DASH diet recipes stand for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. They have been studied and proven to improve blood pressure and combat heart disease. Because of the scientific evidence backing DASH diet recipes, they have been suggested by health organizations to improve the lifestyle of people.
Hypertension, high blood pressure, is a medical condition that is very dangerous to people’s health. It can lead to heart attacks and diseases and negatively affect people’s circulatory systems. Dash diet recipes are healthy eating approaches that focus on helping people to stop hypertension.
However, studies have shown that following DASH diet recipes are no easy task. You need to eliminate the food you are used to eating, like salty foods, and stick to a low-sodium diet to stay committed to the plan. Even though this is a tough ordeal for many people, it provides you with many benefits.
Studies have also shown that people suffering from hypertension can lower their blood pressure significantly by adhering to DASH diet principles. Knowing that DASH diet recipes are effective, it is also important to remember that many dash recipes taste great and provide health benefits. This article discusses a few of these dash diet recipes.
1) What Does the DASH Diet Consist Of?
The most important step in following dash diet recipes is to limit the sodium you consume daily. In standard programs that include dash diet recipes, the sodium amount is limited to 2,300 milligrams, and 1,500 milligrams in a more restricted diet plan. Since processed foods are high in sodium, dash diet plans focus on fresh foods and refrain from using salt.
Dash diet plans need you to count the daily servings of food you ingest. Your carbohydrate content needs to come from six to eight whole grains, four to five fruit servings, and vegetables. When it comes to low-fat dairy items like cheese and yogurt, you are allowed two servings. To lower blood pressure, you need to focus on the type of food you consume rather than calories. Normally, the dash diet includes 2,000 calories per day. Here’s a more detailed explanation of food compliant with the DASH diet.
Whole grains, like whole wheat bread and brown rice, should be eaten instead of refined grains, like white bread and white rice. Make sure you read the labels thoroughly, as breakfast cereals made of whole grains can be high in sodium sometimes.
The preferred number of grains for any normal individual is six to eight, but if you’re very active, you can consume up to 11 servings.
One serving of grains consists of the following:
- A bread slice
- 1/2 cup – cereal or 3/4th cup – dry cereal
Consume dark green vegetables daily. The best choices include vegetables like peas and beans, carrots and kale, spinach and broccoli, and collards. Frozen or fresh vegetables are better than canned ones, which can have a high sodium content and lead to high blood pressure.
Consuming 3-5 vegetables daily is healthier if you stick to a DASH approach. If you’re very active, you can stick to six servings. One portion of vegetables includes a cup of leafy greens or 1/2 cup of sliced ones.
Fresh and dried fruits are great for this diet! Apples, oranges, apricots, and grapefruits are perfect for maintaining blood pressure levels. Do not consume canned fruits with any sugar.
Four to five fruits should be enough for an average individual. One serving includes a medium fruit and 1/2 cup chopped fruit or juice.
Fat-free and low-fat products are suggested for DASH diet recipes. Do not consume whole milk and sour cream; try low-fat sour cream. Since cheese is high in sodium and can lead to high blood pressure, try cutting back on it.
Two to three servings of low-fat milk, with one serving being a cup of milk or yogurt, should be enough.
1.5) Lean Meat, Fish, And Poultry
Avoid red meat and consume lean cuts. Fish, skinless chicken, seafood, and turkey are recommended. You should bake all meats without fat and heavy sauces.
Three to six servings of lean protein can help you maintain a DASH diet. Six servings are for people who are very active in their life. One serving is an ounce of meat, poultry, or fish. Also, avoid egg yolks and stick to egg whites to maintain cholesterol.
1.6) Seeds, Legumes, And Nuts
Seeds and nuts are very nutritious but high in fat, so consume them carefully. Almonds and hazelnuts are good options, but avoid seasoned nuts since they are high in sodium and could lead to high blood pressure.
Kidney beans, split peas, and lentils are legumes high in protein with low fat, so they are good suggestions to include in your DASH diet recipe.
One serving of legumes includes a 1/3rd cup of nuts or 2 tbsp of peanut butter. You can have three to five servings in a week.
2) What Is Non-Compliant with the DASH Diet?
A few things aren’t included in DASH diet recipes since they can lead to high blood pressure.
2.1) Processed High-Sodium Foods
Processed foods have a lot of sodium and can lead to hypertension. Soy milk, soy sauce, and some antacids are items that should be checked for sodium content before being used.
2.2) Sweets and Added Sugars
Sweet like candy, jelly, jam, low-fat cookies, and sugary soft drinks can lead to high blood pressure. Try eating no more than one low-fat treat a day.
If you’re physically inactive and your diet has more calories, do not consume foods with added sugars, including sugary beverages, jelly, hard candy, and syrup. Those with a low-calorie diet can enjoy 5 treats in a week. Very active individuals can even consume two a day. One serving is one tbsp of sugar or one cup of lemonade.
2.3) Fats and Oils
You can use oils and fats on the DASH diet but with a limit. Things like vegetable oil or a light salad dressing are healthier options.
