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Research has shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet is a very effective eating plan to help lower blood pressure.
The DASH approach encourages a high intake of fruits and vegetables (8-10 servings each day); a regular intake of low-fat and non-fat dairy foods (2-3 servings each day); and small servings of meat, poultry and fish (up to 2 servings each day).
A diet rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium can play an important role in achieving healthy blood pressure. Eat the following foods regularly to increase the nutritional value of your diet:
What about desserts and snacks?
Examples of 1 Serving
Grains and Grain Products (aim for 7 - 8 servings a day) 1 slice bread 3/4 cup dry cereal 1/3 cup cooked rice, pasta or beans* 1/2 cup cooked cereal*
Vegetables (aim for 4 - 5 servings a day) 1 cup raw leafy vegetables 1/2 cup raw non-leafy vegetables 1/2 cup cooked vegetables 3/4 cup vegetable juice
Fruits (aim for 4 - 5 servings a day) 1/2 cup fruit juice* 1 medium piece of fruit 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit 2-4 Tbsp. dried fruit*
Low-fat or Fat-free Dairy (aim for 2 - 3 servings a day) 1 cup fat-free or 1% milk 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk 1 cup non-fat or low-fat yogurt 1 oz. non-fat or low-fat cheese*
Meats, Poultry and Fish (aim for 2 or less servings a day) 3 oz. Broiled or roasted lean meat, skinless poultry or seafood Nuts, Seeds, Beans (4 - 5 servings a week) 1/3 cup cooked beans* 1/3 cup unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) 2 Tbsp. Sunflower seeds or peanut butter
Added Fats, Oils and Salad Dressings (aim for 2 - 3 servings a day) 1 tsp. oil or soft margarine 1 tsp. regular mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. regular salad dressing 2 Tbsp. light salad dressing
Snacks and Sweets (aim for 5 servings a week) 1 medium fruit 1 cup low-fat yogurt 1/2 cup low-fat frozen yogurt 3/4 cup pretzels 1 Tbsp. Maple syrup, sugar, jelly or jam 3 pieces hard candy
* Serving sizes are based on DASH Diet, but modified to reflect diabetic “exchanges.”
1/2 cup bran cereal 1 small banana 1 cup fat-free milk OR 1/2 cup regular oatmeal, with 1 tsp cinnamon and sugar substitute 1/2 English muffin 2 Tbsp raisins 1 cup fat-free milk 1 Tbsp fat-free cream cheese
3 oz turkey breast 2 slices wheat bread 8 oz skim milk 1 lg leaf romaine lettuce 2 slices tomato 2 tsp low fat mayonnaise 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 cup carrot sticks 1 medium orange OR 1/2 cup tuna salad 1 lg leaf romaine lettuce 2 slices wheat bread 1/2 cup 1% or 2% cottage cheese 1 cup canned pineapple (unsweetened) 4 small celery sticks 2 Tbsp fat-free ranch dressing
3 oz. Turkey meatloaf 1 Tbsp catsup 1 small baked potato 1 tsp soft margarine 1 Tbsp low fat sour cream 1 scallion stalk, chopped 1 cup collard greens, cooked from frozen 1 medium peach 1 cup fat free milk OR 3 oz white fish 1 tsp lemon juice 2/3 cup brown rice, long grain 1/2 cup spinach, cooked 1 small corn bread muffin 1 tsp soft margarine
1 cup non-fat fruit yogurt (no sugar added) 2 - 4 Tbsp raisins or other dried fruit 2 - 3 graham cracker squares with 1 Tbsp peanut butter 1/3 cup almonds or other unsalted nuts
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