“DASH” TO BETTER HEALTH
Are you ready to “DASH” to better health? No, you don’t need to run or even walk fast while “dashing”, but you do need to make some important improvements in your diet. These suggestions from the Nebraska CVH Program make up a healthy eating plan that will assist to “Dash down high blood pressure”.
The DASH eating plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) includes ways that have been shown to aide in prevention and reducing high blood pressures. The DASH plan can help you to reduce your salt and sodium intake and help you lose weight, which may also help lower your blood pressure.
The following 10 suggestions are delicious ways to DASH to better health!
• Be spicy rather than salty. Cook with and flavor foods at the table with spices, lemon, lime, vinegar and salt-free seasoning blends.
• Avoid canned, smoked and processed foods in favor of fresh poultry, fish and lean meats.
• Control the size of your food portions when snacking. Eat fruit, vegetable sticks, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn or bread sticks.
• When choosing “convenience” foods, limit those high in sodium content, avoiding frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups, broths and salad dressings. All of which are high in sodium. Read nutrition labels closely.
• Begin your healthy day with breakfast cereals that are lower in salt, sodium, and sugar.
• Do not add salt to the water when cooking rice, pasta, and hot cereals. Limit instant and flavored rice, pasta and cereal mixes which usually have added salt.
• Purchase fresh, plain frozen or canned “no-salt added” vegetables.
• Instead of soft drinks high in sugar, drink water or club soda.
• When eating out, limit high salt containing sauces, and condiments such as catsup and pickles. Don’t forget to move the salt shaker far away!
• Cut back on fast foods and processed foods that are high in sodium and salt.
In following these 10 healthy eating guidelines you may soon find that you’ve “DASHED” down your high blood pressure and are dashing to a healthier and happier life-style.
Free blood pressure clinics are offered at Red Willow County Health Department: located at the fairgrounds, 1400 West 5th, McCook, 308-345-1790.
Peggy Everitt RN