Begin Dashing to the Holiday Season

Posted 10/17/2013 | By HealthCorps

It is a struggle to eat healthfully with so many tempting food opportunities, and with the kind of stress that most of us face on a regular basis.  Add the holidays into the formula and you have a recipe for weeks and weeks of stress-induced food indulgence.  Experts also know that if you try to limit treats and special occasion foods, you will typically become frustrated with the deprivation and at some point fall apart and binge.

But what if there was a diet that had minimal dietary restrictions and offered delicious food choices?  The DASH Diet, which was actually formulated to help people with high blood pressure, has turned out to be a secret weapon – allowing the dieter a broad range of healthy and tasty foods.  It also allows for treats, meaning minimal deprivation.  So in daily life and during the holiday season, you can eat with reasonable gusto, while still maintaining your health and your weight.  This diet is associated with more than just helping to lower blood pressure.  It has also been credited with helping to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and colon cancer.  It can also help to control blood sugar spikes.

What do you get to eat on the DASH Diet? 

  • Fruits – 4 to 5 servings daily
  • Vegetables – 4 to 5 servings daily
  • Low fat/non-fat dairy products – 1 to 3 servings daily
  • Whole grains – 3 servings daily (a serving is about 100 calories)
  • Refined grains – a few servings a week – these are treats
  • Healthy fats – 2 to 3 servings daily (a serving is about 45 calories)
  • Lean meat, poultry or fish – 7 ounces daily (Red meat less frequently if at all)
  • Legumes, nuts and beans – 4 to 5 servings weekly (1/4 cup of nuts is a serving)

There is no deprivation in this food plan, but you need to choose the healthiest options from the food groups, use portion control, and crucial to the diet is recognizing that treats have a “space” in your diet, but NOT on a daily basis.

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