What To Eat On The Dash Diet Plan

Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

DASH Diet – What Is The DASH Eating Plan?

The DASH Diet is appropriate for people living with diabetes, since the diet may help reduce blood pressure as well as weight. The diet may also improve insulin sensitivity and therefore reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The DASH Diet may help those living with metabolic syndrome a pre-diabetic condition that includes hypertension, high blood sugar, and excess weight to lower their blood pressure and manage their symptoms.

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Research shows the DASH diet can help lower blood pressure at least in the short term, but longer studies will be needed to determine whether the DASH diet will translate to lower rates of heart disease for those who stick with it over the long term.

That said, for many, the DASH diet is the perfect one-two punch: a sensible diet for keeping blood pressure levels in check and for losing pounds or maintaining a healthy weight.

Additional reporting by Melinda Carstensen.

How To Get Started

If the DASH dietary eating pattern seems overwhelming, try starting with one small change at a time.

For example, if your diet is low in vegetables, try increasing those by one or two servings this week, then make more improvements each week that follows.

If youre unfamiliar with how to read nutrition labels, now is a great time to learn so that you can make the best choices.

You can start with a simple guide to understanding the food label from the Food and Drug Administration.

Plan to treat yourself when you meet your goals with non-food rewards that support your healthier lifestyle.

For example, you may want to budget for new running shoes or sports equipment to encourage even more positive changes.

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Other Potential Health Benefits

DASH may also affect other areas of health. The diet:

  • A recent review indicated that people following the DASH diet had a lower risk of some cancers, including colorectal and breast cancer (

10 ).

The theory that some people are salt sensitive meaning that salt exerts a greater influence on their blood pressure could partly explain this .


If your salt intake is high, lowering it can offer major health benefits. Comprehensive salt restriction, as advised on the DASH diet, may only be beneficial for people who are salt sensitive or have high blood pressure.

The Dash Diet For Healthy Blood Pressure

Use the DASH Diet to Easily Lower Your Blood Pressure

If youre trying to lower your high blood pressure, then consider trying the DASh diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet was specifically designed to prevent high blood pressure. This lifelong approach to healthy eating was developed to lower blood pressure without needing medication.

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Gradual Change Is Powerful

You dont have to follow DASH perfectly to reap its benefits. Each day, take small steps toward healthier eating, says Patton. Over time, youll start to feel better and lose weight, which can motivate you to keep going.

The flexibility of DASH makes healthy eating fit in with your tastes and lifestyle. And that helps you stick with it for the long-term.

Is The Dash Diet Right For You

Remember to speak with your doctor about the DASH diet. If you suffer from hypertension , diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease, then consider going on the DASH diet.

Going on a diet that can prevent disease and promote healthy weight loss is definitely something worth considering. In addition to a recommendation by your doctor, the DASH diet is also endorsed by the following health organizations:

  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • The Mayo Clinic
  • The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • The American Heart Association
  • The 2011 AHA Treatment Guidelines for Women

Following a DASH diet meal plan will provide you with more health benefits with every bite. This diet is high in fiber, low in fat, and rich in nutrients. And, its designed for the whole family!

New studies continue to show even more health benefits of following the DASH diet plan. Speak to your doctor to see if it may be right for you too!

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What To Eat On The Diet

DASH focuses on nutrient-dense foods which are readily available at grocery stores. The plan doesnt eliminate any food groups or macronutrients.

DASH encourages selecting favorites from each category and allows for sweet treats, making the plan more enjoyable and sustainable.

For each food group, the DASH diet includes:

The Dash Diet May Also Help With Weight Loss

DASH Diet Plan Explained – Is The DASH Diet For You?

The benefits of this diet extend beyond hypertension and heart health.

“Although the original research was about the benefits of the DASH diet on hypertension, it would be a diet I recommend for everyone,” Sasson says.

According to Sasson, it’s a diet that’s easy to follow, since it isn’t very specific and there aren’t many restrictions, aside from cutting out excessive sweets the NIH recommends five servings of sweets a week at most.

“The diet is very safe and sustainable for anybody who’s looking to eat healthier,” Sasson says. “It’s exactly how we would advise all people to eat.”

