Nutrition can be tough. When looking at defining and categorizing the “ideal diet” there is a lot of grey areas. The reason for this being that experts can state that one thing is beneficial for you while another expert can say those things are not necessary for your diet. While there are diet grey areas, one thing that is universal is that saturated fats are not necessary.
An even bigger problem is food sources being processed and distributed making the majority of Americans eating excess refined foods, instead of enough fruits, vegetables, and grains that keep your body functioning. So what is a good way to make sure you get enough? In a study recently published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the results of what they call a DASH Diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and the effects it had on participants health and even more, their heart health.
While there are grey areas when it comes to what is healthy, one thing that is universal is that saturated fats are not necessary for the human body, and other fats found in processed foods are entirely man-made. This, however, is not to be confused with unsaturated fats that are in things like nuts and nut butter that our body uses beneficially to function. Saturated fats are just one thing the DASH diet limits to improve overall body functionality. Some other dietary components that the DASH diet works to avoid are sodium, foods high in cholesterol, red meat, and sweets. While limiting things like saturated fats and sweets, it encourages the introduction of foods rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. Along with fruits and vegetables.
The DASH diet isn’t only sufficient in maintaining a strong body and system functionality, but it particularly focuses on heart health improvement due to the elimination of things such as processed fats, food high in cholesterol, and sodium. This has proven to lead to lower blood pressure better then any sort of medicine or supplement with the dual purpose.
Another thing that is recommended for optimum health is staying in a 2,000 calorie a day diet. Harvard Health Publishing shows a good way to do this while following the DASH Diet daily recommended servings.
Examples of Serving
|Whole grains||6–8||1 slice bread; 1/2 cup cooked rice; pasta; 1 ounce dry cereal|
|Vegetables||4–5||1 cup raw, leafy vegetables; 1/2 cup cooked vegetable|
|Fruit||4–5||1 medium apple; 1 cup melon|
|Low-fat/fat-free dairy||2–3||1 cup milk or yogurt; 1 1/2 ounces cheese|
|Lean meat, poultry, fish||6 or less||1 ounce cooked lean meat, fish, poultry; 1 egg|
|Nuts, legumes, seeds||4–5 per week||1/3 cup nuts; 2 tablespoons peanut butter; 1/2 cup cooked legumes|
|Fats and oils||2–3||1 teaspoon healthy oil (olive); 2 tablespoons salad dressing|
|Sweets||5 or less per week||1 tablespoon sugar; 1 cup soda; 1/2 cup sorbet|
With this chart in mind, a few ways to keep on track is incorporating foods that optimize following it. This includes incorporating foods such as chicken and fish, more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lentils.