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Finally, the #1 ranked DASH diet is popularized and user-friendly. Unlike any diet before it, DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, came out of groundbreaking NIH-funded research. Now, Marla Heller, MS, RD, who was trained by one of the primary architects of the DASH diet and is herself the leading dietician putting DASH ...
Finally, the #1 ranked DASH diet is popularized and user-friendly. Unlike any diet before it, DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, came out of groundbreaking NIH-funded research. Now, Marla Heller, MS, RD, who was trained by one of the primary architects of the DASH diet and is herself the leading dietician putting DASH into action for over ten years, shares the secret to making the diet easy and accessible, in THE DASH DIET ACTION PLAN.
Rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, beans, and nuts, DASH is grounded in healthy eating principles that lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer; and support reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
No diet has a medical pedigree like DASH, and this book is a simple, actionable plan that can fit seamlessly into everyone's life and lifestyle. It includes:
When you were a child, your grandmother probably told you to drink your milk, eat your fruits and vegetables, and go outside and play. This is still great advice, and shows that our fundamental ideas of good nutrition hold up over time.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet—better known as the DASH diet—is a “new” healthy eating plan that has been proven to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. It is based on the same great advice that our grandmothers’ generation lived by—which, somehow, Americans seem to have forgotten. The DASH diet is grounded in healthy eating principles that, in addition to lowering blood pressure, are associated with lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It can support reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. No conflicting information, no magic combinations, no forbidden foods—just fabulous healthy eating.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the DASH eating plan for everyone. And, the DASH diet formed the basis for MyPlate dietary guidelines from the USDA.
When you follow the DASH Diet Action Plan, you will eat lots of fruits and vegetables, combined with low-fat dairy foods, lean meat, poultry, fish, some nuts and beans, and grains. The plan is low in saturated fat and cholesterol; has a moderate amount of protein; and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
More than sixty-eight million Americans have high blood pressure and another seventy million have prehypertension. It is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. If your blood pressure goes too low you may feel lightheaded. If it goes too high there might not be any symptoms, or it could trigger a stroke. If blood pressure remains high, it can lead to congestive heart failure, kidney failure, hardening of the arteries, stroke, and other complications.
What is a diet?
A diet is not just a plan for losing weight; a diet refers to the way we eat. Any eating pattern is a diet.
You might not have learned that you had high blood pressure until your physician detected it in a routine physical exam. You probably had no symptoms. You may not be able to detect that your blood pressure is high unless you check it on a regular basis. Since you often don’t feel that anything is wrong, you might not keep it as well controlled as your physician would like. This is one of the reasons hypertension has been called the “silent killer.”
Blood pressure is composed of two numbers. Systolic is the “top” number and diastolic is the “bottom” number. If your blood pressure is 120 over 80, the 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic. Blood pressure is considered to be high (hypertension) if the systolic is higher than 140 or if the diastolic is more than 90. (Your physician might consider you to have high blood pressure at slightly lower numbers if there are other medical complications to consider.)
A new category of “prehypertension” has been identified as systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139, or diastolic between 80 and 89. When blood pressure is high, it forces the heart to beat harder to move the blood and can cause premature hardening or other damage to the arteries.
Blood Pressure Definitions
Normal: Systolic 90-119 and diastolic 60-79.
Prehypertension: Systolic 120-139 and/or diastolic 80-89.
Stage I Hypertension: Systolic 140-159 and/or diastolic 90-99.
Stage II Hypertension: Systolic 160 or higher and/or diastolic 100 or greater.
High blood pressure is not an equal opportunity disease. Men are at higher risk of complications than women with the same blood pressure. African Americans and older people are also at higher risk than other ethnic groups and younger people with the same blood pressure readings. This makes it even more important to control hypertension.
Blood pressure can be high for unknown reasons, which is called “essential hypertension.” It can also be elevated due to another disease process, such as overproduction of certain hormones or kidney disease. This is called “secondary hypertension” since it occurs secondary to another disease.
Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shown that this healthy diet can lower blood pressure as well as medication. Results are quick, with many people seeing lower blood pressure in only fourteen days with the DASH diet. Adding weight loss (when needed), exercise, and other healthy lifestyle choices further improve the blood pressure benefits. Why does the DASH diet make such a difference? And how does it differ from the average American diet?
