The DASH Diet: Tips for Shopping and Cooking


The DASH Diet: Tips for Shopping and Cooking

A healthy DASH diet doesn't have to be boring or difficult. Follow these tips to make the DASH diet easier and more enjoyable.

The DASH Diet: Tips for Shopping and Cooking

The DASH diet is an approach to healthy eating designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressureThe DASH diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure and provide

many other health benefits. DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

Whether you already believe in the DASH diet or want to try it for the first time, you can take advantage of it easily in the comfort of your own home. Here's how to start the DASH diet.

Preparation before heading to the market

Sticking to the DASH diet starts with the food you buy. Before you go grocery shopping:

  • Make a list: Decide on the meals you'll be preparing for the next week, and include the ingredients on your shopping list. Don't forget to plan breakfast and snacks, too. And with the list in hand, you'll be less likely to deviate from the DASH diet to tempting, unhealthy foods. As a bonus, you can save time and money when grocery shopping by using the menu.
  • Eat First: Don't go grocery shopping while you're hungry. This is one of the main rules of grocery shopping, whether you're on the DASH diet or not. If you're hungry, you'll see everything attractive, which makes it hard to resist foods high in fat and high in sodium.

Remember the DASH Diet guidelines while shopping

Big offers and competitive prices may affect you while you're at the grocery store. So, do the following to focus on foods that support the DASH diet guidelines :

  • Buy fresh foods: Fresh foods are often healthier options than processed foods because they often contain less sodium, fat, and added sugar. By eating fresh foods, you - not the manufacturer - are in control of the ingredients that go into your meals. Fresh foods are also often better in flavor and health-boosting with vitamins, minerals, and fiber than their packaged counterparts. If you're buying prepared foods, such as frozen dinners, luncheon meats, or soups, choose varieties that are lower in sodium and fat.
  • Shop from the outside:  While there are many DASH-friendly items in the mall aisles, it's advised to focus most of your shopping time on grocery stores that have fresh produce, low-fat dairy, and lean meats.
  • Read the labels: Most packaged foods in the US have a Nutrition Facts label, which can help you see how much they fit the DASH diet. Compare similar items and choose the one with lower sodium, fat, and calories.

Equip your kitchen with food for the DASH system

There is an increased possibility that you will prepare healthy dishes if you have healthy foods on hand. So always make sure to provide the following nutrients in your home:

  • Fruit: Choose a variety of fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas. Add variety by buying unusual fruits like apricots, dates, and berries. Choose fruit canned in its juice, not in a heavy syrup, and frozen fruit without added sugar.
  • Vegetables: Buy fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach. Choose frozen vegetables with no added salt, butter, or sauces, and choose canned vegetables that are low in sodium.
  • Low-fat dairy: Look for low-fat dairy options when buying milk, yogurt, cheese, yogurt, and sour cream.
  • Grains: Aim for wholegrain and low-fat varieties of bread, cake, pita bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, crackers, and tortillas. Compare labels and choose foods that are lower in sodium.
  • Nuts, seeds, and legumes: Almonds, walnuts, beans, lentils, peas (chickpeas), and sunflower seeds are among the healthy options. But get the unsalted or low-salt varieties.
  • Lean meat, poultry, and fish: Get a lean variety, such as fish, chicken, skinless turkey, lean ground beef, and lean cuts of beef or sirloin. Avoid canned, smoked, or processed meats, such as deli.
  • Seasoning and serving: Herbs, seasonings, flavored vinegar, sauce, and olive oil can add flavor to meals without adding salt. Choose low-sodium or low-sodium seasonings.

Choose the right cooking utensils

Kitchen utensils and cooking utensils can make following the DASH diet easier. Useful items include:

  • Non-stick cookware: Non-stick cookware can reduce the need to use oil or butter when frying meat or vegetables.
  • Inserting the Steamer Colander: Placing the vegetable steamer colander inside any pot can help you steam vegetables without using any amount of butter or oil.
  • A spice mill or garlic mincer: These items can make it easier to add flavor to your food without the need to add salt.

Follow healthy cooking methods

Unhealthy cooking habits spoil your other efforts to stick to the DASH diet. Follow these tips to reduce sodium and fat:

  • Seasoning: To enhance flavor without adding salt or fat, use onions, herbs, spices, flavored vinegar, fresh pepper, garlic, garlic powder, ginger, limes, limes, salt-free soups, or even small amounts of low-sodium soy sauce...
  • Consider rinsing:Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, beans, and vegetables before eating them to remove some of the excess salt.
  • Watch out for the stock: Onions, mushrooms, or other vegetables should be fried in water or a little low-sodium broth. But because even low-sodium broth can add a lot of unwanted sodium, sometimes a healthy oil can be a better choice.
  • Prepare low-fat alternatives: Use low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat white cheese and fat-free sour cream, instead of others that are high in fat.
  • Cut back on meat: Prepare only stews and casseroles with two-thirds of the meat in the recipe and instead add more vegetables, brown rice, tofu, and bulgur or whole-wheat pasta.

If you tend to cook or bake in ways that use a lot of fat and sodium, it's best to adjust your recipes. And you can try spices, alternatives, or recipes that you don't usually try. You may be surprised by the good food you prepare - and it could be the start of a new family tradition.