U.S. News and World Report released its latest rankings of best diets and once again, the DASH diet came out on top. its panel of experts declared the diet was number one for overall best diet, and for the best diet to promote health and combat diabetes. The media group, where I used to work, also came out with a ranking of easiest diets to follow, but DASH didn’t come out of on top for that one.
Those honors went to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and the Mediterranean Diet — in that order.
Still, I’m inclined to disagree with the experts there since I think DASH — which stands for Dietary approaches to stop Hypertension — is pretty intuitive if you’re already making attempts to follow a nutritious diet.
Here are the basics if you’re following a typical 2,000 calorie diet:
1. Eat seven to eight servings of grain a day with at least three whole-grain servings. One slice of bread, 1/2 English muffin, 1/4 large bagel, 1 ounce of dry cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, corn, or rice equals a serving. Choose whole-wheat or whole-grain when possible.
2. Eat four to five servings a day of fruits. One medium piece of fruit, 1/2 cup canned frozen fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit, or 6 ounces of fresh sliced fruit equals a serving.
3. Eat four to five servings a day of vegetables. One cup of leafy raw vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked or raw vegetables equals a serving.
4. Eat two to three servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy foods. One 8-ounce cup of milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces of hard cheese, 2 cups of cottage cheese equals a serving.
5. Eat two servings of lean meat, fish, eggs, or chicken. One serving equals 2.5 to 3.5 ounces cooked or one egg.
6. Eat four to five servings a week of nuts, beans, and legumes. One serving equals two tablespoons of peanut butter, 1/4 cup or 1 ounce of nuts, 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce of seeds, 1/4 cup cooked beans, lentils, or peas.
7. Limit your intake of fat and sweets.
For more details check out the DASH website and here’s the latest on how the DASH diet can help prevent teen obesity.
Deborah Kotz can be reached at . Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, then you might want to try out the government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, also known as the DASH diet. US News and World Report has issued their list of the best diets on the market, and the DASH Diet is at the top of the list.
So what makes the DASH Diet number one? Here’s what they wrote:
DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. but it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.
If the DASH diet doesn’t sound right for you then you might be interested in the TLC or Mayo Clinic Diets which were second and third on the “Best Overall Diets” list. You get additional information about these diets and more on the US News and World Report website.
Charles Winters founded GaySocialites.com in 2005 and currently serves as a the President and Editorial Director for our parent company, and his name sake, Charles Winters Information Management.
An Australian researcher writes in The Lancet that popping vitamin supplements doesn’t seem to have any effect on whether people suffer strokes. but eating a balanced diet and not overeating have a strong correlation to remaining at low risk for a debilitating stroke.
“the overall quality of an individual’s diet and balance between energy intake and expenditure seem to be more important determinants of stroke risk than individual nutrients and foods,” wrote Graeme Hankey of the Royal Perth Hospital.
Hankey’s review of studies around the world concluded:
– the Mediterranean or DASH diet is a good template to follow for stroke prevention, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and grains.
– showing promise for stroke prevention: omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, fish and chocolate.
– Overeating elevates the risk of a stroke, but no correlation has been found between fat or protein intake and a higher incidence of strokes.
– Vitamins a, C and E and calcium are not beneficial in stroke prevention, and may be harmful.
– High salt intake has a clear link to increased levels of heart attacks and strokes.
– Malnutrition in the womb or in childhood can lead to strokes later in life.
I have a confession to make. in the past 4 1/2 years I have literally gained 60 pounds. I know, I know … an overweight blogger quel surprise. the reason no longer matters (minor leg surgery), but I have reached the point where now even my coworkers don’t believe my weight loss attempts and just say, “Maybe this time you’ll stick to your goals.” so, I secretly hope that covering The biggest Loser will shame me into exercising or sticking to my diet.
However, after watching last night I don’t know if I would want to stay in the biggest Loser household. Honestly, watching the contestants retch out their innards after two hours of heavy exercise made me prefer a trainer who would give me a slow ramp up. I mean, seriously, is pushing people that hard even safe? Thanks goodness for the paramedics.
Although this is the season of “No Excuses,” I felt the contestants had perfectly valid reasons for their weight gain. one of the contestants underwent depression when his daughter died, one man had nine children a la the Brady Bunch, another woman had 13 children and 50+ grand children, one kid had leg problems, and all the rest were parents or single parents with multiple children. if you have multiple children, not a lot of child care options and also work, where are you going to find the time? so, I found people whose job it is to look good professionally telling people, who have multiple loads to balance, that they have “no excuse” slightly condescending.