A diet that is rich in minerals, high in fiber, and low in saturated fat can help lower blood pressure. Many of the beneficial nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables, along with low-fat dairy foods—all of which are deficient in the typical American diet.
The old food guide pyramid (developed by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) recommended having two to four fruits and three to five vegetables each day. The DASH diet recommends four to five fruits and four to five vegetable servings each day. The DASH diet is now recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate (the new USDA food guide). Translated into standard measures by MyPlate, the recommended DASH consumption is two cups of fruit and two-and-a-half cups of vegetables. This may seem especially daunting when you realize that only about half of us have even one-half cup of fruit or fruit juice each day. And, frequent meals away from home make it even less likely that we will include enough fruits and vegetables in our meals. Is the DASH plan something that you can incorporate in real life, with many meals eaten in restaurants or fast food places, and with little time for exercise? This book will help you with creative ideas to boost the health quotient of your daily routine, even if you are always on the run.
The DASH Diet Action Plan will help you choose healthy foods and take other actions to aid in the management of your blood pressure and generally improve your health. Will it help you eliminate or reduce the need for blood pressure medication? Only your doctor can answer that question. Will it help you become healthier? Yes, that it can do. We know that people who follow a diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other plant protein foods have reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Exercise, smoking cessation, and no more than moderate consumption of alcohol can provide additional health benefits. You have much to gain from choosing to follow the DASH eating plan.
Why not just take a supplement? If we could find out what the key components were, it seems that it would be much easier to just pop a pill. However, scientific studies attempting to use supplements to control blood pressure have mostly failed. There is something in the mix of nutrients and other food components of the DASH diet that appears to be protective against many diseases. This will be covered later in this book, especially in the chapter discussing the effects of sodium and other minerals on blood pressure.
At the heart of this book is a model menu plan that will show you how to put the DASH diet into effect. It will give you concrete examples of how you can add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, even if many of your meals are eaten away from home or if you are a picky eater. The menu plan in this book is full of fabulous meals, and dashes the belief that everything that tastes great is bad for you. You will find ways to add many foods that you thought would not be allowed in a healthy diet. If a healthy eating plan doesn’t include your favorites, chances are you will not be able to follow it for very long.
Weight loss is often a critical component of controlling blood pressure and reducing other health risks. The DASH Diet Action Plan makes it easy to lose weight, since many of the DASH diet foods are more filling than the empty calorie foods that many people over-consume. You will learn how to determine your healthy weight and how to adapt the DASH diet to meet your calorie needs. The satisfying meal plans in this book will make it easier than you think to lose weight. Exercise is another challenge in our over-scheduled lives. A commitment to your health can be sustained with the easy-to-follow tips presented in this book.
The DASH Diet Action Plan suggests a way of eating and living that you will want to continue. It will give you more energy and help you avoid the negative feelings that come from overeating foods that are high in calories but aren’t so rich in nutrients. Exercise will rid you of the sluggish feeling that goes with a “couch potato” lifestyle. You will find ways to customize the plan for your own personal tastes, to make it something that you can really live with.
Many people with high blood pressure have other medical conditions, including heart disease. Fortunately, the DASH diet will also benefit many of these other conditions. Since it is high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, it can help lower cholesterol, may make it easier to control blood sugar, and may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be reduced by making diet and lifestyle changes. You can quit smoking, control blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, lose weight, and become more active. And diet may help reduce newly identified risk factors for heart disease, such as homocysteine and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation).
Now is the time to open your mind about the possibility of improving your health, by choosing to include more fruits and vegetables, other healthy foods, and exercise in your day. This isn’t the traditional diet message that focuses on the “bad foods” that should be eliminated from your diet. This is a positive message about adding great healthy foods to give you a pay off in improved blood pressure control and improved health.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Low HDL (good cholesterol)
Family history of early heart: disease.
Age 45+ for men and 55+ for women.
Additional Risk Factors:
High C-reactive protein
Buying this book was your first step. The chapters will provide you with many tools to reach your goals. Menu plans let you translate the DASH diet into action. Adding exercise, weight control, and other lifestyle changes will maximize the benefits. For people who want to understand more about healthy foods, there is a chapter highlighting healthy carbs, fats, and protein-rich foods. For the vegetable-phobic, we will coax you into expanding your diet with new choices. A kitchen makeover will help set the stage for success.
