Dash to a healthier you! Voted by health experts as the best overall diet three years in a row, the DASH Diet – originally developed to fight high blood pressure – is a safe and easy-to-follow eating plan that fights diseases and can even help you lose weight. Incorporate this two-phase plan from Marla Heller’s The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution with bonus sample day menus for both phases. Find out if the DASH Diet is right for you. For more meal ideas, try these recipes!
Although South Beach's most restrictive phase lasts only two weeks, even phase two calls for avoiding (or strongly limiting) foods like bagels, white bread, potatoes, cookies, ice cream, honey and jam. Same goes for pineapple, watermelon and raisins, permitted only once in a while. (These fruits are high in sugar.) You may need to muster up willpower to stick to the program.
Previous research has found that dietary costs are strongly associated with diet quality.12 Following the DASH dietary pattern is no exception. The study, which was conducted in the United Kingdom (UK), found that the closer the adherence to the DASH dietary pattern, the greater the dietary costs. Those with the highest DASH scores had 18% greater food costs than those with the lowest DASH scores. Fast food is cheap; foods in the DASH diet, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts, tend to be more expensive. In fact, a recent study suggested that the likelihood of consuming a DASH-like diet was dependent on both geographic and economic access.13 The study was conducted in the UK, but there's no reason the findings wouldn't apply to the United States. The researchers found that the likelihood of consuming a DASH-like diet was 58% lower in households with the lowest dietary costs. And those living the farthest from any supermarket were 15% less likely to consume DASH-like diets.
Even if they can be included in a diet that leads to weight loss, eating empty calories like processed bread, peanut butter and ice cream are not ideal in terms of improving your health. A major drawback of most diets that focus too much on counting and limiting calories is that they don’t emphasize the importance of eating quality nutrient-dense foods.
If you’ve been looking for a new diet to try — or just scrolling through healthy recipes on Pinterest — you’ve probably come across the “Military Diet." It’s a new fad diet that promises to help you lose 10 pounds in about a week, even more if you’re lucky, and was supposedly named after a technique the military uses to help recruits shed pounds. But what’s the real deal on this diet? Does it work as well as its proponents claim — and can you really eat ice cream every day that you're on it? We took a closer look at the meal plan. Check it out.
Reward successes and forgive slip-ups. Reward yourself with a nonfood treat for your accomplishments — rent a movie, purchase a book or get together with a friend. Everyone slips, especially when learning something new. Remember that changing your lifestyle is a long-term process. Find out what triggered your setback and then just pick up where you left off with the DASH diet.
Like all the phases of the South Beach Diet, phase 1 allows you to eat three meals, one dessert, and two snacks every day. However, phase 1 of the program is the most limited in terms of food choices: You can eat only lean sources of protein, high-fiber vegetables and legumes, nuts, low-fat dairy including certain cheeses, and good-for-you unsaturated oils like olive oil.
The most agreed-upon recommendation is for the diet to be low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, while relatively high in dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber. People with diabetes are also encouraged to eat small frequent meals a day. Likewise, people with diabetes may be encouraged to reduce their intake of carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index (GI), although this is also controversial. (In cases of hypoglycemia, they are advised to have food or drink that can raise blood glucose quickly, such as a sugary sports drink, followed by a long-acting carbohydrate (such as rye bread) to prevent risk of further hypoglycemia.) Others question the usefulness of the glycemic index and recommend high-GI foods like potatoes and rice. It has been claimed that oleic acid has a slight advantage over linoleic acid in reducing plasma glucose.
Check these links for more information on The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, DASH diet in the news, DASH diet research, the author Marla Heller, MS, RD, Marla in the media, DASH social media, or to book her for a seminar. We support the American Heart Month (February), the Go Red for Women campaign, and the National Wear Red Day (February 2, 2018), promoting awareness about women's heart health. Check out our blog, and don't forget to join our free online support group on Facebook.