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Senior Citizen's Guide to Baltimore

Watch the Salt!
The DASH Eating Plan

The DASH diet (Dietary approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended by care providers to seniors who suffer from Hypertension. People suffering from chronic edema, congestive heart failure, Diabetes should also watch their salt intake.  Actually, everyone can benefit from following the DASH diet.

The DASH diet is based on multiple research studies, has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and improve insulin sensitivity.  The DASH diet is not only a low salt or low sodium diet; it is an eating plan which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or nonfat dairy.

Specifically the DASH diet plan includes:

Type of food

Number of servings for 1600 - 3100 Calorie diets

Servings on a 2000 Calorie diet

Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)

6 - 12

7 - 8


4 - 6

4 - 5


4 - 6

4 - 5

Low fat or non fat dairy foods

2 - 4

2 - 3

Lean meats, fish, poultry

1.5 - 2.5

2 or less

Nuts, seeds, and legumes

3 - 6 per week

4 - 5 per week

Fats and sweets

2 - 4


It’s easier to adhere to an eating plan if you are organized and plan ahead, below are some tips to help you cope.

  1. Use a shopping list – First, decide which meals you're going to make during the coming week, and include the ingredients on your shopping list.  Also plan for breakfast and snacks, too.
  1. Remember the DASH diet guidelines while you shop – Don’t be tempted by sale items, if it will steer you away from healthy food choices. Your list should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. And of course, READ labels.
  1. Stock your cupboard with DASH staples –Select fruit canned in its own juice or water, not heavy syrup, and frozen fruit without added sugar. Buy fresh veggies, frozen without butter or sauces or low sodium versions. Choose whole-grain and low-fat varieties of bread, bagels, pasta, cereal, rice. Choose lean meats; skinless chicken and turkey, extra-lean ground beef. Use dry herbs and low-salt condiments.
  1. The right cookware can also help you stay on track - Use nonstick cookware, a vegetable steamer, a spice mill or garlic press to help you add plenty of flavor.
  1. Food preparation method is also key. Avoid frying, instead grill, broil, poach. Avoid smoked or salt-cured products. Use vegetable broth, to cook onions, and mushrooms instead of sautéing. Use Vinegar, ginger, lemon juice, pepper flakes to improve flavor. Rinse canned goods like tuna before preparing. Also cook extra servings and freeze, that will keep you from reaching for an items that will throw you off course.

Recipe:  Balsamic Roast Chicken

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds or chicken parts (Breast, leg)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Rinse the chicken/parts well with cold running water. Pat it dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mince together the rosemary and garlic. Loosen the chicken skin from the flesh, and rub the flesh with olive oil and then the herb mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper. Put 2 rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the chicken or sprinkle on parts. Truss the chicken if using whole chicken.

Place the chicken into a roasting pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes per pound, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Whole chicken should cook to an internal temperature of 180 F. Baste frequently with pan juices. When browned and juices run clear, transfer the chicken to a serving platter.

In a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Heat until warmed but don't boil. Carve the chicken and remove the skin. Top the pieces with the vinegar mixture. Garnish with the remaining rosemary sprigs and serve immediately.

Remember your caregiver is there to help you watch the salt!

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