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Sandra Nowlan, an award-winning cook, author and food scientist, has written a cookbook called Delicious DASH Flavours to help people follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
The DASH diet first made news in 1997 when a landmark study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated the potent blood pressure-lowering effect of a specific heart healthy eating plan, called the DASH diet. The diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat, and carbohydrate-rich in that it emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products.
The study found the DASH diet significantly lowered blood pressure compared to the control diet. Individuals on the DASH diet who had mild hypertension achieved a reduction in blood pressure similar to that obtained by drug treatment. What's more, blood pressure reductions occurred within two weeks of starting the plan and were maintained for the duration of the study.
This DASH diet provides food choices that are high in fibre, calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which have been associated with lower blood pressure. The trick to following the DASH diet is choosing foods that fit with this pattern of eating in a world of salty convenience meals.,/P>
Delicious DASH Flavours takes the guesswork out of what to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner when you're managing your blood pressure. In addition to over 100 recipes and a weekly menu plan, Delicious DASH Flavours also includes a section called "The Nitty Gritty on DASH" which tells the reader how the DASH diet fits with Canada's Food Guide in terms of daily servings of vegetables, fruits, grain products, milk and meat.
Guaranteed to be delicious, the recipes in this cookbook are taken from top Canadian chefs and modified to be lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Among the many tasty-sounding recipes are Coq au Vin with Braised Greens, Fettucini Alla Marinera and Poached Pears in Red Wine. All the ingredients can be found in your local grocery store and the preparation instructions are easy enough for a beginner cook. As an added bonus, each recipe comes with complete nutrient analysis and has been tested until perfect.
First, I tested Blueberry Lassi, a refreshing drink from India often served with spicy curries but can be enjoyed with any meal. This breakfast recipe is high in vitamin C and calcium, combining fat-free yogurt, blueberry juice and blueberries. This drink took only a few minutes to make in the blender and disappeared just as quickly. I would definitely serve this again perhaps at a summer barbeque.
Next, I tried Scallops Napoleon as a nutritious main dish inspired by the traditional Napoleon which is made several layers of puffed pastry. Saving calories and adding beta carotene and fibre, this healthier version uses layers of grilled sweet potato to sandwich pan-fried scallops with a mushroom confit. (The culinary term confit comes from the French word confire or "to preserve" and refers to an ingredient that's been immersed in flavour in order to preserve it.) A satisfying and elegant entree, this dish has only 195 calories per serving and would impress any guest.,
Last up was Cha Gio, a delicious recipe for Vietnamese crispy spring rolls. This appetizer has a crisp and chewy texture from rice paper wrappers that have been fried then baked. A tasty combination of fresh mint, cilantro and basil adds flavour while keeping the sodium down to only 145 milligrams per roll. Made with lean ground (Leslie Beck, RD lesliebeck.com 2009-01-05)