DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Sodium

It is a good article on adherence issues with the DASH diet, but I only eat 5 servings of veggies a day, not 7, at least most days. In fact I don’t recall the diet calling for 7 servings at all, 4-5 per day is more like it. I definitely hit 5 fruit servings too.

Most of my veggies are eaten at my main meal, where I will usually eat at least 2 cups of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc at one sitting, but it has sharp cheddar or some other delicious cheese melted on it to make it yummy.  All that fibre certainly helps to keep me full.
I personally think the biggest issue is you need to make a commitment to follow the diet for a long time, not a short one, because once it becomes ingrained as an eating pattern, it becomes preferred.  Especially strong, is how distaste for salt and salty foods increases the longer the diet is followed.   However it takes awhile to get there…

 

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An accurate article detailing some of the health benefits I have experienced during the past 9 years, following a 1500mg sodium/day DASH diet. Moreover, in addition to a 90 pound weight loss with DASH diet and complete elimination of hypertension 7 years ago, I also experienced cessation of almost nightly, intestinal pain.

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I thought this was a helpful, short summary of the DASH diet, although I have followed a 1500 mg per day sodium limit for the past 9 years, rather than 2300 mg per day limit.  Before my 90 pound weight loss with the DASH diet, I was seriously hypertensive 170/90, so I follow the 1500 mg per day limit to keep my blood pressure in check.

 

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This is a wonderful article on the health risks of excess salt in your diet.   When I was learning to follow the DASH diet to combat my hypertension,  I read a lot of research that showed that a DASH diet with sodium reduction, was far more effective at reducing blood pressure than without.

One of the hardest things to figure out in the diet was how to season meats without salt, because meat with no seasoning is just gross.  As this article suggests, we began to experiment with creating meat marinades using, olive oil, flavoured vinegars, balsamics, garlic, real maple syrup and no sodium spices.

I have found that balsamic vinegars in particular, can provide a lovely salty like flavour to food, but with zero sodium.  They also come in so many flavours these days, like peach, strawberry fig, chilli and lime, mango, raspberry, etc.  I love to go to farmers markets to find interesting, flavoured and balsamic vinegars.  Today, I far prefer these homemade marinades to store bought sauces for meats.

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I wanted to share this video that presents a delicious, easy to make DASH recipe.  I noted they are using swiss cheese, which I find often has a lower sodium content than many other other cheeses.

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salt_n1611_ts455237343I have followed a 1500mg sodium per day DASH diet for over 7 years now, which enabled me to eliminate my hypertension, and later to support long term maintenance of  my now normal blood pressure.  Cutting the sodium in my diet was the first step I took in my learning journey to follow DASH.

The first day the Doctor gave me the diet, I went home and discussed the issue with my husband and he indicated he was willing to follow the diet as well.  He felt there was no way we could either afford to make two different meals for ourselves all the time, and it would take too much of our time.   That same evening, I went through the house, read every label on every food item and threw out or gave away anything that was high sodium.  Together my husband and I spent the next year, figuring out how to cook and season food, so it was still really tasty, without all the salt.

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brice_jaclyn-30-200x300I have followed a 1500 mg sodium/salt per day DASH diet for over 7 years now. Adherence to this diet allowed me to not only eliminate my hypertention five years ago, after a 90 pound weight loss, but also has ensured my high blood pressure did not return.

I do notice that I am still extremely suceptable to water retention issues, if I do happen to encounter a salty meal.  This weekend I went to the movie theatre to see the Magnificent 7 and asked for popcorn with no butter. I started eating it and had a good portion of it, before I noticed my mouth felt like it was burning, on fire really.   I quickly realized it was all the salt in the popcorn. I also noticed immediate water retention and weight gain the next day, which I really dislike.

Popcorn is defintely on my DASH diet list of foods because it is healthy.  I don’t understand why when I ask for unbuttered popcorn at the movie theatre, I am still given a food that is not good for me at all, because it has way too much salt in it.  I should be able to say no butter and no salt, enjoy it, and not worry about it.

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SaltI have limited my salt intake to 1500mg of sodium, maximum per day, as part of the DASH diet, for the past 7 years.  I found that within about 3 weeks of starting to follow the DASH diet, I began to dislike salty foods.  I certainly noticed much more quickly and easily that something tasted salty, whereas before I never paid that much attention.

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