DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. High blood pressure or hypertension is a serious problem in the U.S. More than 65 million adults have high blood pressure and millions more are considered in the pre-stages of hypertension. The foods we eat have a direct effect on our overall health and specific aspects of our health. Blood pressure is one of these aspects. Eating foods high in sodium and salt can cause high blood pressure. In a world where processed, sodium filled foods are readily available; high blood pressure is becoming more and more of a problem. In an attempt to remedy high blood pressure, the Dash Diet or Dash eating plan was created. While Dash was originally created as a high blood pressure remedy, it also has been shown to be used as a weight management solution. In fact, for years now the Dash Diet has been ranked one of the most healthy diet plans available.
What can you eat with the Dash Diet?
Eating foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk, fish, poultry, seeds and nuts are all part of the Dash Diet. The plan focuses on consuming foods that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol, while eating foods rich in nutrients like fiber, magnesium and calcium. One of the most appealing parts of the Dash Diet is that there is no real strict eating plan or recipes that you have to follow. Simply the diet calls for a certain number of servings from various food groups. This serving number is figured by your age and activity levels.
While the Dash Diet doesn’t call for specific recipes, it is still important to find recipes that will complement the diet. We have compiled a variety of Dash Diet recipes that may work for you. Feel free to experiment with these recipes using foods from the Dash Diet Food List.
Tips for the Dash Diet
When choosing your vegetables use fresh or low-sodium (no salt added) canned or frozen. Don’t use table salt and butter when serving these vegetables.
Use substitutes for some food items. For example; use whole wheat pasta or brown rice instead of the standard noodles and white rice. For desserts, opt for fruits or other healthy foods instead of sweets and high calorie items.
Be prepared to make a life style change. The Dash Diet is not a quick fix, this is a diet plan that you will need to continue your whole life. If you are looking for a quick weight loss plan, this is NOT it. While you should loose weight using the Dash Diet, it really defeats the purpose to only use it for a certain time period then return to old unhealthy eating habits. The Dash Diet is a life long commitment.
Exercise is always an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods like those of the Dash Diet plan is only part of the diet. Being active and planning an exercise program to accompany your diet is also very important.
To learn more about the Dash diet visit the Dash Diet website or download this pdf from the U.S Department of Health aand Human Services.