Are you in on the DASH Diet?
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet is a diet that many health-conscious people have adopted over the years as a means to prevent or control high blood pressure, or hypertension.
The ultimate goal of this diet is to reduce the amount of sodium one eats. Did you realize the average person will often consume as much as 3,400 mg of sodium a day? This is far more than the FDA recommended 2,300 mg per day. The DASH Diet takes it one step further, with a diet plan aimed at consuming 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day.
So, how does the DASH Diet do it? The diet itself is pretty similar to the typical American diet, with no special meals or foods involved. Instead, it simply has a few emphasizes on foods and food groups that give your body everything it needs without the extra sodium.
And wouldn’t you believe it: just like a number of other diets like the MIND Diet, Blue Zones Diet, Keto Diet, and Plant-Based and Vegan Diets, the humble bean has not only a home but plays a key role in the DASH Diet.
DASH Diet Rules
According to the NIH (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) the recommended dietary restrictions for the DASH Diet are as follows:
- Grains: 6 to 8 servings a day.
- Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings a day.
- Fruits: 4 to 5 servings a day.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products: 2 to 3 servings a day.
- Lean meats, poultry, and fish: six 1-ounce servings or fewer a day.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4 to 5 servings a week.
- Fats and oils: 2 to 3 servings a day.
- Sweets and added sugars: 5 servings or fewer a week.
As you can see, in order to help meet the daily recommended nutrition intake, Randall Beans (which fall into the legume category) are recommended about 4 to 5 servings per week. In some cases, if you were wanting to reduce the amount of red meat you consume, you could even consider replacing some amount of meat with beans as well!
This is because Randall Beans provide so much nutritional value in so many different ways! Beans are a natural source of protein. But because of their significantly lower volume of fat and sodium compared to red meat, they are a much healthier source of protein.
Not to mention the fact that every jar of Randall Beans uses less than 350 mg of salt per jar. Even then, this amount of sodium is strictly for preservation purposes. That makes our beans not only a great source of protein but also a very, very low sodium food option.
How to get 4-5 servings of beans each week
The best thing about including a full amount of beans in your DASH Diet? It is so easy to include at least 4 or 5 servings of beans into your diet each week. Why? Well, not only are beans absolutely delicious, but they are also an extremely versatile food that can fit into almost any dish, regardless of whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Have some leftover soup broth but not much filler? Add in a jar of beans! Are the salads you take to work a little lacking? Top them off with some beans for extra flavor and protein! Want a healthier snack to keep you from reaching for those salty chips? Bake some chickpeas or whip up some hummus!
From soups, salad, special occasion dinners, cookouts, and everything in between, there are so many ways you can incorporate beans into your everyday meals. With a serving size of beans being about 1/2 a cup, even just a sprinkling of beans into one meal per day is enough to keep you on course.
Plus, did we mention just how delicious they are?! This will be the easiest part of sticking to your DASH Diet.
Want to see some inventive ways to prepare beans or add them to your everyday cooking? Our recipe page is full of recipes and roundups! Be sure to check out our collection of free downloadable cookbooks too!