What is the DASH Diet?

The DASH diet was just named the “best diet overall” by U.S. News & World Report in its “2012 Best Diets Rankings”.

What is the DASH Diet?

The DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  It was designed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to help in preventing and lowering high blood pressure.  DASH encourages eating lots of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, beans and nuts. These foods contain nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are key for supporting blood pressure.  It suggests limiting red meat, salt and salted foods as well as sweets and alcohol.

Is the DASH Diet right for you?

Most likely!  Even if you do not have high blood pressure, DASH can be beneficial since it emphasizes foods that contain disease-fighting nutrients.  However, it is best to talk to a Registered Dietitian who can help you to develop eating habits that are designed specifically for you taking your lifestyle, weight control needs and health concerns into account.

Here are some quick actions you can take now to implement some DASH Diet recommendations:

  • Add an extra serving of vegetables to your dinner meal
  • Add an apple as a pre-meal snack
  • Use only half of the butter, margarine, condiments, salad dressing that you usually use
  • Limit your animal meat intake to 6 ounces per day (3 oz. = the size of a deck of cards)
  • Eat more vegetarian meals that contain beans in place of animal meat
  • For snacks, choose raw nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, unsalted/unbuttered popcorn, low-fat yogurt (without added sugar), a glass of skim milk, etc.
  • Try different herbs & spices instead of salt when preparing your foods

Read more about the DASH Diet here.