DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I was very interested in your column on the DASH diet. Is there a diet sheet listing all the items pertaining to this diet? How can I get one? I think it’s a doable diet. — I.P.
ANSWER: DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a doable, simple and good-tasting diet. People are disappointed to find out that the diet is contained on one page with straightforward directives. The sheet lists the number of servings of a particular food group, what constitutes a serving and examples of the foods in each group. That’s all there is. You can expect a drop of 8 to 14 points in blood pressure if you’re faithful to it. One of the most important diet changes is limiting sodium (salt) consumption to 1,500 grams. Here’s the diet:
GRAINS: Six to eight servings a day; whole-grain breads like wheat, cereals (both dry and cooked), brown rice and pastas are grains. A serving is one slice of bread, one cup of dry cereal and half a cup of cooked cereal.
FRUITS: Four to six daily servings, with a serving being a moderately sized whole fruit, a half-cup of frozen or canned fruit or a half-cup of fruit juice.
VEGETABLES: Four to five servings a day, with a serving being one cup of leafy green veggie, 1/2 cup cut up, raw or cooked vegetables or 1/2 cup vegetable juice.
DAIRY: Two to three servings a day of low-fat dairy products, with a serving being a cup of skim or low-fat milk, a cup of yogurt or one and a half ounces of cheese.
LEAN MEATS, POULTRY, FISH: Six or fewer servings a day. A serving is one ounce of cooked meat, skinless chicken or fish. One egg is also a serving.
NUTS, SEEDS, DRY BEANS: Four to five servings a week. One serving is a third cup of nuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, a half a cup of dry beans.
FATS AND OILS: Two to three servings a day, with a serving being equal to 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of margarine, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of salad dressing.
SWEETS: Five or less a week. A serving is a tablespoon of sugar or a teaspoon of jam or jelly.
The booklet on high blood pressure explains what it is and how it’s treated. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue — No. 104W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have osteoporosis. I was put on Actonel (risedronate) by my former doctor. My new doctor had me switch to Fosamax (alendronate) when it came out as a generic. This doctor says you must take vitamin D and calcium also. Are they necessary? — B.G.
ANSWER: They are necessary. They work hand in hand with osteoporosis medicines. Calcium is the mineral needed for strong bones. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract into the blood.
Not having a supply of these two is like trying to build a sandcastle without sand.
©2013 North America Synd.