This Season in Nutrition – DASH diet

(music) Good day! This is Laura Barr, nutrition and wellness educator serving DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties, and we are in February which is National Heart Month. Last time, we talked about heart disease and things to do to combat against it, and this time we’re looking at a specific diet that is targeted for heart disease. It’s called the DASH diet: dietary approaches to stop hypertension. The focus is on eating a lot of fruit and vegetables. Make sure you’re getting at least half your plate fruits or vegetables. Maybe even more. It would really help to bring down blood pressure. Another target is salt. It is crucial to bring down salt, or to get it out of your diet when you have high blood pressure. So, how are we going to flavor? There are other ways to flavor and you can get really creative and discover all kinds of different herbs, spices. You can use them dry, you can use fresh. Fresh parsley or dill, basil. For stronger flavor, peppers, onions, garlic. All really great ways to flavor food without salt. Another area we want to look at is fat. We want to aim for the monounsaturated fats. They’re heart healthy and we get those from peanuts or other nuts, nut butters. You want to make sure there’s no salt added if you’re dealing with high blood pressure. Olive oil and avocado are monounsaturated fats. We want to look at fats that are plant-based and try to eat more monounsaturated fats. Then, we have oatmeal, a very heart friendly food known to reduce cholesterol and LDL and total cholesterol. So oatmeal and other whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, corn tortillas. Then let’s move over to beans. Beans and legumes are very very good for protein and carbohydrate. Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids and salmon is another very good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Low-fat dairy very good for the DASH diet – kind of a focus. Look at low-fat milk, cheeses and yogurt. I want to thank you for joining us today in “This Season in Nutrition.” (music) University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

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