Important: While the main focus of the DASH diet is not weight loss, Sasson says many people do end up losing some weight on the diet, since many of them are eating healthier, less processed foods, and cutting back on snacking.

For example, a 2016 study found that the DASH diet was more effective for weight loss than other low-energy diets, especially for participants who were overweight or obese.

According to Sasson, the DASH diet is also a good way to educate people on what healthy meals look like, especially when so many of us eat on the go and opt for processed foods.

“We should look at it as one of the healthiest ways to eat,” she says.

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Fats And Oils: 2 To 3 Servings A Day

  • Fat helps your body absorb essential vitamins and helps your bodys immune system. But too much fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The DASH diet strives for a healthy balance by limiting total fat to less than 30 percent of daily calories from fat, with a focus on the healthier monounsaturated fats.
  • Examples of one serving include 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or 2 tablespoons salad dressing.
  • Saturated fat and trans fat are the main dietary culprits in increasing your risk of coronary artery disease. DASH helps keep your daily saturated fat to less than 6 percent of your total calories by limiting use of meat, butter, cheese, whole milk, cream and eggs in your diet, along with foods made from lard, solid shortenings, and palm and coconut oils.
  • Avoid trans fat, commonly found in such processed foods as crackers, baked goods and fried items.
  • Read food labels on margarine and salad dressing so that you can choose those that are lowest in saturated fat and free of trans fat.

Grains: 6 To 8 Servings A Day

  • Grains include bread, cereal, rice and pasta. Examples of one serving of grains include 1 slice whole-wheat bread, 1 ounce dry cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
  • Focus on whole grains because they have more fiber and nutrients than do refined grains. For instance, use brown rice instead of white rice, whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta and whole-grain bread instead of white bread.
  • Look for products labeled 100 percent whole grain or 100 percent whole wheat.
  • Grains are naturally low in fat. Keep them this way by avoiding butter, cream and cheese sauces.

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How Can I Make The Dash Diet Tastier

While the DASH diet includes solid nutrition recommendations, it can be hard for someone new to these recommendations to make food palatable. We are used to sugar and salt as the major “flavors” of our meals. To make the healthy foods in the DASH diet more appealing, be generous with herbs and spices. There are a number of salt-free spice blends that can be used for many recipes. Some options include

  • herbs de Provence blends,
  • Italian herb blend, Indian
  • curry blend, and
  • Baja fish taco blend .

These spice blends can be sprinkled on proteins while grilling, turned into a salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar, or sprinkled on a sandwich to reduce the mayonnaise or cheese we typically add for flavor.

Foods To Minimize On Dash

What is DASH Diet, Can It Help With Weight Loss and Better ...

DASH also encourages you to cut back on foods that can raise your blood pressure. These include:

  • Fatty meats, such as red meat and poultry with the skin on.
  • Full-fat dairy, such as whole milk, cream and butter.
  • Oils that are solid at room temperature, such as coconut and palm oils.
  • High-sugar foods like candy, baked goods and desserts.
  • High-sugar drinks, such as soda, juice and sweetened coffee or tea.

If you follow DASH, you dont have to eliminate these foods, says Patton. Instead, take steps toward healthier choices each day. The plan will be easier to stick with. For instance, consider replacing a meat entrée with a meatless option once a week.

Most Americans eat more meat than necessary at the expense of their vegetable intake. DASH recommends consuming no more than 6 ounces of meat per day. In its place, eat more fruits and veggies, which contain disease-fighting antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients.

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Description Of The Dash Eating Plan

DASH is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life.

The DASH eating plan requires no special foods and instead provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. This plan recommends:

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.

Based on these recommendations, the following table shows examples of daily and weekly servings that meet DASH eating plan targets for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

Daily and Weekly DASH Eating Plan Goals for a 2,000-Calorie-a-Day Diet

Food Group

Low-fat or fat-free dairy products

Nuts, seeds, dry beans, and peas

*1,500 milligrams sodium lowers blood pressure even further than 2,300 mg sodium daily.

When following the DASH eating plan, it is important to choose foods that are:

  • Low in saturated and trans fats
  • Rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein
  • Lower in sodium

Pairing Exercise With Dash

If you want to increase your weight loss and health benefits, pair the DASH plan with more movement and activity, says Patton.

