The D.A.S.H. Diet

02.12.10 | Sherri Watters | Comments[0]

The recommendation from the American Medical Association is to go through your cupboards and look at the foods you have for high sodium content, donate them to a food bank, and start from scratch with more whole grains and whole foods. This diet resembles the Mediterranean diet in stressing the consumption of good fats and lean meats. It also stresses the importance of portion control.

  • Whole grains -- six to eight servings a day of products made from 100% whole grains... a serving is one slice of bread, one ounce of dry cereal, or one-half cup of cooked cereal, whole-grain pasta or brown rice.
  • Fruits and vegetables -- eight to 10 servings a day... a serving is defined as one cup of raw, leafy vegetables or one-half cup of cooked veggies, one medium fruit, one-half cup low-sodium vegetable juice, one cup of fresh fruit, or one-half cup of frozen or canned fruit. To reduce calories,  limiting starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and the like, but the good news is that you can eat as much as you like of the nonstarchy ones, for example, tomatoes, green beans, leafy greens, peppers and others.
  • Low-fat dairy -- two to three servings a day. A serving is one cup of milk or yogurt or one and one-half ounces of cheese.
  • Lean meat, fish and poultry -- six or fewer ounces a day. A three-ounce serving is the size of a pack of cards, which is sufficient with a meal.
  • Nuts, seeds and beans -- four to five servings per week... servings include one-half cup of cooked dried beans or peas, one-quarter cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter. It is okay to have more beans than this each week, but if so you should balance that by eating less meat, fish and poultry.
  • Fats and oils -- two to three servings a day ...with a serving being one teaspoon of butter or vegetable oil(safflower oil), one tablespoon of mayonnaise or two tablespoons of salad dressing(olive oil base is best).
  • Sweets -- up to five servings a week... such as one-half cup sorbet, a good homemade cookie or slice of dark chocolate cake, one tablespoon of sugar, jelly or jam, or one cup of lemonade.
  • Sodium -- The National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine recommends not exceeding 1,500 mg to 2,400 mg of salt per day (1,500 mg is about two-thirds teaspoon of table salt). Note: Factors such as medications you are on, exercise and diet history should be considered in determining your optimal sodium intake.

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