Archive for the ‘low sodium’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s so DASH-friendly!

November 26, 2014

turkey2014We tend to think of the holidays as a time when healthy diets go out the window. However, it can be easy to stay on track with the DASH diet on Thanksgiving.

Remember the DASH diet principles: lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, poultry, low fat and nonfat dairy, bean and nuts, whole grains, and limited saturated fats and sweets. Use the following tips to make your Thanksgiving very DASH-friendly. And check out one of our favorite menus from previous Thanksgivings.

Appetizers

Raw veggies on a platter with a hummus dip.

Sliced yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, with a dip made from nonfat sour cream and salsa, or with guacamole.

Unsalted nuts.

Apple and pear slices with grapes.

Thanksgiving dinner

Turkey breast (with the skin removed) is very low in saturated fat. If you cook the stuffing separately from the bird, you are more likely to have a moist turkey breast. (Stuffing the bird means you need longer cooking times, which may result in dry breast meat.)Cranberry-stuffing

Make a low fat gravy by using a skimmer cup to separate out most of the fat from the turkey drippings. Make your gravy high flavor by first sauteing some onions or shallots with some garlic. Then add some red wine, and boil to burn off the alcohol, while leaving great flavor. Add skimmed meat drippings. Use instant flour (Wondra) to thicken hot gravy.

Use low sodium, nonfat chicken broth for more flavor in gravy and for moistening stuffing which is cooked in a casserole.

Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, a key nutrient in the DASH diet. Use skim milk and light margarine for mashing.

Fill your plate with extra helpings of vegetables, to avoid overdoing calories.

Cranberry sauce is a great source of antioxidants, which are great for your heart.

Choose whole grain rolls.

pumpkin-pie-ceramic Dessert

Pumpkin pie can count as a vegetable. Have your favorite recipe, or check out our lighter low-fat pumpkin pie recipe.

Similarly, apple pie will provide a serving of fruit. Add some cranberries to make it special, and really on track for Thanksgiving.

Alcohol

Limit alcohol to moderate amounts to keep calories under control, and help you manage your blood pressure. Women should limit to 1 glass and men to 2 glasses per day. Fill your wine glass with water, so you have something to drink without overdoing alcohol. Or have a glass of skim milk to add another key DASH diet food.
If you are eating at someone else’s house, bring a vegetable dish or vegetable appetizers, so that you can be sure to have a healthy dinner.

Move it!

Exercise on Thanksgiving Day. Go for a walk, shoot some hoops, or play touch football. If it snows (which it may do in the North), go out and romp in the snow. Create a new tradition with some family active time on the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

by Marla Heller, MS, RD

DASH diet expert, and author of The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, and The DASH Diet Younger You.

DASHing Through Thanksgiving

November 21, 2013

ImageWe tend to think of the holidays as a time when healthy diets go out the window. However, it can be very easy to stay on track with the DASH diet on Thanksgiving.

Remember the DASH diet principles: lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, poultry, low fat and nonfat dairy, bean and nuts, and whole grains, and limited saturated fats and sweets. Use the following tips to make your Thanksgiving very DASH-friendly.

    • Appetizers
      • Raw veggies on a platter with a hummus dip.
      • Sliced yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, with a dip made from nonfat sour cream and salsa.
      • Unsalted nuts.
      • Apple and pear slices with grapes.
    • Thanksgiving dinner
      • Turkey breast (with the skin removed) is very low in saturated fat. If you cook the stuffing separately from the bird, you are more likely to have a moist turkey breast. (Stuffing the bird means you need longer cooking times, which may result in dry breast meat.)
      • Make a low fat gravy by using a skimmer cup to separate out most of the fat from the turkey drippings. Make your gravy high flavor by first sauteing some onions or shallots with some garlic. Then add some red wine, and boil to burn off the alcohol, while leaving great flavor. Add skimmed meat drippings. Use instant flour (Wondra) to thicken hot gravy.
      • Use low sodium, nonfat chicken broth for more flavor in gravy and for moistening stuffing which is cooked in a casserole.
      • Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, a key nutrient in the DASH diet. Use skim milk and light margarine for mashing, and watch out for the serving size.
      • Fill your plate with extra helpings of vegetables, to avoid overdoing calories.
      • Cranberry sauce is a great source of antioxidants, which are great for your heart.
      • Choose whole grain rolls, or skip them, to focus on other favorites.
    • Alcohol
      • Limit alcohol to moderate amounts to keep calories under control, and help you manage your blood pressure. Women should limit to 1 glass and men to 2 glasses per day. If you have already had your drink, fill your wine glass with water, so you have something to drink without overdoing alcohol. Or have a glass of skim milk to add another key DASH diet food.
  • If you are eating at someone else’s house, bring a vegetable dish or vegetable appetizers, so that you can be sure to have a healthy dinner.
  • Exercise on Thanksgiving Day. Go for a walk, shoot some hoops, or play touch football. If it snows (which it may do in the North), go out and romp in the snow. Create a new tradition with some family active time on the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

by Marla Heller, MS, RD

New Year’s Resolutions for Healthy Eating

December 27, 2012

The key requirements for resolutions, whether for the New Year or any other time of year, is to make them specific, actionable, and achievable. Even better, also include a statement about why each of these steps will help you reach the goal.

