CHEF JEFF: DASH diet helps with healthy eating during ThanksgivingTurkey day kicks off a time of the year when it’s easy for people to throw caution to the wind and let healthy eating habits go out the window. That’s where a new cookbook I recently came across can help.
The holidays are just around the corner, starting with Thanksgiving on Nov. 22. (Did you know that is the earliest date it can be held? The latest is Nov. 28.)
Turkey day kicks off a time of the year when it’s easy for people to throw caution to the wind and let healthy eating habits go out the window. And that’s understandable because a lot of the foods associated with holidays are of the rich variety.
I was reminded of this after chatting with Sue Moe at the Urban Stampede the other day. Sue said she was going to be hosting a fun party during the holidays and was looking for some ideas about what to serve for food. She was especially looking for some eats that might be considered decadent. She asked me to bring some suggestions the next time I came in for coffee.
Of course, the holidays are meant to be festive, but they also can be a disaster, especially if too much overindulging occurs. So, it’s good to have a plan to keep eating healthy on track during the holidays.
That’s where a new cookbook I recently came across can help.
“Fresh and Healthy DASH Diet Cooking” (Ulysses Press, $17.95), by food writer and recipe developer Andrea Lynn, features tasty recipes such as Beef Fajitas with Red Peppers and Onions, Marinated Eggplant with Olives, Roasted Tomato Bruschetta, Turkey Chili with Beans, Spinach-Stuffed Shells, Skirt Steak Lettuce Wraps and Banana-Raspberry Ice Cream.
Besides the mouth-watering recipes and 20 full-color photographs, the cookbook also contains some waistline friendly tips from, Lynn, a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. (She’s also been a senior editor at Chile Pepper magazine, where she continues to write and develop recipes, as well as contributing to the James Beard award–winning website Serious Eats).
As far as diets go, you can’t beat DASH. Originally developed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet is a flexible and balanced eating plan designed to promote and support a healthy lifestyle. In fact, U.S. News and World Report says DASH is the No. 1 most-effective diet for weight loss because it’s so easy to follow and incredibly nutritious.
Here are the daily recommendations of the DASH diet:
&bull Grains: Three servings for a 1,200 calories a day, four to five for 2,000 calories.
&bull Vegetables: Four to five servings for 1,200 calories, five to six for 2,000 calories.
&bull Fruits: Four servings for 1,200 calories, five to six for 2,000 calories.
&bull Low-fat and nondairy: Two to three for 1,200 calories, three for 2,000 calories.
&bull Lean meats, poultry and fish: 3 to 6 ounces for 1,200 calories, 6 to 7 ounces for 2,000 calories.
&bull Nuts, seeds and legumes: Three to four servings (per week) for 1,200 calories, four to five (per week) for 2,000 calories.
&bull Fats and oils: Two servings for 1,200 calories, three for 2,000 calories.
&bull Sweets and added sugars: None for 1,200 calories, fewer than five (per week) for 2,000 calories.
One way that will make it more likely to prepare healthy dishes is if you have healthy foods on hand. Keep your kitchen stocked with these DASH diet staples:
&bull Fruits. Choose a variety of fresh fruits, such as apples, oranges and bananas. Add variety by looking beyond the ordinary to apricots, dates and berries. Select fruit canned in its own juice or water, not heavy syrup, and frozen fruit without added sugar.
&bull Vegetables. Buy fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and spinach. Choose frozen vegetables without added salt, butter or sauces, and opt for canned vegetables low in sodium.
• Low-fat dairy products. Look for low-fat, fat-free or reduced-fat milk, buttermilk, cheeses, yogurt and sour cream.
• Grains. Aim for whole-grain and low-fat varieties of bread, bagels, pitas, cereal, rice, pasta, crackers and tortillas.
• Nuts, seeds and legumes. Almonds, walnuts, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzos) and sunflower seeds are among the healthy options. But get the unsalted or low-salt varieties.
• Lean meats, poultry and fish. Opt for lean selections, such as fish, skinless chicken and turkey, pork tenderloin, extra-lean ground beef, and round or sirloin beef cuts.
• Condiments, seasonings and spreads. Herbs, spices, flavored vinegars, salsas and olive oil can add zest to your meals without the salt overload.
So, if you think of the holidays as a time when healthy diets fall by the wayside, give DASH a try, especially if you can’t resist a second helping of Mom or Grandma’s pumpkin pie with whipped cream on Thanksgiving.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.