I also did not like the first elimination challenge. before entering the gates, challengers had to run a 40 yard dash (the first four winners automatically got into the house), build a puzzle (the first four winners automatically got into the house), and undergo a balancing/trust exercise (the team that hangs on the longest stays and the other team leaves).
I felt sorry for the brother and sister team that did not make it. Although the sister seemed detached throughout, when they lost she started wailing and I felt terrible for her. While I am glad they can return to the house in a month if they lose 50 pounds combined, I am disappointed the show let them go without any tools or even a Planet Fitness membership. if they couldn’t figure out how to lose weight at home how can they do so now?
The opening was over-the-top dramatic. the trainers are total drama queens. the extreme helicopter rope drop (Dolvett) and motorcycle entrance (Bob) were insane testosterone fueled exercises in masculine one-upmanship. but, yeah, they did look kind of cool. At the end of the two-hour workout, the contestants chose the trainers they wanted. I found it amusing that most of the women wanted Dolvett as their trainer, while most of the men wanted Bob.
The other switch I did not like the surrounded splitting up the partners. once again, people are there because they lack the support system with their family and friends. Undergoing the biggest Loser together sets up a positive relationship to continue after they leave the house. however, if they are separated that severs the bond. It makes for good TV but I wonder what will happen to the contestants six months after they leave, let alone six years.
All in all, the show still had its usual positive moments with the contestants supporting each other and the trainers supporting the contestants.
I do not know if I will continue to cover the biggest Loser, but considering the extreme torture these people undergo in the name of health, makes me think attending a normal exercise class isn’t so bad. What about you?
“I don’t know if I wanted to hit him or say thank you.” — Contestant on Trainer Dolvett
“Unless I see your dinner come up, you ain’t puking.” — Bob the Trainer
“he actually is an evil man.” — Contestant on Trainer Bob
“Chris wants me to have Dulvett’s body.” — Contestant on why he chooses Dolvett
Photo Credit: NBC
The anti-aging diet comes from a position that certain foods can help stop or even reverse damage to the body by the aging process. it consists of a diet of leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and other foods. it is far from the typical Canadian diet, and it may be hard to come up with meal ideas. here are a few ideas for meals that can be used for lunch or dinner.
If you think salads are boring, here are a few ideas to keep your salads interesting and delicious.
– the first salad takes baby greens mixed with salmon, walnuts and mixed berries. Top it off with a dash of wine vinaigrette.
– for a yummy spinach and strawberry salad, toss 4 cups of spinach with 2 cups of sliced strawberries. Mix in a dressing that is 2 parts olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar. Add a little feta cheese to the top.
– another interesting idea is mix spinach with some hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, onions and bacon. Drizzle it with some nice bacon vinaigrette.
– You can make another spinach salad by adding baby spinach leaves with grated carrots and sliced tomatoes. You can add any combination of olive oil and vinegar for dressing or add it to a sandwich!
– You can also play around with your standard variety green salad by using lettuce, spinach or cabbage. You never need use the same combinations of ingredients twice!
2. Sweet and Spicy Curried Rice
Cook brown rice according to its directions with the following exceptions. when the water starts to boil, before adding the rice, add curry powder and some golden raisins. Then, stir in the rice and finish cooking. While the rice is cooking, toast some pine nuts and add them on top of the rice.
3. Chicken with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cook the chicken by any means you wish. Add broccoli and cauliflower. it can be steamed, boiled or even raw. Drizzle with olive oil and any herbs and spices you desire.
4. Turkey or Salmon Sandwich
Add turkey or salmon to either whole wheat or sunflower bread. Place any combination of avocado, spinach leaves, sprouts, carrots, onions and tomatoes in your sandwich and enjoy.
Mix chopped garlic, yellow bell peppers and cucumbers. Stir in some diced tomatoes as well as vegetable juice. Add olive oil and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. If necessary, spice it up with some hot sauce, such as Tabasco.
Next time you grill up some fajitas, you can make them more anti-aging diet friendly by adding salmon to them instead of chicken.
7. Garlic Marinated Chicken
Mix together a sauce by adding chopped garlic to ginger, lemon juice and soy sauce. use it to marinate chicken breasts for at least an hour. Cook the chicken in any way you wish. You can serve it with steamed veggies and brown rice.
The anti-aging diet has many other simple recipes and meals you can make. go ahead and experiment and see what ideas you can come up with on your own.
Internet site reference: 3fatchicks.com/anti-aging-diet-7-lunch-dinner-ideas
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1. The Basics of the DASH Diet
The DASH health plan actually began as a way to lower blood pressure: people were encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables, cut back on meat and fats, and incorporate blood pressure-fighters into their systems.