Get ready to enjoy healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, while reaping the rewards in feeling great!
Your grandmother told you to drink your milk, eat your fruits and vegetables, and go outside and play. It is still valuable nutrition advice.
Over 65 million Americans have high blood pressure, and another 45 million have "prehypertension."
Even moderately high blood pressure is linked to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods can help you lower your blood pressure in 14 days.
Exercise, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol consumption, and weight loss can further support lowering blood pressure.
Additional health goals: ______________________________
A typical day’s DASH menu at 2,000 calories looks like a decadent feast. When you approach a new diet by focusing on the foods you include, rather than on exclusions, it becomes pleasurable and fun. The following typical day provides a great example.
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Wheaties® with Skim Milk topped with Ripe Raspberries
Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with a Schmear of Light Cream Cheese
Turkey and Light Swiss Cheese on Whole Wheat, smothered with Cranberry Sauce, topped with Romaine Lettuce Leaves
Handful of Almonds
Italian Bread dipped in Olive Oil
Grilled Salmon with Barbecue Sauce
New Petite Red Potatoes
Haricots Verts dusted with Crushed Hazelnuts
Hearts of Romaine Lettuce spiked with Grape Tomatoes, Olive Oil Vinaigrette
Very Berry Sundae (Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries on Light Vanilla Frozen Yogurt)
What are the easy-to-make changes that boosted the DASH foods in this diet? Fruit was added to make a sweet topping for cereal, a refreshing afternoon snack, and a luscious dessert at dinnertime. Lunch packed in two vegetable servings with a vegetable-stuffed soup and crisp coleslaw. The dinner plate includes potatoes, the very thin French green beans known as haricots verts, and a green and red salad. Light dairy foods show up at breakfast, on the lunchtime sandwich, and to make a satisfying sundae for dessert at dinner. Unexpected “real food” toppings include regular salad dressing at dinner, olive oil for the Italian bread, mayonnaise on the coleslaw, tangy cranberry sauce to spice up the all too familiar turkey sandwich, a handful of almonds for a snack, and crushed hazelnuts sprinkled on the green beans.
In this section I will show you how to make the DASH diet work for you. You will learn how many servings add up to the right calories for your needs. You will get specific tips to make the process more intuitive. Complementing this overview are 28 days of meal plans in Chapter 3, tips for staying on track while including restaurant meals in Chapter 4, and weight loss support in Chapter 5. Whether you want to cook most of your meals or eat away from home, you can DASH with ease.
This book will help make following the DASH diet as simple as adding key foods, choosing light and lean, and managing portions.
In Chapter 5 you will learn how to calculate your calorie needs, if you don’t already know where you should be. The following table shows you how to find the DASH diet food plan that matches your personal calorie needs.
Unfortunately, many women, especially if they are short, need to be on a 1,200 to 1,600 calorie plan in order to lose weight. To give more flexibility for the lower calorie ranges, I have reduced the DASH portion sizes for fruits. This way you can include more servings of fruit (just slightly smaller). Usually a diet with more variety will make it easier to include the key DASH nutrients. And variety makes it easier to stay on a plan.
This section will give you quick tips to help you make specific changes in your diet so you can reap all the benefits of the DASH diet, without having to think too much about the specifics. For complete meal plans, see Chapter 3. For more tips on restaurant meals, see Chapter 4.
Double up. The easiest way to be sure to get enough of the key DASH foods is to double up. (This is especially good advice if you tend to overeat, since it has you filling up on the best foods.) Instead of one eight-ounce glass of milk at breakfast, make it a sixteen-ounce glass, and you will have consumed two servings of dairy. One cup of vegetables makes two servings. One cup of green beans, one small salad, and one cup of potatoes gives you five servings of vegetables at one meal.
