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Best And Worst Breakfast Ideas For The DASH Diet

It’s easy to make a DASH Diet breakfast, and here is why. DASH allows plenty of fruits and vegetables, ┬álots of grains, and some dairy. All of these food groups are a good foundation for a tasty, healthy breakfast. You can see a good example of a DASH breakfast inside my 1200 calorie DASH diet plan sample.

NOT a good DASH diet choice…

  • The typical North American breakfast can be a big contributor to high blood pressure and cholesterol. This popular breakfast, eggs and bacon, is definitely not a DASH-approved choice.
    Firstly, only lean meat is allowed on DASH. Secondly, the DASH position about eggs in unclear. I would think that occasionally it’s OK to eat an egg. Its “danger” could be that the yolk contains fat that the DASH diet is trying to control. While it has been proven again and again that eggs are not as evil as they were portrayed for years, you shouldn’t go wild on eggs. Certainly, it is OK to eat egg whites; they should be counted as lean meats (they contain lean protein). If you decided to eat an egg while on DASH, I suggest you poach it, boil it, or fry it in a non-stick pan. This is because you are allowed very little oil on the DASH diet, so I found it is better to use it in salads than for frying.
  • Another popular breakfast choice is bread with butter and jam. While eating bread is wholeheartedly endorsed by the DASH diet, jam and butter are not the greatest choices. You are only allowed a teaspoon or so of sugar per day and very little fat, and you can certainly use this allowance toward one piece of bread with jam and butter if you feel compelled to do so. But this leaves you with no sugar and no fats for the rest of the day’s meals.
  • Cereals: only certain healthy wholesome cereals will be OK to eat on the DASH diet. It’s good to keep a box of them for times when you are in a rush.
  • Muesli: While wholesome grains are fine, you should exercise caution with dried fruit. You need to be able to evaluate how much dried fruit is there, and whether it is dried with added sugar (for example, pineapple and cranberries often are). So while I don’t rule out muesli, I prefer to make my own, so that I can control fruit and sugar intake.
  • Commercial fruit juices are not the best choice either. While allowed on the DASH diet, they usually contain too much sugar. So if you choose fruit juice, make sure it is natural and without added sugar.

DASH Diet Breakfast Recipes/Ideas

Let’s look both at grain-based and at fruit-based DASH diet choices:

  • Oatmeal with fruit and milk or yogurt
  • Overnight oats
  • Cereals
  • DASH-approved sandwich
  • Salad
  • Healthy Smoothies
  • Yougurt-based smoothies
  • Smoothie in a bowl
  • Homemade fruit, greens, and vegetable juices
  • Gallo Pinto – this is rice with black beans and veggies, a typical Costa-Rican meal
  • Miso soup – yes, miso lowers blood pressure despite its Sodium content, and yes, in many countries this is a breakfast of choice

Other good breakfast ideas while on DASH

  • Egg whites omelette with greens (great for fat loss, by the way)
  • Tofu scramble

Breakfast choices that can get you in trouble with the DASH guidelines

  • Fried eggs
  • Fried potatoes
  • Packaged cereals
  • Pancakes: while you can make healthy oatmeal pancakes and make sure you use little or no oil to fry them, it is really hard not to top them with something sweet. And the sugar allowance on the DASH diet is so small, that you will probably go over it with just one or two pancakes.

As you can see, there are plenty of good breakfast choices for your life on DASH. Your family will benefit from healthy DASH breakfasts too – although they are welcome to add a bit more sugar to their bowls. The DASH diet breakfast will give you energy to go through the day.

One Comment on “Best And Worst Breakfast Ideas For The DASH Diet”

  1. 1: The DASH Diet Recipes To Avoid said at 11:13 am on February 26th, 2013:

    [...] By the way, check out my list of DASH-friendly and unfriendly breakfast foods. Link to this [...]