By JACLYN ‘JACKIE’ FRANKS, MPH
HHS Extension Educator, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Kosciusko County
The D.A.S.H. eating plan stand for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; and D.A.S.H. is not a diet plan but rather a healthier way to plan and prepare meals. No special foods or supplements are required to follow the D.A.S.H. eating plan.
The D.A.S.H. eating plan emphasizes more vegetables, fruits, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products as well as including whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. D.A.S.H .also reminds us to limit sodium, sweets, sugary beverages and red meats.
By following the D.A.S.H. Eating Plan, you can help enhance your heart health by increasing the amount of fiber you consume, reducing the amount of sodium (salt) you eat, increasing your potassium intake, and lowering your consumption of fat.
D.A.S.H. Quick Tips:
- Increase the fiber in your diet with foods like almonds, black beans, brown rice, sunflower seed kernels and whole wheat pasta.
- Reduce sodium by using more spices to cook, cut back on frozen dinners and canned foods, choose fresh poultry and meat rather than deli versions, and choose fresh or frozen vegetables rather than canned.
- Increase potassium in your diet with foods like bananas, cantaloupe, carrots, milk, tuna and spinach.
- Reduce fat from your diet by using olive oil instead of butter, limiting salad dressing and condiment use and choosing steamed or broiled foods rather than fried.
Remember, the D.A.S.H. plan is not a diet; but rather a plan to help you make heart healthy decisions about what you eat.