fruitPic Did you know that the DASH Diet is powerful medicine? Using the DASH Diet to guide your eating choices can help you manage weight, lower blood pressure, control diabetes, and stay healthy in general.

Rather than wait until the New Year, start improving your diet now. If you have high blood pressure, what you eat can lower it! It’s easy to begin incorporating some of the principles of the DASH Diet. Start this week.

Add more low fat dairy to your diet:

  • Include low fat milk or cottage cheese at breakfast
  • Enjoy a cup of yogurt as a mid-day snack
  • Use plain Greek yogurt for your holiday dips and recipes

Add nuts, seeds and more fruits and vegetables to your diet:

  • Put an apple and a clementine in your bag or briefcase in the morning, before you leave for work.Portion out about 20 almonds and enjoy them when you get home from work
  • Add 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds to your tossed salad
  • Keep frozen vegetables in your freezer. Try the microwaveable bags to enjoy quick, steamed veggies as a side dish with dinner
  • Use those veggies with whole wheat pasta to make a healthy Alfredo sauce – make a roux by melting 1 tablespoon of butter, then adding 2 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly for one minute. Add 2 cups 1% milk to boil, then simmer, stirring until thickened. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Toss with 2 cups of cooked regular or whole wheat pasta, 2 cups of cooked veggies, 1 cup of chopped, cooked chicken
  • Chop apples or cranberries into your stuffing recipe
  • Add spinach to your soups or omelets

Cut back on Sodium:

  • Look for low sodium or sodium-free broth for cooking, and add less salt to foods
  • Use leftover meats (roast beef, turkey, chicken breast) instead of lunchmeat for sandwiches
  • Read labels, and choose lower sodium foods. These may not be labeled as “low sodium” but compare similar foods (bread for instance can vary greatly)