The DASH Diet (cont.)
In this Article
- DASH diet facts
- What is the DASH eating plan?
- What is high blood pressure?
- What are the benefits of the DASH eating plan?
- Following the DASH eating plan
- The DASH eating plan as part of a heart healthy lifestyle
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Be physically active
- Make healthy eating choices
- Don't smoke
- Getting started on the DASH eating plan
- More helpful DASH tips
- How to deal with challenges and setback on the DASH diet
- Salt FAQs
More helpful DASH tips
The DASH eating plan has more servings of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods than you may be used to eating. Slowly increase your servings of these foods over several weeks.
If you have trouble digesting milk products, try taking lactase enzyme pills with these foods. These pills are available at drug stores and grocery stores. You also can buy lactose-free or lactose-reduced milk at the grocery store.
If you don't like nuts or are allergic to them, use seeds or legumes (cooked dried beans or peas) as part of your eating plan.
If you take medicines to control your high blood pressure, keep taking them. However, you should tell your doctor that you're now following the DASH eating plan.
How to deal with challenges and setbacks
You may stray from the DASH eating plan or your other lifestyle changes. If so, don't let it keep you from reaching your health goals. Get back on track. Below are some ideas that may help you:
- Ask yourself why you got off track. Find out what triggered your setback
and start again with the DASH eating plan. Remember that changing your
lifestyle is a long-term process.
- Make small changes. Trying to change too much at once can be
overwhelming. Make one or two small changes at a time. This prevents you
from trying to do too much at once and keeps the changes simpler.
- Write it down. Write down what you eat and the amount of physical
activity you do each day. This can help pinpoint problems and ensure that
you're getting the proper nutrition and enough physical activity each day.
- Celebrate success. Reward yourself for meeting your goals with something you like to do, not with food. Choose rewards that you'll enjoy, such as a movie, music CD, an afternoon off from work, a massage, or personal time.
SOURCE: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. DASH Eating Plan.
Last Editorial Review: 11/30/2010
Get tips on handling your hypertension.