The DASH Diet (cont.)

Don't smoke

f you smoke or use tobacco, quit. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bones, and digestive organs.

Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke.

Getting started on the DASH eating plan

To get started on the DASH eating plan, make the following changes over a few days or weeks. This will give you a chance to adjust to the changes and make them part of your daily routine:

  • If you now eat one or two servings of vegetables a day, add a serving at lunch and another at dinner. Add a serving of fruit at one meal a day or as a snack.

  • Choose whole-grain foods for most of your grain servings to get added nutrients, such as minerals and fiber. For example, choose whole-wheat bread or whole-grain cereals.

  • Include three servings of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products a day.

  • Limit lean meats to 6 ounces a day. Have only 3 ounces of lean meat (about the size of a deck of cards) at a meal. If you usually eat large portions of meat, cut back over a couple of days—by half or a third at each meal.

  • Include two or more vegetarian-style, or meatless, meals each week.

  • Read the Nutrition Facts labels on foods to compare the amount of sodium (salt) in products. Look for the sodium content in milligrams (mg) and the Percent Daily Value. Aim for foods that have less than 5 percent of the daily value of sodium. Foods with 20 percent or more of the daily value of sodium are considered high-sodium foods.

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!