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Whole Grain Benefits

DASH Diet for Men: Everything You Need to Know



While there are almost too many popular diets to list, the best diets for men share the same general principles: eat whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and limit sugars, refined grains , Trans fats, fried foods, excessive salt and alcohol. Aside from these similarities, it is the specifics and differences in the “rules” or focus of a diet that tend to distinguish one popular diet from another. For example, the Paleo Diet and Whole30 Diet are almost identical, except that the Paleo Diet allows for certain natural sugars, such as honey and agave, while the Whole30 Diet does not.

Some diets are also defined by specific goals that go beyond weight loss or general health. One of the most notable examples is the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, has become increasingly common over the past few decades, a phenomenon that is believed to be due, at least in part, to our culture’s heavy reliance on processed foods, which are often loaded with salt. Given the vast amount of research showing the link between sodium intake and high blood pressure, the DASH diet was designed to combat hypertension by limiting sodium intake.

So, if you’re one of the millions of men diagnosed with high blood pressure, pre-hypertension, or want to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, read on to find out why you should consider the DASH diet. what foods you can eat while on the DASH diet and how the DASH diet can help you keep your blood pressure under control.

What is the DASH Diet?

What to Eat on a DASH Diet.

As mentioned earlier, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a diet designed and recommended for those who want to prevent or treat high blood pressure and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. The defining feature of the DASH diet is its fixed sodium limit, which is 2,300 mg or 1 teaspoon per day for the standard iteration of the diet and only 1,500 mg or 3/4 teaspoon for the lower-salt version. In addition to limiting sodium, the DASH diet reduces red meat, added sugars, and excessive fats. Instead, it focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and legumes. Like all best diets, the DASH diet emphasizes the importance of consuming foods in their most natural state and avoiding processed foods.

What Are The Benefits Of The DASH Diet?

Grilled eggplant is served for dinner.

Perhaps with the only exception of the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet is one of the most well-studied, research-based diet plans compared to other popular diets, with much evidence to show its disease-relieving effects and health benefits. It is also regularly in the top two or three diets of the year US news and world report Ranking of the best diets. Numerous studies have shown that the DASH diet actually lowers blood pressure, especially in hypertension (defined as a blood pressure of at least 140/90 mmHg with multiple measurements). For example, a study found that participants following the DASH diet had a significant decrease in blood pressure after eight weeks compared to controls, with a drop of 11.6 / 5.3 mmHg in those with hypertension and 3.5 / 2 .2 mmHg in those with normal blood pressure. The DASH diet was too shown to lower the risk of certain types of cancer such as colon cancer and stomach cancer. It can also improve insulin sensitivity, relieve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and Metabolic syndrome. And the DASH diet can be an effective way to lose weight.

Aside from the health benefits, the DASH diet is also practical and flexible. It helps establish healthy eating habits for life, highlights the importance of reading food labels, and helps shape your understanding of portion sizes,

What foods can you eat while on the DASH diet?

Grilled tofu and dragon fruit bowl with vegetables and whole grain salad.

One benefit of the DASH diet is its flexibility. Rather than prescribing specific foods or macronutrients per meal, the DASH diet simply gives recommendations for the number of servings of each food group that you should eat daily or weekly. The suggested serving size is based on an intake of 2,000 calories per day, so you may need to adjust the numbers if your calorie needs are much higher or lower. It is important to note that the number of servings allowed is based on the USDA serving sizes for that food group, rather than the puffed portion sizes that we are generally more used to. A serving of whole grain products is, for example, a slice of bread or half a cup of cooked pasta or rice.

While the DASH diet leaves people the leeway to make their own food choices for each allotted serving for the greatest health benefits, it is always best to choose options that are less refined and have more fiber, calcium , Contain magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, and other vitamins and minerals, versus more highly processed and packaged counterparts. For example, it’s better to choose a medium-sized apple over 1/2 cup of applesauce, brown rice over white rice, and chicken breast over raw ham or bacon.

For those who eat 2,000 calories a day, the DASH diet provides the following daily allowance:

  • Whole grains: 6-8 servings per day. Examples: whole grains, rye, brown rice, whole grain oats
  • Fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat: Up to 6 servings per day. Examples: salmon, scallops, tuna, chicken, turkey, lean beef
  • Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day. Examples: spinach, kale, carrots, Swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, onions, cauliflower, asparagus
  • Fruits: 4-5 servings per day. Examples: pears, apples, melons, oranges, berries, bananas, pomegranates
  • Low-fat dairy products: 2-3 servings per day. Examples: skimmed milk, Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese
  • Healthy fats: 2-3 servings per day. Examples: olive oil, avocados, flaxseed oil
  • Sodium: a maximum of 2,300 mg for the standard version or a maximum of 1,500 mg for the lower-sodium version of the diet

The following foods can be consumed in moderation, as a portion recommendation is given per week:

  • Legumes, nuts and seeds: 4-5 servings per week. Examples: beans, lentils, hummus, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds
  • Food with added sugar or sweets: a maximum of 5 servings per week. Examples: jelly, juice, maple syrup

Which foods are not allowed on the DASH diet?

Different types of raw sausages on a rustic wooden table.

The DASH diet does not contain specific foods that are completely banned, but given the sodium limits, it is important to avoid foods that are too salty, such as processed meats (hot dogs, salami, sausages), canned soups, unless they are low-sodium Varieties, chips, most pretzels and soy sauce. The DASH diet also avoids foods high in fat and sugar, as all meat and dairy products should be low in fat. Sweets and candy should be limited to just five servings per week, with low-sugar options recommended whenever possible.

Example of a DASH diet meal plan

Granola served with yogurt in a bowl.

Curious what a day of eating on the DASH diet might look like? Below we share an example meal plan:

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup of mixed berries, ½ cup of granola or low-fat granola
  • Snack: 1 medium-sized apple and a low-fat cheese spread
  • Lunch: 1 cup of brown rice with 4 ounces of grilled salmon, cooked in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ cup of roasted Brussels sprouts, 1 cup of fresh spinach, and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds.
  • Snack: ½ cup of hummus with ½ cup of baby carrots and 4 whole grain crackers or ½ whole grain pita
  • Dinner: 120 g fried chicken breast with ½ tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small baked potato with ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, salad with 1 cup of rocket and ½ cup of tomatoes.
  • Snack: 1 plum or nectarine

Editor’s recommendations

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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