Don’t double up. (Sorry for the conflicting advice, there is something here for all sides of your personality.) Watch portion sizes where the calories may mount up quickly and where the foods aren’t filling. Juices are one food item you don’t want to double up. A large glass of juice has 240 calories, little fiber, and won’t keep you feeling full for very long. Limit juice to one serving per day. A DASH serving of juice is six ounces. Get the rest of your fruits and vegetables from whole foods, andSeek out DASH foods. It’s almost like a treasure hunt. Scan menus to find the DASH foods. When you go out to lunch or dinner, keep thinking, “How can I add extra fruits or vegetables?” Add a serving of steamed vegetables to dinners and lunches. Choose to have your pasta sauce on vegetables rather than on pasta. Choose the diced fruit that is often offered as a French fry substitute. Add a salad if the restaurant is vegetable-challenged. At the very least you can add a glass of skim milk.
Stockpile. Keep your refrigerator and freezer stocked with DASH delights. Buy several bags of frozen vegetables at one time. Keep them fresh after opening by using a clip-tight seal. Buy small portions of cut up fruit from the salad bar. If you buy only what you will eat within one or two days, salad bars can help you avoid waste.
Can you find the hidden DASH foods? Bring your sandwich to work, and top with grated carrots, shredded red cabbage, and sliced cucumber. Hide a glass of skim milk in your latte or chai tea. Make your own pureed vegetable soup, take a thermos to work, and drink your veggies.
Buy convenience foods that just happen to be healthy foods. We all are familiar with bagged salad mixes, but how about bagged carrot slices, broccoli, or cauliflower tops, or broccoli slaw (also known as confetti slaw)? Yogurt smoothies without added sugar or skim milk in chuggable bottles make refreshing health drinks.
Keep fresh foods fresh. Use the new plastic bags that keep foods fresher longer. You are more likely to buy fruits and vegetables if you don’t have to worry about them deteriorating before you have a chance to use them.
4 oz. servings
4 - 5
6 oz. servings
4 - 5
4 - 5
3 - 4
4 - 5
4 - 5
5 or more
Low-fat and nonfat dairy
2 - 3
3 - 4
Beans and nuts
3 - 4 perweek
3 - 4perweek
4 - 5 perweek
Lean meats, fish, poultry
3 - 5
5 - 6
6 - 8
Fats and sweets
Double up on low-cal DASH when you have the chance, especially non-starchy vegetables and low-fat or nonfat dairy.
Limit portion sizes on higher calorie foods.
Stock your cupboards and fridge with the key DASH diet foods.
Sneak in extra DASH foods. Toss extra raw veggies in your sandwich or have a latte with 8 oz. skim milk.
Buy DASH convenience foods, such as bagged pre-cut veggies, yogurt smoothies, and single-serve bottles of milk.
Especially at the beginning, most of us need to keep track of our servings, to see if we are really meeting the DASH diet guidelines. On the preceeding page is an example of a DASH diet tracking form, which can help keep you focused. Mark your goal for the number of servings of each food group (from page 25, in the DASH Calorie Adjustments chart) on the bottom, and then check off each serving you consume during the day. This will show your progress in reaching your goals. You can find larger, downloadable versions of this form on our Website: http://DASHdiet.org/forms.asp.
Specific changes I will make in my diet include:
I will track my intake by using:
_____________________________, ____ days per week.
This chapter provides you with 28 days of menus for a 2,000-calorie daily diet, with adjustments for 1,200 and 1,600 calories. If your calorie needs are different, use the guidelines in Chapter 2 to find out how to reduce (or increase) the calories as needed. Chapter 5 provides information on how to calculate your calorie needs, which is especially important if you are trying to lose weight.
This chapter provides a variety of meal plans, with options for many different eating styles. There are some “grab and go” breakfasts for people who are eating on the run, some vegetarian meals, some meals that are fun indulgences, and meals that you might find in restaurants. You will find many options to accommodate the DASH diet to your lifestyle and preferences. You do not have to follow the meal plans day-by-day, you can choose the days that accommodate your tastes, preferences, and lifestyle.
Where appropriate, serving sizes refer to cooked portions, all weight measures are noted as ounces (oz.), and liquid measures are noted as fluid ounces (fl. oz.), teaspoon (t), tablespoon (T), and cup (c). For example six ounces of strawberries will be more than a cup (depending on the size and whether they are sliced), while six fluid ounces of orange juice is the volume you would get using a measuring cup. I recommend using a digital kitchen scale to help you get the idea of DASH diet serving sizes (and to help with managing calories).