In addition to the objective, the resolution should include the action steps that someone will take to reach that goal. Don’t forget that the resolution should focus on things that improve quality of life, since that will make the goal more sustainable. A goal to lose 100 pounds by March would not be achievable and would certainly not improve someone’s quality of life, even if it were something that could be done.

For a better example, if you want to lose 20 pounds by March, set your resolution to be something like,

“I will lose 20 pounds by March, by doing these actions. . .”

Have 3 meals and 2 – 3 snacks every day; because deprivation doesn’t lead to weight loss.

Make colorful veggies the center of my meals. They are bulky, filling, and so healthy, while

low in calories.

Add lean protein-rich foods, to make meals that satisfy, and won’t leave me hungry an hour later.

Include 2 – 3 dairy foods (low-fat or nonfat) to boost protein intake, help quench hunger, and lower blood pressure.

When I have grains, I will make them whole grains.

Add fresh fruits to satisfy my sweet tooth, the healthy way.

Include nuts and seeds, since they make fun, heart-healthy snacks.

Follow these guidelines from the plan in The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, to boost weight loss and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Blackened Chicken and Berry Salad

Blackened Chicken and Berry Salad

The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution

December 20, 2012

The DASH Diet Weight Loss SolutionYes, there is a new DASH diet book. And its premise is to show you how to reframe your eating habits, and learn how to eat in a way that is more satisfying and helps you curb your cravings. This book is based on long-overlooked DASH research that shows improved results with lower levels of refined, starchy foods. And it also incorporates newer research for weight loss that shows how to maintain muscle, keep blood sugar on a more even keel, and improve health.

All this works without counting calories and without being overly rigid on measuring portion sizes. The new plan actually becomes more intuitive. You fill your plate with lots of low-calorie veggies. You include plenty of protein to quench hunger, longer. You get your sweets from fresh fruit. You have 3 meals and 2 – 3 snacks everyday. You don’t go hungry. And yes, those cravings disappear.

How do we know this? This plan was developed with my patients in my private practice, and perfected with my patients at a US Naval Hospital. Active duty military people need to meet weight standards and they need to be physically fit. This plan helped them meet their goals. And just this fall, we invited people to join a group to be early adopters of the plan from the new book. And they loved it! They saw so many benefits for health, weight loss, and long-term healthier eating.

Now this plan is available to everyone. And you can join our online support group on Facebook and join our Twitter chat at #dashweightloss on December 30 at 2:00 pm EST. See you there!

The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution

July 17, 2012

The most effective diet for healthy weight loss just got better! THE DASH DIET WEIGHT LOSS SOLUTION turbocharges the DASH diet, ranked as the “Best Overall Diet” by US News & World Reports in 2011 and 2012, with proven NIH research on DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to create a program guaranteed to speed weight loss and boost metabolism.The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution

Based on long-overlooked DASH research and developed into a weight loss plan by the foremost DASH dietitian and leading nutrition expert, Marla Heller, MS, RD, this effective and easy weight loss program includes menu plans, recipes, shopping lists, and more. Readers will enjoy a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats/fish/poultry, nuts/beans/seeds, heart healthy fats, and limited amounts of whole grains. The result: faster metabolism, lower body fat, improved strength and cardiovascular fitness-plus the diet can lower cholesterol and blood pressure without medication, and without counting calories!

As effective as the original DASH is for heart health, this plan is just as effective for weight loss.

This diet plan will be especially important for people with metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, or diabetes. It will reduce your body’s demand for insulin, and reduce the tendency to deposit fat in your midsection. Yes, that’s right – this plan will reduce your waist size, which is an important indicator of health risks.

The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution will be released on December 18, 2012. It is now available for preorder at discounted pricing at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you order now, you will automatically be given the lowest pricing up until the date of delivery, and your credit card won’t be charged until the book is sent.

Preview

Every few weeks we will show you a photo of one of the recipes in the new book.

July 17: First we have the orange and baby romaine salad. This recipe uses blood oranges, which are beautiful. And the flavors in the dressing are so unexpected – and great!

orange and baby romaine salad

90% of Americans consume too much sodium

June 26, 2010

According to a new CDC report, the average American consumes about 3400 mg sodium every day. The recommended amount for healthy people is 2300 mg. And since most Americans fall into the overweight/obese or otherwise high risk categories, the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 1500 mg. (Note: other high risk categories include people with hypertension, African Americans, and people over the age of 50.)

Where does the sodium in our diets come from? Primarily from processed and restaurant foods. Not from the salt shaker at the table.

The top sources of sodium are:

1. Yeast breads and pastry.

2. Frozen meals and  frozen meats/poultry.

3. Pizza and pasta dishes

4. Cold cuts and other cured meats.

5. Vegetables in soups and sauces, french fries, potato chips

The DASH Diet Action Plan avoids these foods, and the meal plans have a target of 1500 mg sodium per day.


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