Milk the DASH Diet Eating Plan with Dairy

4 Delicious DASH Diet Ideas You Can Make at Home

This year, the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) snagged the top spot on US News & World Report’s list of best overall diets for the fifth year in row. With all the eating plans available, why did the DASH Diet shoot to the top of the charts?

Recently, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee included research showing the DASH Diet may help lower blood pressure, have favorable effects on cholesterol and may even help reduce the risk of heart disease in the technical report (see pages 245-249).  

The DASH Diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, fat free or lowfat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts. It contains less salt, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages, fats, and red meats compared to the typical U.S. diet.

There are many benefits to getting the recommended three daily servings of fat free or lowfat milk while following the DASH Diet.

Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or snack ideas, here are four ways to follow the DASH Diet with milk at home:  

Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry-Maple Compote

Pancakes can be a weekend indulgence with a few alterations. Sliced strawberries can substitute for maple syrup. Do not refrigerate the compote, because you don’t want cold fruit on your hot pancakes.

Try the recipe: Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry-Maple Compote

Mango Lassi

This refreshing Indian beverage could just be the original smoothie. The most difficult part is peeling the mango, but with practice, this can be accomplished quickly and easily, or check your local grocery store for peeled, pre-sliced mango.

Try the recipe: Mango Lassi

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

This is the quintessential family-friendly DASH meal. Instead of macaroni alone, add lots of cauliflower to squeeze in more vegetables. Want to further boost the DASH factor with extra veggies? Layer sliced tomatoes on the cauliflower mixture, then sprinkle the panko on top. Another trick here is to combine Cheddar cheese with naturally low-sodium Swiss cheese, which pumps up the flavor and reduces the sodium.

Try the recipe: Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade Clam Chowder

When you make homemade clam chowder, you have more control over sodium and consistency compared to commercial canned versions of this classic soup. You can use freshly shucked clams (available in plastic containers) or thawed frozen clam meat. Clams are naturally salty, so taste your serving and add a pinch of salt only if needed.

Try the recipe: Homemade Clam Chowder

Keep reading: Milk, Calcium, and Vitamin D and Hypertension Risk