Healthy Tips

December 7, 2016

DASH for the Holidays

DASH for the Holidays

When it comes to the holidays, Dasher the reindeer is probably more on your mind than the DASH Diet.

However, healthy eating habits don’t have to stop during the holidays. The DASH Diet is a good way to help you stay on track.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The diet follows heart-healthy guidelines to limit salt, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. It focuses on increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk products. It is also rich in whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts.

Try these tips to help you stay on track during the holidays:

  • If you eat only one or two servings of vegetables per day, try adding one serving at lunch and another at dinner.
  • Gradually switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and reduce servings of soda or other sweetened beverages.
  • Choose whole grain foods, such as whole wheat bread or whole grain cereals to get added nutrients, such as minerals and fiber.
  • When shopping, read the Nutrition Facts label on foods to find sodium content, and choose items lowest in salt or sodium.
  • Start with a simple 15-minute walk during your favorite time of day and slowly build up.
  • Don't worry about a slip. Start again, and be sure to celebrate successes.

Free copies of the DASH Diet are available online, as a PDF, and via mail order. A condensed version of the diet is available in the same formats.

You can also share healthy eating habits at holiday gatherings.  Choose a recipe from The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook: Over 150 Fresh and Delicious Recipes to Speed Weight Loss, Lower Blood Pressure, and Prevent Diabetes.

Or help someone you love become healthier by giving them the book as a gift. Hearty recipes like Lentil and Sausage Soup, Crunchy Broccoli Slaw, Pork Chops in Mustard Sauce, Chicken and Apple Curry, Shrimp with Corn Hash, Curried Vegetables and Garbanzo Beans, Roasted Pineapple with Maple Glaze, and Easy Pear Crisp will help them – or you – stir up a sweet and savory new year.

The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook can be checked out free of charge at the Health Information Center located in the main lobby of the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Before beginning a new diet or exercise plan, consult your doctor.

If you don't have a doctor and would like help finding one, call Healthcare Coordination to make an appointment.

For reliable information on how to take better care of your health or a loved one’s health — or on any health related topic — contact the Health Information Center.  

Staffed by medical librarians and certified health information specialists, the Health Information Center offers an extensive health library, digital and print resources, walk-in assistance, and help with research on specific health conditions — all free of charge and available to the public.

This healthy tip is provided by the Health Information Center at The University of Tennessee Medical Center.