by Josie Oleson, Oregon Health & Science University Dietetic Intern
Having trouble setting a New Year’s resolution? Why not DASH into 2018 by eating better and working toward a healthier you?
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, emphasizes dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein as part of a balanced diet to reduce high blood pressure and improve health. Cheese, milk, and yogurt provide essential nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium that are key in making the DASH diet work.
For eight years, DASH has been ranked the Best Diet Overall diet by U.S. News and World Report. In 2018, the eating plan also topped the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recently lowered the recommendations for what it means to have high blood pressure. This change will increase the number of people with elevated or high blood pressure, but this also means that people will be able to fight back sooner by changing their diet and getting more exercise. This is what the DASH diet was originally designed to do, but it’s also a healthy way of eating that is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Could it be? Is there really a “best diet?” If such a thing exists, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan may just be it. In 2017, for the seventh year in a row, an expert panel of health and nutrition experts assembled by U.S. News & World Report rated DASH Best Overall Diet.
DASH has been repeatedly lauded by expert panels for its proven plan for healthy eating, diabetes prevention and heart health. With nearly 20 years of research to support it, the DASH Diet is recommended by both the 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
What’s unique about DASH is that it is really not a traditional diet but rather an eating plan that you can follow for life. It also works well for families, couples, co-workers and individuals. The focus is on food – simple, easy-to-prepare and tasty food. No pills or special ingredients. Simply food.
The DASH eating plan emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein and dairy foods. In fact, milk, cheese and yogurt are critical components of DASH because of the nutrients they provide. This combination of foods provides enhanced health benefits that are not seen when dairy foods are not included.
DASH was originally shown to be as effective in treating high blood pressure for some people as medications can be. Further research has confirmed this time and again, but also has shown that DASH can help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes while at the same time improving bone health. A2016 studyshowed that a modified DASH diet with full fat dairy foods, no juice and fewer sugars maintained and enhanced the health benefits of DASH, including:
Similar benefit of lowering blood pressure
Reduced blood triglyceride levels
No difference in total LDL cholesterol
Did not reduce the blood HDL cholesterol levels
So, is it time for you to get started with the DASH eating plan? We can help with the information and tools you need. Visit https://odncouncil.org/dash/ to find DASHrecipesto help you reach your daily goal for each food group.
A DELICIOUS AND REALISTIC EATING PLAN FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
The DASH eating plan lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and may help prevent osteoporosis and some types of cancer. Make DASH choices every day by choosing luscious fruits, crunchy vegetables and delicious lowfat dairy foods.
Meal plans and tracking Record what you eat on the Daily DASH Tracker to monitor your success. Use the DASH Meal Planner to plan your meals and snacks for the week. Use the samples as a guide. Choose tools based on your individual calorie needs (1600, 2000 or 2600.) To figure your calorie needs, create a profile with the MyPlate Super Tracker
Stock up on DASH foods Keep DASH foods in your kitchen to make following your plan easy. Use the DASH Shopping List to help you find healthy foods at the store. Plan ahead with the DASH Meal Planner and then add the foods you’ll need for your plan to your list.
MyPlate is a guide for Americans on healthful eating that includes five major food groups, fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. MyPlate has recently been updated to reflect the newest edition of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Each person needs different amounts from each food group based on their height, weight, gender, and age. It doesn’t have to be complicated, because MyPlate has an app for that! Easily calculate your daily dietary needs in less time than it takes you to catch up on TikTok. Find the new app by searching for “Start Simple with MyPlate” in your app store.
What to explore on MyPlate.gov
Myplate.gov helps you eat healthier by including specific nutrition guidance for all stages of life! This includes nutrition for pregnancy and lactation, infancy, toddlers, preschools, kids, teens, young adults, adults, and older adults.
Another new aspect on the MyPlate website is a quiz to help you make sure you’re getting in all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. The quiz will ask you about your regular food intake, what your goals are, and what aspects of healthy eating you want to learn more about. Once the quiz is complete, you can find out if you should increase your intake for certain food groups. You will also be provided links to resources on topics you indicated you wanted to know more about.
Once you know what food groups may be lacking in your diet, the app also helps you create goals and holds you accountable. And, it even goes one step further to generate ideas to complete these goals. There are tips on easy ways to add the food groups based on your goals, and it will link you directly to recipes that include the food groups you need.
As we leave 2020 in the rear view mirror, we look back at a year that was unpredictable and exasperating for many. Time and time again, Oregon dairy farmers, processors and those in the dairy community proved to be resilient and rose to challenge after challenge. Among them; the pandemic, temporary supply chain disruptions, increased hunger, and historic wildfires. Throughout it all, Oregon dairy farmers proved they were there for their communities while working to provide nutritious dairy products – all without skipping a beat.
