DASH into New Year


It’s one of the most effective diet strategies to bring down blood pressure and reduce dangerous inflammation. It helps us lose weight and protects almost every organ in our bodies. And hardly anyone knows about it.

It’s called the DASH diet, not to be confused with the popular seasoning. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension … yawn. Yet for the past seven years, the DASH diet got top billing on the US News & World Report list of best diets to promote weight loss and long-term health. And, as opposed to many of the diet plans coming your way in 2018, DASH is supported by some of the best research out there.

What makes it so cool? DASH does more than just lower blood pressure. It’s been shown to lower the risk for kidney disease, improve heart function and even lower our risk for certain types of cancer.

Believe it or not, the main focus of this diet plan is not to cut out salt. DASH lowers blood pressure due to its unique mixture of nutrients such as protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Experts have found that when these substances team up, they work synergistically to normalize blood pressure and fight off health-robbing inflammation. Published results have been nothing short of amazing.

If we don’t yet appreciate how important it is to keep our blood pressure normal, here are a few scare tactics from registered dietitian Denise Webb, PhD. High blood pressure, says Webb, can cause bulging or ruptured arteries, weakened enlarged hearts, stroke, dementia, kidney failure, damaged blood vessels in the eye and sexual dysfunction in men.

Ready to pay attention now? Perhaps we might want to adopt one or more of these DASH-related resolutions to keep us dancing into the New Year:

Buy a measuring cup and fill it 2 to 3 times a day with vegetables. Then eat those vegetables.

Designate at least 4 snacks or meals a week to eat nuts, seeds, beans or lentils.

Buy bread, cereal, crackers and other grains made with “whole” grains.

Consume at least 2 servings of low fat milk, cheese or yogurt each day. Lactose-reduced products and buttermilk work, too.

For an afternoon or evening lift, replace sugary sweet snacks with fresh, frozen, canned (without added sugar) or dried fruit.

Eat 3 to 6 ounces of fish, poultry, lean meat or meat substitutes each day.

Instead of drowning food with butter, mayonnaise or salad dressing, realize that a little dab will do me.

Drink no more than 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks a day or don’t drink at all.

Find the complete DASH eating plan at https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan. It’s free! That’s something to celebrate.

———

(Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator affiliated with Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She is the author of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” (Westbow Press, 2015). Email her at to barbara@quinnessentialnutrition.com.)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community

Heath Ledger's sister remembers him 10 years after his death
Heath Ledger's sister remembers him 10 years after his death

Heath Ledger’s sister, Kate Ledger, is opening up about how his family is honoring his memory 10 years after his death. Kate opened up for a rare interview with WHO last week before the 10th anniversary of her brother’s Jan. 22, 2008, death. She told the publication that keeping Ledger’s memory alive in her home has...
Neil Diamond diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retiring from touring
Neil Diamond diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retiring from touring

Neil Diamond will retire from touring due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. >> Read more trending news  The renowned singer-songwriter announced the news in a statement Monday that said his doctors advised that he cancel the upcoming leg of his 50th anniversary tour set for Australia and New Zealand. “It...
Schnellenberger son, a former addict, aims to help others
Schnellenberger son, a former addict, aims to help others

Long before the U.S. was gripped in its current opioid epidemic, Tim Schnellenberger had battled — and recovered from — his own substance addiction. Now 50 and recently married, Schnellenberger — one of legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger’s three sons — attained sobriety in 2000 and has been on a mission ever...
Megyn Kelly still angry at Jane Fonda, calls her ‘Hanoi Jane’ months after plastic surgery tiff
Megyn Kelly still angry at Jane Fonda, calls her ‘Hanoi Jane’ months after plastic surgery tiff

It seems that neither Megyn Kelly or Jane Fonda has forgotten about that awkward September interview in which Fonda shut Kelly down after the latter asked about possible plastic surgery. >> Read more trending news    In the interview, Kelly asked Fonda about aging and plastic surgery when she and Robert Redford were...
Hall and Oates, Train to kick off summer arena tour together
Hall and Oates, Train to kick off summer arena tour together

First it was Journey and Def Leppard, now Hall and Oates and Train have announced the bands will be doing a tour together this summer. According to Rolling Stone, both groups will play full sets before they both take the stage for the finale.  Tickets go on sale for most of the North American tour dates on Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. on Live...
More Stories