Many of the menus include recipes that are located in Chapter 14. These recipes are indicated by italics, followed by an asterisk, as in Chicken Cacciatore*.
These menus meet or exceed the nutrition requirements for the DASH diet. The menus were designed to provide 2,000 calories a day, with less than 30% of calories from fat, less than 7% saturated fat, less than 200 milligrams cholesterol, at least 25 grams of fiber, less than 1,750 milligrams of sodium, greater than 4,000 milligrams of potassium, greater than 1,200 milligrams of calcium, and greater than 400 milligrams of magnesium. The diet plan meets or exceeds all other Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) values for vitamins and minerals for people over the age of fifty.
The following meal plans have adjustments for 1,200- and 1,600-calorie diets. Any needed adjustments for 1,200 calories are in parentheses, and any 1,600-calorie modifications are in brackets. For example, on the first day’s menu plan, someone following a 1,200- calorie plan would have 1 oz. Wheaties with 4 oz. strawberries, 4 oz. juice, and 8 oz. skim milk. The 1,600-calorie plan would include all of the above plus toast and jam. In general, the lower calorie plans have 4 oz. serving sizes of fruits (small versus medium), 1 tablespoon of regular salad dressings, 1 tablespoon of nuts, 0.6 oz. of cheese, and 2 oz. of meat, fish. or poultry at lunch and 3 oz. at dinner. Usually the 1,200-calorie diet is limited in desserts (sigh…).
You can make substitutions within food groups for any of these meal plans, to accommodate your taste preferences. When substituting for fruits or vegetables, try to choose other fruits and vegetables that are also rich in potassium. You can find a table of potassium-rich foods in Chapter 10. In order to stay within your calorie guidelines, try not to substitute starchy vegetables (such as potatoes or winter squash) for non-starchy vegetables. Always choose lean meats, fish, or poultry and low fat or nonfat dairy instead of making higher fat substitutions. And avoid higher salt choices.
Week 1 Monday 2,000 [1,600] (1,200) Calories
Cereal, Strawberries, Juice, Toast, Milk
1 oz. Wheaties®, topped with 6 oz. strawberries [(4 oz.)]
6 fl. oz. orange juice [(4 fl. oz.)]
1 slice whole wheat toast (0), with 2 t strawberry jam (0)
8 fl. oz. nonfat (skim) milk
Half Tuna Sandwich, Side Salad, Nectarine, Milk
half tuna sandwich: 1 slice wheat berry bread (0), with ½ c low sodium, light tuna salad* [(1/3 c)], topped with ¼ c cucumber slices
side salad: 1 c romaine lettuce, with 8 grape tomatoes, and 2 T nonfat Italian dressing, with no added salt
8 fl. oz. nonfat milk
1 medium nectarine [(small)]
Almonds and Yogurt
¼ c almonds [(1 T)]
6 oz. nonfat, artificially sweetened, peach yogurt
Chicken Piccata, Potatoes, Haricots Verts, Green Salad, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Grapes
3 oz. Chicken Piccata*
1 serving Parmesan Potatoes* (0)
½ c haricots verts (skinny French green beans)
green salad: 1½ c mixed greens, topped with 2 T oil and vinegar dressing [(1 T)]
2 chocolate chip cookies [(0)]
1 c grapes (0)
DASH servings: 3 whole grains, 4 fruits, 5 vegetables, 3 dairy, 1 nuts, 6 oz. meats
Week 1 Tuesday 2,000 [1,600] (1,200) Calories
Omelet, Toast, Mixed Berries, Juice, Latte
Southwestern Egg White Omelet*
2 slices whole wheat toast  (0), topped with 4 t raspberry jam [2 t] (0)
1 c mixed blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
6 oz. peach nectar [(4 fl. oz.)]
coffee latte: 8 fl. oz. nonfat milk and 2 fl. oz. espresso
Ham and Swiss Sandwich, Raw Veggies, Apple
ham and Swiss sandwich: 2 slices whole grain bread [(1)], 2 oz. ham, and 1 oz. low-sodium, low-fat Swiss cheese [(0.6 oz.)], topped with ¼ c shredded cabbage, 2 slices tomato, and mustard
½ c carrot “chips” (crinkle-cut raw carrot chips)
8 grape tomatoes
1 medium Granny Smith apple [(small)]
Hazelnuts, Cantaloupe, Yogurt
¼ c hazelnuts [(1 T)]
4 oz. cantaloupe
6 oz. nonfat, artificially sweetened strawberry-kiwi yogurt
Salmon on a Bed of Mashed Sweet Potatoes, with Broccoli, Mesclun Salad, Bread, Frozen Yogurt
4 oz. grilled salmon [(3 oz.)]
