REUTERS/Fabian

REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) is typically prescribed for adults to help control high blood pressure.  But, a recent study finds that the eating program may also help teenage girls to gain less weight.

The diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and limited amounts of fats and sweets.  It is said to lower blood pressure even without reducing salt intake.

In the recent study of 2,379 girls, researchers followed them over the course of 10 years.  The girls were socioeconomically and geographically mixed and they entered into the study at ages 9 and 10.  Those who stuck closest to the diet maintained the lowest increase in body mass index (BMI) and had the lowest BMIs at the end.

So how can you keep up the DASH diet while you're on the road? 

Here are some tips:

Step 1:  Pack unsalted nuts such as almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts in your travel bag.  These are a great source of protein and dietary fiber, which help you to maintain energy and reduce the temptation to opt for a quick snack elsewhere.

Step 2:  Dry fresh fruits in a dehydrator and pack them before you leave.   According to the recent study, those who ate two or more servings of fruit per day had the smallest rise in BMI. Apples, bananas, berries, pears and papaya work well in dehydrators and they are a nutritious snack that you can enjoy while in a car or on an airplane.

Step 3:  Visit the local grocery store once you reach your destination to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables.  It will be worth it in the end to maintain your healthy, nutrient-filled diet.  Also, these foods contain dietary fiber which helps you to feel full for longer.

Step 4: If you go out to dinner, opt for grilled fish or poultry dishes instead of fried versions.  Grilled meats are much lower in fat and contain less calories than the fried ones.

Step 5: If you are out to dinner and order a salad, ask for the dressing on the side.  This reduces how much dressing you consume and reduces your intake of calories and fats.

Step 6: Go to full-service restaurants instead of fast food joints.  Fast foods typically contain refined flours and saturated fats whereas full-service restaurants are more likely to offer healthy options.

Step 7: Like all diets, DASH requires daily exercise.  Book in a hotel with a gym or ask the receptionist about parks nearby to exercise in.