The diet requires you to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as a good amount of low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish or poultry, and nuts. in exchange, the diet advises steep cuts in foods high in fat and cholesterol as well as red meat, sweets and salt.
In addition to these food pyramid basics, however, DASH dieters must also add foods rich in what the program calls “nutrients of concern,” things like calcium and fiber that are often lacking in an average American's diet.
The DASH “Nutrients of Concern” are fiber for digestion, potassium for lower blood pressure and decreasing bone loss, calcium for strong bones, blood vessels and muscles, vitamin B-12 for cell metabolism, and vitamin D for regulating calcium and phosphates in your body.
While DASH doesn't offer a tailored exercise plan, it does offer advice for all levels and fitness goals, according to its web site DASH for Health, and encourages a steadily more active lifestyle.
2. It's Easy to Get started…
The DASH Diet book has been praised by dieticians and everyday calorie counters as an easy program to understand.
“The DASH Diet is sensible, healthy and effective,” one dieter gushed on the web site's reader feedback section. “The book is easy to read, understand and follow.”
Another reviewer praised the book for showing portion sizes for different calorie levels, something she'd struggled with in the past. “This was the first diet that made any sense,” she wrote.
Nor do potential dieters need to shell out cash for “The DASH Diet Action plan,” pioneered by Dr. Marla Heller. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which helped create the program, is offering free guides at 64 (PDF here) and just six (PDF here) pages in length, calculating what dieters should eat and their what their daily calorie count should be based on their age and exercise level.
3. … And Harder to Stick to (or Afford).
The tricky thing about diet that actually work on changing people's relationship with food is that making those changes are a lot easier said than done.
Although DASH doesn't use a “points” system like rival Weight Watchers, it still demands changes to dieters' routines that aren't easy fixes and require (at least in the beginning) a lot of effort to stick to day by day.
Take, for example, May Clinic's guide to using DASH guidelines while shopping. in addition to detailed lists at the start of each week, including planning out meals, drinks and snacks, shoppers must also scour nutrition labels for calories, fat content, vitamins and minerals and protein. no pre-made meals or free weekly deliveries here.
But beyond the grunt work, there's also an issue of price. For dieters or simply those looking to get healthy, buying almost everything fresh and organic can be a big strain on a budget. Even when dining out at restaurants, the complications (and sometimes upped cost) of ordering a healthy meal can end up undoing much of the joy associated with having someone else cook for you.
In the U.S. poll, the diet scored lower for its work load and price tag, despite scoring 4.1 out of 5 overall.
4. DASH is Easy to Customize
What it lacks in initial ease, however, it more than makes up for in variety. The DASH Diet itself emphasizes color, texture and flavor variety simply by the ingredients it pushes. And in contrast to other health programs, this one's easily customizable for Kosher, Halal or gluten-free diets, as well as followers who are vegetarian or vegan.
In fact, according to its web site, the original DASH Diet was modeled off of a vegetarian lifestyle, since vegetarians tend to consume less salt and have lower blood sugars than omnivores.
5. It's a Health Diet, Not a Weight Loss Diet
The DASH Diet is undeniably the healthiest program out there. in addition to moderate weight loss and lowered blood pressure, DASH may also help lower cholestoral, according to a 2008 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, which found the diet was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women who had reached middle age.
The 22-person volunteer panel that chose DASH as the best diet of 2012 also looked at its ability to generate long-term and short-term weight loss, with favorable results. The diet plan has no known health risks and appears to yield manifold health benefits.
The important thing to remember, however, is that the DASH Diet was not designed primarily or initially as a weight loss program, and that those who are looking to shed major pounds should take a long-term view of the program.
Because DASH rejects the idea of low-carb diets and puts its emphasis on exercise and changing people's view of their food, the results of a weight loss plan will take longer (though likely be more lasting) than a liquid diet, Atkins or pre-prepared meals from other programs.
Too, the program's recommended foods need to be followed according to their recommended servings in order for the program to actually work. Scarfing down a few more fruits and vegetables won't rock the boat too much, but eating a lot of cashews and almonds because the program encourages eating nuts might tip your calorie count for the day, even if the food is healthy.
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Foods that are friendly to the liver can be broken down into two general groups: those that promote liver detoxification, and those that are elevated in antioxidants and protect the liver while it is going through the detoxification process. having a healthy liver will naturally boost your energy level and greatly assist you in losing weight, especially in the stomach area. but prior to a diet designed to promote liver detoxification, let’s look at those foods that are high in antioxidants, for that is the diet we will want to commence with.
