Jun 22 2011

Help Your Adolescent Control Weight Safely

Published by at 4:33 pm under Weight Control

The DASH ( Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) is rated the best overall diet for weight loss and disease prevention and just recently it was put to the test with adolescent girls. A study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine  found that girls who followed the basic principles of the DASH diet were the least likely to have gained weight by the time they reached adulthood.  The DASH diet was originally studied in 1997 as a treatment for high blood pressure. By eating a menu rich in fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products blood pressure was reduced. Later studies have found it to be effective at reducing the risk of heart disease – specifically metabolic syndrome. It is the diet recommended in the recently revamped US Dietary Guidelines and I used it as the basis for the food recommendations in my latest book For the A Love of Food, the diet that works.

The DASH diet centers around a menu rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish, chicken, and lean cuts of  beef, as well as nuts, and beans. To follow the DASH diet here is what you need to eat daily (portions are based on a 1,600 and 2,000  calorie meal pattern): For more details about portion size and foods in these groups go to Diet and read about Foods To Eat  in Abundance and Foods to Measure.

Vegetables : Eat three to five servings a day.

Fruit : Eat four to five servings a day.

Grains: Eat six to eight servings a day, with at least three of these being a whole grain,.

Low fat of fat free dairy foods: Eat two to three servings a day.

Lean meat, eggs, fish, poultry: Eat one to two small servings per day.

Nuts, seeds, and legumes: Eat three to five times per week

Fats and oils: Eat two and up to three servings per day

Here are some tips I created to help eat the DASH way :

  • Eat three meals. If you skip you will not get all the food groups you need to help with hunger and good health.
  • Include a fruit or vegetable or both at most meals—or simply  fill half the plate with vegetables.
  • Include a lean protein or low-fat  dairy at each meal.
  • Eat only one or two portions from the grain group  at meals and only one if any as a snack.
  • Measure fat and oil portions use only one and up to two portions per meal.
  • Snack on “wet” foods ( fruit, vegetable, low-fat yogurt), measure “dry” food (crackers, granola bars, pretzels) portions should be one ounce or 100 calories.
  • If you eat dessert (and it is not a special occasion such as your birthday) keep the portion small; one serving as listed on the label or at 150 calorie portion.
  • Don’t get hungry, eat three meals and snack on foods that help with hunger; “wet foods”.

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