Getting Ready for Your Dash Diet Meal Plan
In our previous post, we learned that DASH diet program—also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension—is a well-balanced meal plan that helps lessen the risk of heart disease and obesity, by eating foods with low-fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Nutritionists consider DASH diet program as an ideal approach to prevent hypertension, lower bad cholesterol in the blood, and reduce the risk of diabetes. This is a sensible health program that aims to improve your body’s health and avoid certain chronic diseases. Recent report from the U.S. News and World Report’s annual diet ranking in 2016 considered DASH diet as the “best overall eating plan.”
But what makes the DASH diet menu so likeable is that it is based on the number of servings of each food category. That means it’s so simple to follow and flexible when it comes to your preferred food. The DASH diet looks like a pretty normal diet plan, but if you observe closely, the amount and kind of food can be customized to your liking and can be adjusted for your allergy problems.
Basic DASH Diet Considerations
1. Fill half your plate with vegetables or fruits.
For a heart-healthy lifestyle, consider 4 to 5 servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Because these are low-calorie foods, you can actually add them as snacks or desserts. You can also make room for vegetables in your meal to balance your nutrient intake, especially when making stews or mixed dishes.
RICH IN POTASSIUM
Dark Leafy Greens
FRUITS That Lowers BP
2. Whole foods rather than starchy snacks.
Whole food options, like fresh fruits, nuts, and veggies, are advised in the dash diet menu, and junk food is very much not preferable.
Here are the recommended fruit and vegetable snacks:
Nuts and seeds
Canned fruit with juice
Vegetable or Fruit juice
Hard boiled eggs
Low-fat milk and yogurt
3. Small amounts of red meat.
Limit intake of meat to 6 ounces or servings per day, and choose beans, fish with high in omega-3 fatty acids, and poultry to help lower cholesterol.
4. Serve low-fat dairy products.
Few servings of milk proteins, calcium, and potassium help maintain your blood pressure level. Yogurt is an essential component of the DASH eating plan to prevent the risk of high blood pressure. Opt for low-fat yogurt with fresh mixed fruit—which is the best choice for breakfast, or as a snack choice.
If you have problems, like allergies and lactose intolerance with low-fat dairy product, here are some non-dairy alternatives you can choose from:
Dairy Free Margarine
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chips
Meal Plan for DASH Diet
2-3 low-fat dairy servings each day
4-5 fruit servings each day
4-5 vegetable servings each day
6-8 whole grain servings each day
2-3 fats and oils servings each day
4-5 legumes, nuts, seeds servings each week
no more than 5 sweet servings each week
no more than 6 fish/poultry servings each day
Make Your Own Dash Diet Meal
To get a good taste of this remarkable diet plan, we recommend some dishes for you to cook and prepare. Here are some of the few healthy DASH Diet meals:
Strawberry and Yogurt Parfait
Orange-Sesame Shrimp Salad
Creamy Mustard Chicken
Corn and Black Bean Quinoa
Green Goddess Salad with Chicken
Nut and Berry Parfait
African Sweet Potato and Chicken Stew