We will start with fruits that have the highest antioxidant levels. the US Department of Agriculture has found that they are, starting with the highest levels of antioxidants: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, pink grapefruit, cantaloupe, apples and pears. next consider green tea in your antioxidant diet. Green tea contains elevated concentrations of catechin polyphinols, which work with other chemicals to produce higher levels of fat oxidation. try consuming on average three cups of green tea a day.
On the vegetable side, spinach, carrots, broccoli and tomatoes are excellent antioxidant foods. Tomatoes in particular contain a powerful anticancer agent called lycopene, and should in some form or another be included in every diet. Keep in mind that lycopene for optimal absorption to occur needs fat, so a little olive oil will help in that regard. it has also been found that cooked rather than raw is the healthier alternative with tomatoes.
It is recommended that you stay on a diet rich in these antioxidant foods for a week, and eliminate for the time being all animal products, sweets, alcohol and minimal amounts of coffee. And drink at least eight cups of purified water on a daily basis. This will set you up for the second phase of liver healthy foods now that the antioxidants have protected the liver.
Next we will look to cleanse the liver, and some of the foods you should look to in this regard are beets, artichokes, peas, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chives, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, okra, onion, and parsley. quite a long list, but there should be quite a few that everyone will favor, and for best results rotate them in your diet.
To that add some other excellent cleansers. Cayenne and lemon are well-known liver cleansers, and adding a half squeezed lemon and a dash of cayenne to a glass of water as water as hot as you can stand it first thing in the morning is really a great start to the day. Another secret weapon to help the liver is milk thistle, which is one of the most potent liver-cleansing compounds we know.
The liver is our major fat-burning organ, but only when it is functioning at peak efficiency. It’s our job to make certain it has every opportunity to work without obstructions. the liver performs over 500 different functions, so it is imperative we give it every break we can. Keeping a diet rich in antioxidant foods along with foods that have natural detoxification qualities will meet those needs.
Q: Is the Dash diet effective for extremely high blood pressure? I really want to avoid taking medication.a: Research has found the Dash diet to be an effective way to lower blood pressure in people who have slightly elevated high blood pressure (prehypertension) and in those with stage 1 (mild to moderate) high blood pressure (hypertension.) for people in your situation with severe high blood pressure, this diet alone may not be enough to lower your blood pressure to goal level. But combined with other lifestyle changes, the Dash diet may significantly decrease your need for blood pressure-lowering medication. Dash stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. The Dash diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat, and is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure. This diet encourages you to reduce sodium and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In particular, the Dash diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods, and includes some fish, poultry and legumes. You can eat red meat, sweets and fats in small amounts.by following the Dash diet, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure by several millimeters of mercury, or mm Hg, in just a few weeks. over time, this diet may help drop your systolic blood pressure (top number) by about 11 mm Hg and your diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) by 6 mm Hg, which can make a significant difference in the health risks posed by high blood pressure.In studies of people with stage 1 high blood pressure (140-159/90-99 mm Hg), research has found that the effect of following the Dash diet is similar to the blood pressure-lowering effect of taking one high blood pressure medication. when the same people followed the Dash diet and made additional healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, losing weight and further reducing dietary sodium, the effect was equal to taking two drugs used together to lower blood pressure.although the Dash diet and other healthy lifestyle changes may not be enough to control severe high blood pressure, these steps often lead to less need for blood pressure-lowering medications and lower doses of those medications. In addition, because the diet is a healthy way of eating, it offers health benefits beyond just lowering blood pressure. Following the Dash diet may help protect you against osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. While this diet is not a weight-loss program, you may lose unwanted pounds by following the diet, because it can help guide you toward healthier meals and snacks.Talk to your doctor about the Dash diet. your doctor can work with you to create a comprehensive program focused on reducing blood pressure that includes the Dash diet and other positive lifestyle choices. although you may still need to take some medication to control blood pressure, it’s likely you will need much less medication than you would require without making these healthy changes.30% of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Dr. Gary Schwartz specializes in nephrology and hypertension at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Distributed by Tribune Media Services.
One of the more popular healthy eating plans is the DASH diet. DASH is the catchy acronym for Dietary approaches to stop Hypertension. Researchers have proven that this type of eating plan can reduce the risk of getting high blood pressure, and can effectively reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
The DASH diet started out as a scientific study to test how nutrients in food can affect blood pressure. the study found that by having a diet which focused on vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy foods, and legumes, that lower blood pressure could be achieved. This eating plan also encourages eating fish, nuts, poultry, whole grains, and a limited amount of red meats, fats, and sweets. also, portion control is recommended.
