In Best Diets 2014, the latest set of exclusive rankings from U.S. News, the DASH diet beat 31 others, winning the "Best Diets Overall" crown. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) promoted the high blood pressure diet ---- DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). DASH is a low-fat, low saturated fat, low cholesterol meal plan, supplemented with high magnesium, potassium and high calcium, protein and fiber foods. DASH menu consists mainly of vegetables and low-fat dairy products, followed by whole grains, fish, poultry, seeds and nuts. It also contains less salt and sodium; sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages; fats;. and red meats than the typical American diet In addition, Research has proven that DASH helps to reduce sodium intake, which prevents hypertension.
Here are the DASH Tips for Gradual Change from the American Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:
■ Add a serving of vegetables at lunch one day and dinner the next, and add fruit at one meal or as a snack.
■ Increase your use of fat-free and low-fat milk products to three servings a day.
■ Limit lean meats to 6 ounces a day—3 ounces a meal, which is about the size of a deck of cards. If you usually eat large portions of meats, cut hem back over a couple of days—by half or a third at each meal.
■ Include two or more vegetarian-style, or meatless, meals each week. Increase servings of vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and cooked dry beans. Try casseroles and stir-fry dishes, which have less meat and more vegetables, grains, and dry beans.
■ For snacks and desserts, use fruits or other foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, and calories—for example, unsalted rice cakes; unsalted nuts or seeds, raisins; graham crackers; fat-free, low-fat, or frozen yogurt; popcorn with no salt or butter added; or raw vegetables.
■ Use fresh, frozen, or low-sodium canned vegetables and fruits.
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