often closely linked to other cardiovascular conditions. The best way to manage PAD symptoms is by following a heart-healthy diet. Studies found that eating foods with high anti-inflammatory markers can reduce PAD risks.3

Some examples of heart-healthy foods with anti-inflammatory benefits are:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Tea
  • Wholegrains
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts

Additionally, one of the best diets you can follow for vascular conditions is the Mediterranean Diet. This particular diet encourages eating healthy fats, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and healthy cooking oils like olive oil. It does not include highly processed foods, sugars, or refined grains.4

Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

Overall, lifestyle modifications are one of the first tools to start managing PAD symptoms. If your PAD symptoms worsen, your vascular specialist may recommend minimally invasive treatments and/or medication. 

Atherectomy, angioplasty, and stent placements are a few options that you can discuss with your specialist. If you don’t know where to start this upcoming holiday season, talk to one of the vascular physicians at Modern Vascular. 

To learn more about how to manage your Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms during the holidays and beyond, through minimally-invasive vascular solutions that Modern Vascular offers or to find answers to your PAD-related problems, you can call (888) 853-1278 or use the online form at ModernVascular.com to request a consultation with a Modern Vascular Patient Advocate.

You can schedule an evaluation and get started with a healthier life!

  1. Olson K, Coffino JA, Thomas JG, Wing RR. Strategies to manage weight during the holiday season among US adults: A descriptive study from the National Weight Control Registry. Obes Sci Pract. 2020;7(2):232-238. Published 2020 Dec 15. doi:10.1002/osp4.470 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019277/
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 27). Peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/PAD.htm
  3. Yuan, S., Bruzelius, M., Damrauer, S. M., Hakansson, N., Wolk, A., Akesson, A., & Larsson, S. C. (2022, April 9). Anti-inflammatory diet and incident peripheral artery disease: Two prospective cohort studies. Define_me. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(22)00114-5/fulltext
  4. Gunnars, K. (2021, October 25). Mediterranean diet 101: Meal plan, foods list, and tips. Healthline. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan#what-is-it

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