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Living Well In Yalobusha County

DASH – Not A Diet, A Way Of Life

By Pamela Redwine

Make DASH Work for You!

May is blood Pressure Education Month. Use the DASH diet to help prevent or control high blood pressure.  Make it a part of a healthy lifestyle that include choosing foods lower in sodium, working on a healthful weight, being physically active, not smoking, and using moderation when consuming alcohol.

Step 1 – Be aware of what you eat.

It is helpful to write down what you eat for several days or weeks to see how you are doing. Which foods are you eating too much? Which ones are not enough? Work on balancing them gradually. Don‘t worry about being perfect. If you slip, ask yourself why you got off track, and start again the next day. Be consistent and persistent.

Step 2 – Research The DASH Diet Web Site: Download a pamphlet (PDF format) from the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute with information about both DASH studies, menus, tips and facts for following the DASH diet.

Step 4 – DASH Daily Check List: For 1600 calories:

Six ounces grains, preferably whole grains; two cups vegetables; two cups fruits; 2-3 cups nonfat/lowfat milk or yogurt; 3 to 6 ounces fish; two tsp oil (limit to this); 0 sugars and three servings per week of beans or nuts.

If you are like most people, you are probably eating too many refined grains, too much meat, too much fat and saturated fat and too much sugar.  Read the tips below so you can make the DASH check easy!

Tips on Eating the DASH Way

• Start Smart – make gradual changes in your eating habits.

• Plan a minimum of three meals a day. Breakfast is a great time to get in some whole grains and fresh fruit.

• Center your meals around whole grains such as brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, beans and vegetables.

• Experiment with different types of grains such as barley, couscous and millet.

• Treat meat as one small part of the whole meal instead of the focus. When you do use meat, choose lean cuts. Limit meat, poultry and fish serving to the size of a deck of cards.

• Have 2-3 vegetables at lunch and dinner to make up for less meat.

• Eat a calcium rich food several times a day – for breakfast, snacks and dessert.

• Reduce the amount of fat added to your food. Cook with less fat; purchase lower-fat foods; and make better menu choices

• Reduce sodium/salt intake. Purchase lower sodium foods, skip the salt when cooking and at the table; beware of restaurant choices!

• Try some vegetarian meals several times a week. Experiment with bean recipes.

• Use fruits or low-fat, low-calorie foods such as sugar-free gelatin for desserts and snacks.

• Read labels and look for sodium, fiber and fat. If a food has 5% or less of the daily value for sodium then it can be considered a low sodium food.


Recipe of the week

Whole Grain Fettuccini with Tomatoes and Spinach

8 ounce package fresh whole wheat Fettuccini

1 tablespoon olive oil,  2 cloves minced garlic

3 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon Italian pesto

1 package baby spinach

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil fettuccini until done, about 5 minutes ( go longer if using dried pasta). Drain in colander.

Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic.  Saute’ until nutty about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add spinach and cook until it wilts, about a minute.  Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and reheat all together. Serve hot. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4. Eat 1 -1/2 cup servings: 345 calories 7g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate 2 g fiber, 20g protein.

Recipe source: Communicating Food for Health March 2008

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