Dash Diet Helps Keep Teenage Girls Slim and May Prevent Future Health Problems

The Dash Diet is a diet originally designed for people with hypertension, or high blood pressure. Dash stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. This diet has been proven to lower blood pressure in studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, and now after a recent study, has also been shown to help teenage girls stay trim through the years of 9 – 19. The study, published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, showed that girls that followed the dash diet had lower BMIs than those who did not follow the diet after the end of the study.

This diet is very exciting because lower BMIs in youth usually mean lower BMIs later in life too. Learning to have a healthy diet as a teen helps to create lifelong healthy choices so that individuals can maintain healthy weights throughout their lives. This can help prevent future obesity related health problems and help them live longer and happier lives.

The diet is fairly simple. It concentrates on lower sodium intake, low fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean proteins.

Here’s a simple example of what to eat on the diet based on a 2,000 calorie diet:

Grains  – 6 to 8 servings a day
Whole grains are best like whole wheat bread, brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Vegetables – 4 to 5 servings a day

Fruits – 4 to 5 servings a day

Dairy – 2 to 3 servings a day
Choose low fat dairy options

Lean meat, poultry and fish – 6 or fewer servings a day
Be sure to include heart healthy fish in addition to lean cuts of poultry and other meats

Nuts, seeds and legumes – 4 to 5 servings a week

Fats and oils – 2 to 3 servings a day
Choose healthy oils like olive oil and try to steer clear of saturated animal fats and trans fats. Be sure to read food labels.

Sweets (5 or fewer a week)
Be sensible and choose very small portions and healthier options

Alcohol
The DASH diet recommends that men limit alcohol to two or fewer drinks a day and women one or less.

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