Friday, September 21, 2012

The DASH Diet Eating Plan

What Is the DASH Eating Plan?

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a flexible and balanced eating plan. DASH was one of three eating plans that were compared in research studies sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The goal of this research was to study the effects of diet on high blood pressure. The results showed that the DASH eating plan lowers blood pressure. The plan:
  • Is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat
  • Focuses on fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Is rich in whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts
  • Contains fewer sweets, added sugars and sugary beverages, and red meats than the typical American diet
 The DASH Diet for Weight Loss

While the DASH diet was originally developed as an eating style to help lower blood pressure, it has been found to be a fabulous plan for weight loss. The DASH Action Plan is famous for introducing the DASH diet for weight loss. Because it has an emphasis on real foods, heavy on fruits and vegetables, balanced with the right amount of protein, it provides the perfect weight loss foundation. It is filling and satisfying. Because it is healthy, you can follow it for your whole life. And it is a plan that you can feed your entire family, with larger portion sizes for those who don't need to watch their weight. It helps you easily lose weight, even though you feel as if you are not on a diet, and actually makes you healthier!

Daily Nutrient Goals Used in the DASH Studies (for a 2,000-Calorie Eating Plan)

Total fat27% of calories
Saturated fat6% of calories
Protein18% of calories
Carbohydrate55% of calories
Cholesterol150 mg
Sodium2,300 mg*
Potassium4,700 mg
Calcium1,250 mg
Magnesium500 mg
Fiber30 g

Specifically the DASH diet plan includes:

Type of food
Number of servings for 1600 - 3100 Calorie diets Servings on a 2000 Calorie diet
Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)
6 - 12
7 - 8
Fruits
4 - 6
4 - 5
Vegetables
4 - 6
4 - 5
Low fat or non fat dairy foods
2 - 4
2 - 3
Lean meats, fish, poultry
1.5 - 2.5
2 or less
Nuts, seeds, and legumes
3 - 6 per week
4 - 5 per week
Fats and sweets
2 - 4
limit

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