Limit your intake of fats and oils to 2-3 servings per day, with a serving of one tsp of oil or two tbsp of salad dressing. Add some lemon juice to the salad dressing, or make a homemade dressing with lemon juice, garlic, and chili powder to sprinkle over the salad.
2.4) Added Salt
The main goal of DASH diet recipes is to stop hypertension. Reducing salt intake can help do this. Hence, a DASH-registered dietitian nutritionist will suggest you reduce salt and use spices, lemon juice, fresh basil, and other herbs to season your food.
3) Dash Diet Recipes to Make Living Healthier
If you’ve been recommended a DASH diet to maintain blood pressure, you have the benefit of consuming nutritious options for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. You can try various recipes, but here are a few of the best options.
3.1) Rainbow Vegetable Soup
Rainbow vegetable soup helps restrain sodium by using tomatoes that aren’t salted and vegetable stock low in sodium. This soup is also full of vegetables like carrots, leeks, summer squash, fennel, celery, and sometimes zucchini. These vegetables provide you with antioxidants that can help combat diseases.
3.2) Kale and Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
You can freely eat seafood and lean meats on the DASH diet. But if you want to try meatless options, kale and lentil-stuffed sweet potatoes might be the best option.
Soft roasted sweet potatoes with garlic-seasoned kale and lentils filling, topped with low-fat yogurt and parsley, is a heart-healthy dinner with only 65 mg sodium.
3.3) Lighter Avocado Chicken Salad
Lighter avocado chicken salad is a great option for the deli counter’s chicken salad. You add more benefits to your health by using avocado.
Onions and celery can add a lot of fiber, and red pepper flakes and black pepper can add taste to this healthy dinner.
3.4) Banana Chai Oatmeal Smoothie
Getting five servings of fruits and veggies is a smart way to get some energy at breakfast. This creamy and tasty dash diet meal includes a banana, oats, low-fat Greek yogurt, and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. It’s a nutritious smoothie full of protein and a great meal to energize you on a weary day.
3.5) Low-Sodium Chicken, Broccoli, And Rice Casserole
DASH diets aren’t boring diets without comfort meals. A low-sodium chicken, broccoli, and brown rice casserole is a delicious meal to fill your stomach. It has vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, and dairy and is a filling dinner full of protein.
3.6) Crustless Salmon, Spinach, And Mushroom Quiche
This DASH diet encourages seafood for its high-quality protein and omega-3-fatty acids. Regarding meals involving fish, crustless salmon pairs excellently with spinach and a quiche of mushrooms. It is loaded with veggies, like spinach, leeks, and mushrooms. You can use low-fat instead of whole milk to make this dish healthier.
3.7) Creamy Slaw and Veggie Wrap
If you want lunch to stop hypertension, try a creamy slaw with a wrap full of veggies. Carrots and broccoli slaw are great for a simple dash diet recipe.
You can assemble the wrap with soaked artichoke, cilantro, and a creamy dressing. You can add some black beans to bring extra bulk and make this vegetarian dish more filling.
3.8) Brown Sugar Baked Citrus with Honeyed Yogurt
A tangy, healthy breakfast is a great way to start your day. Brown sugar-baked citrus with honeyed yogurt makes the best of caramelized sweetness, grapefruit, and orange, providing you with high micronutrients.
You start by removing the fruit’s peel and roasting the citrus parts with brown sugar. Add-ins include granola and low-fat Greek yogurt.
3.9) Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Hummus
This lentil hummus with roasted red peppers requires simple ingredients but creates a colorful dish. You can use different whole-grain crackers and veggies to make this a healthy snack. While this dish takes time, it is worth the time and effort.
3.10) Strawberry and Turkey Balsamic Salad
Some recipes are a great way to combine fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Strawberry and turkey balsamic salad combine all these. It has a great mix of greens, strawberries, cheese, radishes, roasted turkey, and walnuts. A serving of this amazing dish contains 22 grams of protein and only 8% sodium.
You can use a homemade balsamic vinaigrette with salt to taste and sugar to improve the dish.
4) DASH Diets – In Conclusion
Before making any major change in your life, you often consider the pros and cons. Changing your diet isn’t any different.
The DASH diet has a lot of pros and cons to consider. A few pros of the diet include that it is backed by evidence to reduce hypertension and is designed for lifelong wellness. It is accessible, flexible, and has a nutritional balance of carbs, proteins, and fats.
However, there are also many cons; it’s tough to follow and may not be appropriate for everyone. Additionally, following a DASH diet can’t help much if you want to lose weight. Finally, you may not need to track calories, but you still need to maintain a diary for everything you eat during the day servings you take.
After reading so much about the DASH diet and DASH diet recipes, if you feel that it isn’t for you, check out this article on vegan diets: How To Start A Vegan Diet: 10 Best Tips To Start A Vegan Diet Today!
The DASH diet may be challenging to commit to, but it is the only diet from a long list of dietary approaches that targets sodium levels and lowers blood pressure. While it may not be able to help with weight loss, it can surely help prevent heart disease and blood pressure issues. So, even though the pros and cons are equal in number, the DASH diet and DASH diet recipes are an excellent way to make sure you’re living healthy.
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