DASH Diet 101: What You Need to Know

Get the scoop on this popular eating plan.

DASH Diet 101: What You Need to Know

As part of our Great Diet Showdown, Dr. Michael Roizen is giving us a closer look at the DASH plan to help you understand if it's right for you. The DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It was originally developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in order to lower blood pressure and promote healthy bodies. As always, make sure to speak to your physician before starting a new eating plan. Read on to get the scoop!

More: DASH Diet Guide


How to Cut Back on Sodium

Because sodium can dramatically increase blood pressure, the DASH Diet focuses on cutting foods that are high in sodium. Some tips to keep in mind include not adding salt when cooking rice, pasta, or hot cereal. Rinsing canned foods to remove some of the sodium, buying foods labeled "no salt added", "sodium-free", "low sodium", or "very low sodium". You can also use flavorful spices and herbs in place of salt to prevent a bland taste, and give yourself time to adjust.

More: 5 Secret Salt Bombs

Nuts May Be Your Best Snack to Help Maintain Weight Loss — Here's Why

It could also help lower your heart rate and bad cholesterol.

Is trying to lose weight — and keep it off — driving you nuts? Well, maybe it should drive you to nuts. New findings published in the journal Nutrients highlight the power nuts may have on successful weight loss.

Nuts vs. Pretzels

UCLA researchers put 95 overweight or obese folks ages 30–68 on a diet that provided 500 calories less than needed to maintain their resting metabolic rate for 12 weeks, then maintenance for another 12. The diet included 1.5 ounces of mixed nuts for half the group and pretzels for the others (both "snacks" delivered the same amount of calories).

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