Another scientific study, called the lower Sodium DASH Diet eating plan, analyzed how a reduction in sodium (1500 mg of sodium per day) affected blood pressure for those on the Standard DASH diet (2300 mg of sodium per day) and for those on the typical American diet (3500 mg average sodium per day). the study indicated that blood pressure did get lower with a decreased sodium intake for both groups. those eating the normal American diet as well as those people following the Standard DASH diet. however, those who were following the lower Sodium DASH diet which had the greatest sodium reduction showed the largest decrease in blood pressure. This study proves that whatever food plan you follow, lowering your salt and sodium intake is important.
Note: one of the best ways to lower your sodium intake is by eliminating salt. Don’t use the salt shaker at the table and don’t salt the food when you are cooking. Start using salt free seasonings and a salt substitute.
Below are some tips to get you started on this healthy eating plan:
- If your current diet only consists of a couple of vegetables each day, start off my adding another serving at lunch and at dinner.
- Add fruit to you meals or have some as a snack if you do not currently have fruit in your diet.
- Cut back to half of the salad dressing, margarine, or butter you now use. Start using fat free salad dressings and other condiments.
- Slowly increase your dairy intake to three servings per day. To accomplish this you could substitute milk for soda, alcohol, or tea. Choose fat free or low fat dairy products in order to reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
- Do not purchase as much meat as you have in the past. If you don’t have it in the fridge then you will not eat it. Reduce meats to two servings per day (about six ounces), this is all your body needs. A deck of cards is about the same size as four ounces of meat. If large portions of meat are in your current diet, start by gradually cutting back by a third. Begin making pasta dishes, stir fries, casseroles, or any recipe that has less meat and has a focus on beans, grains, and vegetables.
The DASH diet which you have learned is focused on whole grains, non fat and low fat dairy, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes/beans. It was developed in a clinical setting and is not a fad diet. Easy to follow, proven to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risks of heart disease. no other diet has the amount of supported medical data. This is a simple eating plan that can be easily adapted into anyone’s lifestyle. Start today with small changes for lower blood pressure and a more healthy heart.
It’s a growing epidemic—and the numbers are looking worse for the future. over 80 percent of Americans are considered either overweight or obese by the Center for Disease Control. yet a groundbreaking conference hosted at Colby Oct. 14 suggests there’s more to it than just diet and exercise. a new culprit contributing to this growing health concern: exposure to industrial chemicals, participating scientists say.the day-long conference, “Chemicals, Obesity and Diabetes: how Science Leads Us to Action,” had more than 160 participants, including students, faculty, and visiting speakers considered experts in this dynamic field of environmental health. The conference emphasized that caloric intake and physical activity are only two of many complex factors that ultimately put individuals at risk for obesity, and researchers are looking for other factors. “Understanding cellular targets help us understand how weight and metabolism are regulated,” said Gail Carlson, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies. “We’re talking about industrial chemicals, many of which get out into the environment, and it’s important to remember that people are a part of the environment,” said Carlson, one the organizers of the conference. Recent advances in developmental biology and a better understanding of human development have helped researchers argue that chemicals they call “obesogens” can be an important factor in contributing to fat-related health conditions. “Obesogens stimulate the development of fat cells or the storage [capacity] of new cells,” said keynote speaker Bruce Blumberg, a developmental and cell biology researcher from University of California-Irvine. “They lead to permanent effects, and we need … to intervene early.” Blumberg’s provocative presentation noted that such chemicals could affect the longevity of future generations and that the impact of obesity can easily transcend an individual to ultimately affect his or her offspring. Fat tissues are actively involved with the production of hormones, and researchers have shown that exposure to industrial chemicals that mimic certain hormones can change the architecture of fat cells. this can lead to changes in one’s metabolism and may ultimately lead to obesity. Some of the conference discussions noted that these obesogens can begin to adversely affect a fetus’s development in the womb, potentially setting an individual on a path toward obesity even before birth. therefore, “It isn’t just about personal choices,” Carlson said, “… there could be prenatal exposure,” and that exposure could increase the risk. The biological research discussed at the conference was balanced with an emphasis on policy considerations. Participants were eager to broaden the conversation to include prevention. Participants said that Maine is one of the more progressive states in terms of regulating harmful substances with public policy, so it was fitting that the College was host to a summit to explore obesity in America and around the world. The conference was sponsored by the Environmental Health Strategy Center, Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, Colby’s Environmental Studies Program, and several state and regional medical institutions.