Cardiovascular (Heart) disease is the number one killer in the U.S., but it can be prevented by lowering blood pressure. A high blood pressure is caused by plaques in our blood vessels, like clogged up engine pipes. It will slow down the fuels going to the engine and decrease engine efficiency. Small changes in our diet can clean up those plaques. The DASH diet was developed and scientifically supported to lower blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of getting cancer, kidney stones, diabetes, and other heart diseases, and weight loss. The acronym “DASH” stands for Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension (high blood pressure).
When we hear the word “diet” we might think that we have to cut down our food consumption, but actually this diet or should we say this menu, includes a lot of foods: whole grains, fruit, vegetables, low or nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, fats, and sweets
Here are some tips to follow the DASH menu:
Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
Add a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use, but check that they don't have added sugar.
Use only half your typical serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing, and use low-fat or fat-free condiments.
Drink low-fat or skim dairy products any time you would normally use full-fat or cream.
Limit meat to 6 ounces a day. Make some meals vegetarian.
Add more vegetables and dry beans to your diet.
Instead of snacking on chips or sweets, eat unsalted nuts, raisins, fruit, low-fat and fat-free yogurt, unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
Read food labels to choose products that are lower in sodium.
When preparing meals, gradually reduce and eliminate salt. Try adding salt free seasonings, and lemon to foods.