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Tips to Make the Switch to DASH Diet Eating

Ease your way into a DASH diet lifestyle by using these helpful tips.

Change gradually If you currently only eat one or two servings of fruits and vegetables a day try to add a serving at lunch and one at dinner. Rather than switching to an all or nothing approach to whole grains, start by making one or two of your grain serving’s whole grains. Increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains gradually can help prevent bloating or diarrhea that may occur if you aren’t used to eating a high-fiber diet. Reward successes and forgive slip-ups Reward yourself with a nonfood treat for your accomplishments such as renting a movie, purchasing a book or getting together with a friend.

Read food labels

If you are diligent about reading food labels you might be surprised when you see how much sodium is in processed food. Even foods that you consider healthy can still contain a substantial amount of sodium. For example canned vegetables and low-fat soups are some foods that you wouldn’t think would be high in sodium.

How much sodium is in salt?

One teaspoon of table salt contains approximately 2300 mg of sodium and a 2/3 teaspoon of salt contains 1500 mg of sodium!

Adjusting to low sodium foods

If food that you normally consume tastes too bland in the “low-sodium” variety then try making more of a gradual increase to low-sodium foods. Be patient. It can take a few months to get used to low sodium foods.

Consume less sodium

Sodium will make you retain water and it will cause inflammatory responses throughout your body. You need some sodium but not a lot. Set a goal to watch your sodium intake and start paying attention to the information on food labels. Prepackaged foods can contain excessive amounts of sodium. Aim to buy foods that do not have salt added to them.

Be creative and exchange salt with exotic spices when cooking meals. Let salt be your last resort. Go low-fat Choose lower fat methods of preparing your food such as baking, broiling and grilling

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