½ c mashed sweet potatoes
1 c steamed broccoli
mesclun salad: 1½ c mixed baby greens, topped with 2 T Champaign vinaigrette dressing [(1 T)]
1 slice Italian bread (0)
½ c nonfat, artificially sweetened frozen yogurt
DASH servings: 4 whole grains, 3 dairy, 4 fruits, 5+ vegetables, 1 nuts, 8 oz. meats
Week 1 Wednesday 2,000 [1,600] (1,200) Calories
French Toast Topped with Sliced Canned Peaches, Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
2 slices whole wheat French toast [(1)], topped with ½ c sliced peaches [(¼ c)]
smoothie: 4 oz. strawberries, ½ banana, and 8 fl. oz. nonfat milk
Open Face Tuna Melt, Oven Fries, Coleslaw, Peas and Carrots, Milk, Apple
open face tuna melt: ½ c low sodium tuna salad* [(1/3 c)], with 1 oz. low-sodium, low-fat cheddar cheese [(0.6 oz.)], on 1 slice whole wheat bread
1 serving Oven Potato Fries* (½ serving)
1 c coleslaw [(½ c)]
½ c steamed peas and carrots
8 fl. oz. nonfat milk
1 medium Fuji apple [(small)]
Baby Carrots dipped in Spreadable Cheese, Almonds
8 baby carrots dipped in 1 Light Laughing Cow™ Spreadable Cheese
¼ c almonds [(1 T)]
Pollo alla Griglia on a Bed of Mixed Baby Greens, Grape Tomatoes, and Roasted Potatoes, with Steamed Spinach, Mixed Berries and Plums
Pollo alla Griglia* on a bed of 1½ c mixed baby greens, 8 grape tomatoes, ½ c roasted potatoes, and 2 T oil and vinegar dressing [(1 T)]
½ c steamed spinach
1 c mixed raspberries, sliced plums, and blueberries [(½ c)]
Excerpted from The DASH Diet Action Plan by Heller, Marla Copyright © 2011 by Heller, Marla. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted October 12, 2011
My husband and I are doing the Dash Diet. It Is wonderful. We have been on it for three weeks . We fill so much better. I have lost 13 lbs and my husband has lost 16 lbs so far. we have one more week to go. When we go through the 4 weeks. we are going to start from the beginning and start over again. This is the best diet ever. You eat very healthy And it gives you the food groups you need. And your not starving yourself.
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Posted June 3, 2012
Eating healthy in my house is can be a struggle. We try and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. We've got my daughter starting to try new foods and now it's time for Mom and Dad to catch up! I've heard the about the DASH diet and was interested in learning more about it. We are looking to find a diet that is easy to follow (I hate number crunching), nutritious with food that the picky eaters in my house will eat, contains various health benefits. I am not dietitians or nutritionists so I can't speak on the actual medical benefits, but I will review the book based on it's content.
The book was very easy to understand. After a quick introduction you are given a sample menu to show you what your meals should be looking like...and I can say, this is not a starvation diet! I'm a picky eater and I would say that I would eat the majority of recommended items.
There is a collection of wonderful recipes in the back of the book, including chili, stir-frys, beans and potato fries. The recipes are easy to follow and contained ingredients that could be found in almost any pantry. We tried the Caribbean Chicken and it was delicious.
The book also contains a chapter on reading nutrition labels. This is an area that I always struggle with and the DASH Diet Action Plan book help clarify some of the things (like nutrient composition) that I have never really understood. The book offers ideas on how to stock up your pantry with DASH foods, recommends how to add exercise and make other lifestyle changes to not only lower your blood pressure but improve you health in general.
Overall I found this book really helpful and full of practical common sense information that should help you lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
Disclosure: I received the products mentioned above for this review. No monetary compensation was received by me. This is my completely honest opinion above and may differ from yours. I cannot be held liable for lost or not received products.
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