Sep 25, 2009

Side Effects of the DASH Diet

I've been on this "DASH diet" for about 2 weeks now, and I'm adjusting. It's low-sodium, low cholesterol which is, of course, the antithesis of the Atkins diet I have been so successful with in the past. But before I even started this "new healthy way of eating" I realized this one isn't about losing weight. This one is about living. Hopefully, for many years to come. The weight loss part of it no longer concerns me. I didn't go on this diet to lose weight. I went on this diet because my blood pressure and cholesterol are too high. I'm going on a LIVE-it, not a die-it. Completely different mindset. So this morning I went to get dressed and thought hmmmmm... are these jeans a bit looser than normal? Weird. I hopped on the scale and found out I'd dropped 6 lbs! LOL Assuming my blood pressure and cholesterol have dropped at least a bit, that's a very nice side effect of this way of eating! I was brought up to be a meat/starch/veg cook. Every meal needed a meat, a starch and a vegetable. No more, no less. Do you know back in the 1950's mother's believed that they needed to put butter on everything so the child wouldn't choke on food? I'm not kidding you. To get me to eat anything I didn't like, all my mother had to do was put a big ol' blob of mayonnaise on the food, and I'd eat it up. Butter and mayo... to this day both are a big "yum" for me. I can quite literally eat mayo with a spoon from the jar. I try not to, but I certainly am capable. The DASH diet is very low (almost no) salt, very low saturated fats and, unfortunately, not a heck of a lot of taste. I'm looking for a local cooking class that might teach me more about using herbs and spices in place of the salt I'm missing. We never have used a lot of salt at the table, but I have always used it when I cook. I'm not trying to keep my sodium intake under 1200 mg per day. Last night was my first attempt at a meatless meal, and it was quite good! I made a tomato- vegetable soup with lentils and white beans, and I made a very good homemade "pizza" from whole wheat low-fat pita bread, with a sauce I made by combining tomato paste, basil "paste" (you can buy it in tubes in your grocer's vegetable section) and garlic. Then I chopped up one whole black olive for each pizza, added quite a bit of diced onion and green pepper, and topped it with a small amount of fat-free mozzarella cheese (not sodium free, unfortunately, so I couldn't use much). It really was very good! I've also been making my own whole grains breads. I calculate my breads have about 30 mg of sodium per slice, vs the store bought 130-180 mg per slice. This morning I made bread with peach/mango juice to replace the water, unsweetened apple sauce to replace to oil, and added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for some flavor, flax seed and unprocessed bran to add some fiber, and my usual whole wheat and rye flours. It's going to make great toast! I've given up all butters and margarines on my toast now, and just use Polander's All Fruit spreads (0 sugar, 0 cholesterol). A nice up of tea at night with a piece of toast with a smidge of peanut butter and the fruit spread - yum yum and more yum. So, I'm adjusting to this healthy eating, and hopefully I'm improving my health every day. See, I've got this little grandson around who is going to need his Umma imparting her wisdom for a long time to come...

4 comments:

Barb said...

As someone who doesnt put salt in a recipe, even when it calls for it (LOL), I would suggest that along with doing some research you cheat and get some of the herb mixes. Its so much easier to use the Italian seasoning or the montery grill seasoning, if you know what I mean. Of course even though I dont use salt, I consider garlic, onions and wine the basic food groups.

Anonymous said...

Even though you aren't concerned with weight loss for appearance aspects, I presume, when you control the foods you consume, that will usually happen naturally. Congratulations on 6 pounds! Just losing 10% of body weight translates into extra years to your life. Unfortunately, there is a HUGE correlation of overweight with life expectancy rates and there is a pretty large percentage of people who are overweight that have high cholesteral and/or high blood pressure, both are related to heart attacks. So, really emphasis on weight loss needs to probably be in your forefront as well, if you are really overweight. Some people think they are but they really aren't. Congratulations again, Susan

Karen said...

Congrats on working so hard on your new diet. Let us know if it works as far as the blood pressure and cholesterol are concerned.

Lisa said...

Great job on the healthy eating! Your toast sounds fantastic. We have a lot of low-cal recipes that use many different spices for flavor but I suspect they are not low-sodium. I should send you our recipe for chicken moroccan stew. And we finally purchased some quinoa. Jeff has made the best stuffed peppers with the quinoa, onion, spices and cooking sherry. Yum!