Is the DASH Diet right for you?

The DASH Diet has landed in the top spots in the Best Diet category for the past 10 years, according to the US World & News Report. Despite these accolades, most Americans are unfamiliar with what the DASH Diet is.  Perhaps this is because it is not a super glamorous diet that promises 10 pounds of weight loss in 10 days. In fact, the DASH Diet doesn’t promise anything.  It just gives results.

What is the DASH Diet?

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  According to the CDC, 2 out of 3 American adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension.  Often labeled the “silent killer”, high blood pressure can make your heart work harder and can lead to heart and kidney damage as well as blindness if left uncontrolled.

Having high blood pressure is undesirable. Well the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute agreed.  In 1997 they researched individual nutrients including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, protein and fiber and determined what their effects on reducing blood pressure were.  While each nutrient had some impact, it was not until they combined them all did they realized what a winning combination they had.  The DASH Diet was born.

The DASH Diet is a flexible balanced eating plan that requires no special food. It emphasizes vegetables, fruit, fat free and low-fat dairy products as well as nuts, seeds and legumes.  The DASH Diet also encourages the use of whole grains, lean proteins and vegetable oils.  It discourages intake of too much sodium and salt, sweets and fatty meats.  Not surprisingly,  this combination of foods is what helps you not only lower your blood pressure but also reduce cholesterol and lower your risk for diabetes.

What does a DASH Diet Look Like?

Here’s a sample 1800 Calorie DASH Diet Meal Plan

Breakfast:  1 cup plain oatmeal with 1 tsp of sugar and a banana, 1 whole grain toast with 1 ½ tsp peanut butter, a cup of low-fat milk.

Lunch:  A cup of vegetable soup, a large salad with 3 oz cooked chicken or salmon, 1 Tbsp oil and vinegar, and a piece of fruit.

Snack:  One cup low fat or fat free yogurt

Supper: 3- 4 ounces broiled meat, fish or poultry, medium sweet potato and 1 cup cooked vegetables.

Snack:  3 cups plain popcorn

So, Is the DASH Diet Right for YOU?

Yes! It is a true winner and can help improve current health problems or better yet, prevent health problems.

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Patty Walker RD LD CDE CLT

Patty is proud to serve her community’s nutritional needs for over 35 years.  WIth deep knowledge in nutrition for diabetes as well as passion for plant-based diets, Patty supplies nutritional keys to unlock health by getting to the root of disease and helping others set a course for optimizing health. In addition to coaching individual clients and teaching classes, Patty provides education seminars to local businesses, writes monthly nutrition articles, is a key educator for the Lions Club’s Diabetes-Reduction Initiative and hosts “Nutritional Wisdom” cable show on WCTV. The goal is to reach as many people in my community that I possibly can with the truth about the power of nutrition and healthy living.

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