- The DASH diet has been named healthier than the Mediterranean diet.
- It is low in salt and processed foods, and high in whole foods, fruit, and vegetables.
- Dietitian Danielle Smith gave Insider her four go-to snacks when following the DASH diet.
A dietitian who specializes in the DASH diet, which has been named the healthiest diet by heart health experts, has shared her favorite snacks with Insider.
The Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension diet aims to improve heart health by keeping salt to a minimum, as well as reducing saturated fats, alcohol, and processed foods. It includes lots of whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, skinless poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy products.
Because of this, it topped the American Heart Association’s list of healthy diets earlier this year, above the Mediterranean diet which is widely considered the healthiest way to eat. The diet can also be a great way for people who don’t have high blood pressure to eat healthily.
Wild blueberry peanut butter dip with fruit and veg
You can pair this wild blueberry and peanut butter dip with any fruit and veg you like. Smith recommended apple slices, carrots, or jícama.
Simply whizz up some wild blueberries in a blender and mix with peanut butter. Unsalted peanut butter with all-natural ingredients is good for the DASH diet, but Smith said it’s just as good with almond or sunflower seed butter.
Smith said: “This snack is rich in fiber as well as healthy fats to keep you satisfied in between meals. This would also make a great addition to a charcuterie board.”
She previously told Insider that wild blueberries are a “powerhouse fruit” for the DASH diet because they contain more anti-inflammatory antioxidants than ordinary blueberries. Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Beet hummus with dippable veg or crackers
This beet hummus recipe again simply involves blitzing up your ingredients in a food processor with some herbs and seasonings. Smith recommended whole grain crackers or crunchy veggies to accompany the hummus.
Beets are a “secret weapon for blood pressure regulation,” Smith said. According to the AHA, that is because they are high in nitrates, which have been strongly associated with decreased blood pressure.
“Protein bars make for a great on-the-go option and provide a protein boost,” said Smith.
She said protein bars that have minimal ingredients are best. Insider previously reported on the best protein bars that are minimally processed, free from added sugar, and contain the most protein.
Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts
For this snack, combine Greek yogurt with whichever fruit and nuts you prefer.
Smith said that walnuts are an “excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids,” and recommends berries for your fruit of choice because they provide fiber as well as antioxidants.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and is a way to reach the two to three recommended portions of dairy a day that the DASH diet recommends. It also contains calcium, vitamin B12, iodine, and probiotics, so is a healthier option than regular yogurt.
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