March abruptly impacted any previously made plans for the year. With the beginning of a statewide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, toilet paper made headlines as Oregonians began stocking up on supplies, but they also started to clean grocery shelves out of butter, cheese, milk and ice cream. Stores, and all those throughout the supply chain, quickly adjusted to meet the increased demand for milk and dairy foods. As restaurants and retailers closed their brick and mortar locations to the public, people were advised by government officials and medical professionals to Stay Home, Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.
As the shutdown continued, restaurant and retail closures unfortunately followed throughout the year, with notable Portland establishments like Toro Bravo, Beast and the much-loved Cheese Bar closing permanently. The closures impacted dairy and many other locally produced foods that supply restaurants and food service companies.
More people took to making their meals at home, using pantry staples like butter, milk, yogurt and cream. Stacy Foster, from our own team, joined in with her daughter, creating a delicious recipe from Food Hero.
Although though most summer events, like the Oregon State Fair, were cancelled due to the coronavirus, ingenious solutions were created to keep traditions going. The Oregon Dairy Women celebrated the 51st year of their Red Barn Ice Cream event by taking it on the road with the help of Wilco. By the end of the summer, they had visited five cities in Oregon and served hundreds people their famous cones and shakes.
Free summer meals were extended throughout Oregon through the year, resulting in nutritious food boxes and assistance programs that helped kids and families across the state.
And some farmers gave to their communities personally, like Rickreall Dairy, which celebrated the farm’s 30th anniversary by donating several hundred grocery bags full of food and milk to neighbors in need in their community. Tillamook dairy farmer Derrick Josi (aka TDF Honest Farming) bought meals for linesmen following a severe windstorm and for first responders during the subsequent wildfires.
Throughout it all, Oregon dairy farmers have been there, supporting their communities in ways too numerous to count, with delicious and nutritious food, helping their communities and caring for their animals and the earth. In 2020, dairy truly made everything better for a lot of people.
From our families to yours, we hope this next year is a safe, healthy and happy one.
What do Girl Scouts, a former NFL player, ice cream, scholarships and pizza have in common? They all made this year’s top 10 list of our most popular stories on odncouncil.org. Join as we count down the top stories of 2019, and see if you can guess which one took the number one spot. You might be surprised.
The order of this list was determined by people like you who visited our website and viewed our blog posts throughout the year. Thank you!
Without further ado, get the drum roll ready, and here we go:
Dairy tours can be enlightening for students who have never set foot on a farm or seen a cow in person. Since there’s no way to get all students to a dairy, this program uses technology to bring the dairy to the classroom.
It’s official: Oregon is home to the “best cheese in the world.” Rogue Creamery’s big win at the 2019 World Cheese Awards was a statement win, considering it was the first time an American cheese took top honors.
Girl Scouts from Oregon and SW Washington gathered at TMK Creamery in Canby in September to earn their Oregon Dairy Patch. And for many of the Girl Scouts, it was the first time they had seen a cow up close.
This just in: college is expensive. Ok, so that’s not exactly breaking news. Maybe that’s why this list of scholarships was so popular among parents of students who are pursuing degrees in dairy and agriculture.
You know those cheap little frozen pizzas you get from the store that would work better as a Frisbee than a pizza? Or a disappointing delivery that looks nothing like the picture in the ads? Upgrade it using these tips!
Milk is one of the most requested but least available items in food banks across the country. This story was about an influx of milk from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program.
A popular Rose Festival tradition dating back to 1973, the Milk Carton Boat Race attracts fans of all ages. Kids, adults and teams race handmade boats whose buoyancy depends upon recycled milk jugs and cartons.
Sports broadcaster and former professional football player Anthony Newman helped get the word out about this important program. It helped kids get tasty, healthy lunches when school was out for the summer.
Who doesn’t like ice cream? The crowdsourced Oregon Ice Cream Trail churned up a lot of attention for people eager to get the scoop on what shops made the list. People are still nominating locations to add to the trail, so stay tuned!
Food Hero has a wealth of easy to make, nutritious recipes to liven up your summer days. Here is an easy summer lunch idea for the kids … or yourself.
Dietitian’s Tip: This recipe is a great addition to a healthy diet serving up dairy protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Come up with your own combination using different fruits and vegetables.
4 medium whole wheat tortillas
1 cup grated cheese (try cheddar, jack, or pepper jack)
1 cup pear slices (fresh or canned/drained)
½ cup finely chopped green or red peppers
2 tablespoons minced onion (green, red, or yellow)
Lay two tortillas on two plates.
Divide the cheese between the two tortillas.
Divide the pears, peppers, and onion between the two tortillas.
Top with remaining two tortillas.
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium (300 degrees in an electric skillet). Place one quesadilla in pan. Cook 2-4 minutes, or until bottom of quesadilla begins to look a little brown.
With large spatula, gently turn the quesadilla over and cook the other side until a little brown, 2-4 minutes.
Gently slide quesadilla onto a plate. Cook the second quesadilla.
Cut each cooked quesadilla into 4 pieces and serve.
Per serving: 250 calories, 8 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 400 mg sodium