THE Dash Diet is said to help people lower their blood pressure, lose inches of their waistline, and even prevent diabetes.
But what’s this new eating plan all about? And who designed it? Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Dash Diet?
The Dash diet – or Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension – is an eating plan devised by the US-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
It’s been voted the Best Overall Diet in the United States for eight years in a row, and is designed primarily to lower blood pressure.
The added benefits reported by many Dash dieters are inches off the waistline and a reduced risk of diabetes.
The diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, and was created after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was less common in people who followed a plant-based diet.
Dash is also low in salt, red meat, added sugars and fat, but does not eliminate them entirely.
What are the benefits of the Dash diet?
As well as weight loss and lowered blood pressure, it has been claimed that the Dash diet reduces the risk of cancers like colorectal and breast cancer.
As the diet is low in salt, it helps to reduce blood pressure – however, it is wise to keep in mind that a decrease in blood pressure does not always translate to a decreased risk of heart disease.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you will most likely also have been advised to lose weight, as excess pounds can cause strain on the heart.
A study found that those who have lost weight on the Dash diet have been in a controlled calorie deficit — meaning they were told to eat fewer calories than they were expending.
Given that the Dash diet cuts out a lot of high-fat, sugary foods, people may find that they automatically reduce their calorie intake and lose weight.
Researchers claim the diet also lowers an individual’s risk of developing type two diabetes, as well as the risk of metabolic syndrome.
What can you eat on the Dash diet?
The Dash diet recommends the following for eating on a daily basis:
- 6-8 servings of whole grains: A serving size is about one slice of bread, 1 ounce of dry cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta
- 4-5 servings of vegetables: A serving size is about 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetable or a 1/2 cup of cut-up raw or cooked vegetables:
- 4-5 servings of fruit: A serving size is about one medium fruit; 1/4 cup of dried fruit; 1/2 cup of fresh, frozen or canned fruit; or 1/2 cup of real fruit juice.
- 2-3 servings of fat-free or low-fat yoghurt: A serving size is about 1 cup of milk or yogurt or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese
- Less than 6 servings of lean meat, poultry and fish: A serving size is about 1 ounce of cooked meat, poultry, or fish, or one egg.
- 2-3 servings of fats and oils: A serving size is about 1 teaspoon of soft margarine, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise or 2 tablespoons of salad dressing.
The Dash diet also recommends 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes each week, and less than 5 servings of sweets in a week.
A serving size of nuts seeds and legumes is about 1/3 cup or 1 1/2 ounces of nuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons or 1/2 ounce of seeds, 1/2 cup of cooked, dry beans or peas.
A serving size of sweet treats is about 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of jelly or jam, 1/2 cup of sorbet or gelatine or 1 cup of lemonade.
What is a recommended meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
- 1 cup (90g) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240ml) skim milk, 1/2 cup (75g) blueberries and 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh orange juice
- 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with 1 teaspoon (4.5g) margarine, 1 tablespoon (20g) jelly or jam, 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh orange juice and 1 medium apple.
- 2 boiled eggs, 2 slices turkey bacon with 1/2 cup (38g) cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup (80g) baked beans and 2 slices whole-wheat toast, plus 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh orange juice
- 1 whole-wheat bagel with 2 tablespoons peanut butter (no salt added), 1 medium orange, 1 cup fat-free milk and decaffeinated coffee
- Tuna and mayonnaise sandwich made with 2 slices of whole-grain bread, 1 tablespoon (15g) mayonnaise, 1.5 cups (113g) green salad and 3oz (80g) canned tuna
- 3 oz (85g) lean chicken breast with 2 cups (150 grams) of green salad, 1.5 ounces (45g) low-fat cheese and 1 cup (190g) brown rice
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 3oz (85g) lean turkey, 1.5oz (45g) low-fat cheese, 1/2 cup (38g) green salad and 1/2 cup (38g) cherry tomatoes
- Salad made with 4.5oz (130g) grilled tuna, 1 boiled egg, 2 cups (152g) green salad, 1/2 cup (38g) cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons (30ml) low-fat dressing
- 3oz (85g) lean chicken breast cooked in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil with 1/2 cup (75g) each of broccoli and carrots, served with 1 cup (190g) brown rice
- 3oz (85g) salmon cooked in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil with 1 cup (300g) boiled potatoes and 1.5 cups (225g) boiled vegetables
- 6oz (170g) cod fillet, 1 cup (200g) mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup (75g) green peas and 1/2 cup (75g) broccoli
- Spaghetti and meatballs made with 1 cup (190g) spaghetti and 4oz (115g) minced turkey, add 1/2 cup (75g) green peas on the side
What are the best recipes?
Shrimp & Nectarine Salad
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1-1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups torn mixed salad greens
- 2 medium nectarines, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- In a small bowl, whisk orange juice, vinegar, mustard and honey until combined, then stir in tarragon
- In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat, then add corn; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender before removing from pan
- Sprinkle shrimp with lemon pepper and salt, heat remaining oil in same skillet on medium-high heat, add shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes or until pink, then stir in corn
- In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and drizzle with 1/3 cup dressing and toss to coat.
- Divide mixture among four plates, top with shrimp mixture and drizzle with remaining dressing
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup assorted fresh fruit
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
- In a small container or Mason jar, combine oats, milk, yogurt and honey.
- Top with fruit and nuts. Seal and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy for breakfast!
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
- Dash salt
- Dash dried tarragon
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1 salmon fillet (2lbs)
- Mix all ingredients except salmon to make a marinate
- Brush mixture over salmon
- Place salmon skin side down on an oiled grill rack or on a lightly oiled baking sheet
- Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4inches from heat until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, roughly10-15 minutes
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Tomato and Green Bean Soup
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/8161397/dash-diet-weight-loss-benefits-recipes/