Eating Plan for The DASH Diet

We live in an age where it’s easier to just buy frozen meals or just grab some fast food on the way home from work. Not realizing that these foods and meal choices are packed full of sodium and other dangerous additives that over time, can lead to health risks. One of the most preventable yet most diagnosed problems in the U.S. is high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure (Hypertension) can cause serious health problems if ignored. Rated one of the healthiest diets year after year, the DASH Diet can help lower blood pressure and teach better life long eating habits. Before you start any diet it is important to first make sure you will be able to eat the foods allowed and create an action plan for eating with the diet.

Prepare for Your Meals in Advance

Each week make a list before you go shopping. Decide which meals you plan to make and write down all ingredients. Remember to plan dinners, lunch, breakfast and even snacks. You shouldn’t purchase anything extra that is not on your list. Not having the junk foods in your house will give you much better odds of sticking to your dieting plans. While making this shopping list keep the DASH diet guidelines in check. It’s always a good idea to buy fresh. Fresh foods will most always be the healthier choice. They offer less sodium, usually have less calories and put you in control of additives. While its not always about counting calories, it’s still a good idea to read labels and do research on foods before you purchase. Read labels and look up foods on the internet before you add to your list. Check the calorie count and sodium content before you purchase. Much of the information on fresh foods can be found online as well as manufactures websites for processed foods.

Keeping an eating plan will help prevent you from going to get fast food and from eating unhealthy items because they won’t be as accessible if they are not in your house.

Cooking Meals for the DASH Diet

How you cook your meals is important not just for taste but for health. Sure, deep frying and adding salts to vegetables can be tasty, but it’s going to be counter productive to your healthy meal plan. Steaming fresh vegetables is a great alternative to buying canned or frozen veggies. To enhance the flavor of your meals stay away from salt. Instead use fresh herbs, spices and even sauces with reduced sodium. Another healthier way to spice up meals is to use fresh ingredients like chopped onion, garlic or pepper.

Meats are an important part of most healthy diets. With the Dash Diet try to keep meats lean, such as pork tenderloin, skinless chicken, or extra-lean ground beef. Some fish is also ok, but it should be un-breaded. When using dairy products look for fat-free or reduced-fat. Snacks can include low-fat yogurt, fresh nuts and seeds, and even fruits.

There are many places online to find recipes and meal ideas for the Dash Diet. Experiment with different recipes to find the meals you enjoy. When making your shopping list keep these recipes handy so you don’t forget ingredients. After learning how to cook for the Dash Diet, create your own recipes making sure to use only ingredients allowed on the Dash Diet.

The reason the Dash Diet remains one of the healthiest diets is because of the abundance of fresh foods allowed and because it promotes a life long change. It’s not a quick fix or a program you will stop at some point. By choosing to use the Dash Diet you are choosing to eat healthier and to stick with it into the future.

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