Fitness Facts: The DASH diet
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Do you have high blood pressure? Or does it run in your family?
Do you want to prevent future chronic illness and become healthier overall?
The DASH diet might be for you!
It not only could lower your blood pressure; it could improve your overall health. It can be helpful for weight loss, lowering cholesterol and managing and preventing diabetes.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) ranked as the best diet overall for the eighth year in a row, according to U.S. News and World Report. It is a plan that follows the U.S. guidelines for sodium content, vitamins and minerals. High sodium content is one of the greatest links to high blood pressure.
The starting point for the DASH diet is simple:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Low fat or non-fat dairy
- Fatty and processed meats
- Full fat dairy products
- Sugar sweetened beverages
- Sodium (salt)
In this diet you will learn how to make bulky, filling, low-calorie vegetables the centerpiece of your meal and make the meal more satisfying with protein-rich foods. Add in fruits, dairy and nuts/beans/seeds and you have the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.
For a more in-depth discussion and resources on meal planning, sample menus and research data supporting this diet, go to https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan.