Did you know that a healthy diet can decrease your risk for many diseases, including heart disease and cancer? Ditch the crash diets and unhealthy fads, and try a doctor-approved nutrition plan. While weight loss can be a result, these three diets primarily focus on preventive health to keep you feeling your best.
The DASH Diet
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was designed to prevent and manage high blood pressure, decreasing your risk for heart disease and stroke. This diet focuses on reducing your salt and fat consumption and increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. If you currently take medicine for high blood pressure, speak with your doctor before starting this diet. Try this low-sodium Red Beans & Rice recipe and add Cajun spices, like cayenne pepper and paprika, to season.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet uses culinary characteristics of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea to lower your LDL cholesterol levels and improve your heart health. This diet includes a series of healthy food swaps: using olive oil instead of butter, fish in place of red meats, and spices rather than salt. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains to round out your meals. Try this Mediterranean Diced Salad recipe with a serving of lemon-splashed grilled salmon.
The MIND Diet
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet combines the brain-boosting ingredients of the Mediterranean diet and the blood-flow-benefiting staples of the DASH diet to improve your cognitive health. The MIND diet focuses on decreasing your consumption of saturated and trans fats and increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-dense foods. Try this Enlightened Crab Cakes recipe for a helping of seafood with little sodium.
For long-term benefits, see your diet as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary fix. Additionally, remember to exercise regularly and engage in healthy behaviors. If you have a pre-existing condition, ask your doctor before beginning a new diet regimen. Find a nutrition plan that’s right for you by visiting your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician.
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