This week, US News & World Report made its Best Diets 2012 announcement, naming the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) Diet the best overall diet. There are a lot of choices for people who want to lose weight using a structured weight reduction plan, and while there is no “one-size fits all” approach, Diets In Review’s resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah Khan considers the DASH Diet an ideal weight loss plan for diabetics.
People who follow the DASH diet will work on lowering sodium intake to less than 2400 mg per day, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, chicken, whole grains and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil. With endorsements from the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Mayo Clinic, the DASH diet is a great option for anyone who wants to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight or consume less sodium.
“We often recommend the DASH diet for diabetics,” said Dr. Khan. “Diabetics should also focus on a low-sodium diet with less than 2,000 mg of salt per day. High blood pressure tends to go hand in hand with diabetics and we are more aggressive with their blood pressure control because of all the complications it could cause if we let it become too high.”
When you’re beginning the DASH diet, be sure to stock your kitchen with plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods, especially fruits and vegetables. If you’re kicking off your diet in January, look for seasonal fruit like oranges, apples, pears, and pomegranates. Instead of sticking to salads, look for unusual or unique produce like kale, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi to liven up your vegetable rotation. Stock the pantry with plenty of whole grains and avoid white or refined flour and sugar.
To help you kick off your DASH Diet we’ve pulled together some of our favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, including a few snacks, to help you start on the right track.