This doesnt mean you have to join a gym or start hard-core training. Instead, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Walking, biking and swimming are all good options. And you dont have to do it all at once. Break it up into two 15-minute chunks or three 10-minute chunks.

Youll boost your health even more if you get 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. Moderate intensity means your heart rate is about 50% higher than your resting heart rate. There are endless options for moderate-intensity exercise, from taking a brisk walk to swimming laps or playing basketball.

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Cracker Barrel: Lemon Pepper Grilled Rainbow Trout With Brussels Sprouts N’ Kale Salad And Fresh Steamed Broccoli

Cracker Barrel lightly seasons its boneless trout fillet and grills them until just tender before serving with your choice of two sides. Opt for the Brussels Sprouts n’ Kale Salad and Fresh Steamed Broccoli, and you’ll be getting tons of great nutrients from these three members of the brassica family.

This fresh, tasty bowl from California Pizza Kitchen pairs quinoa and baby kale with fresh herbs, grilled chicken, watermelon radish, and veggies like avocado, cucumber, and bean sprouts. A sprinkling of sesame seeds and a house-made chili-lime vinaigrette seals the deal on this healthful dish with just a slight kick of spice.

Best Snacks To Eat On The Dash Diet

DASH diet basics

by noom | Apr 15, 2020 | Last updated Sep 21, 2021

Having blood pressure otherwise known as hypertension that is above the normal range is common in the United States, but many Americans are not aware of this diagnosis. Hypertension increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death in the United States. The DASH diet stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. This diet is high in food options such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry that reduce the risk of having an elevated blood pressure. The DASH diet approach to eating places a large emphasis on consuming foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Specifically, the DASH diet encourages a sodium intake of 2300 milligrams or less or an even lower recommendation of less than 1500 milligrams depending on the individual and their health needs. With a typical American diet being high in sodium, cutting back can be a great option to maintain a normal blood pressure.

The DASH diet provides guidelines for each food group in order to create a balanced diet that promotes weight loss and a reduction in the risk of high blood pressure. To follow this heart-healthy way of eating and control sodium intake, there are recommendations for each food group. Here are the daily or weekly recommendations for each:

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The Dash Diet For Weight Loss

Although the DASH diet is not a weight loss program, you may find your pants getting a bit looser. The DASH diet guides you toward healthier food choices, so naturally, you may find that its easier to lose weight when on the diet.

The DASH diet requires about 2,000 calories per day. However, if you want to lose some unwanted pounds, consider cutting back a little on the calorie-intake. Adjust your food servings based on your personal goals and overall health.

Before you do this, you should consult with your doctor about making these changes. Your care team can help you decide which meal plan works best for you.

Boston Market: Parmesan Rotisserie Quarter Dark Roasted Chicken With Garlic Dill New Potatoes And Steamed Veggies

The true best choice at Boston Market is probably the skinless quarter white, but just because you’re on DASH doesn’t mean your food needs to be devoid of flavor. Order both the garlic dill new potatoes and the steamed veggie sides to fill out this meal with flavor and nutrients.

Seasoned with hickory-smoked sea salt and topped with Parmesan butter, this salmon from TGI Fridays is luscious, delicious, and healthy. While usually paired with lemon-butter broccoli, skip it and save a whopping 850 extra milligrams of sodium by asking for plain steamed broccoli instead.

If food at Chili’s tastes so good, it’s thanks to a heavy hand with salt. Here, you’ll have to be super careful to avoid excess sodium, but either the Grilled Chicken Salad or California Turkey Club will work. We vote for the former, because it includes a healthy dose of veggies: tomatoes, corn, and a black bean salsa. The calorie breakdown above even takes the honey-lime vinaigrette into account.

To make the perfect meal at Bertucci’s that’s both flavorful and healthy, you’ll have to cobble things together a bit. One slice of the Bruschetta and Burrata pizza should help fulfill your desire for Italian comfort food, while the Insalataa mix of leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and olivestopped with grilled shrimp will help fill you up. Add a side of savory oven-roasted broccoli for even more nutrients.

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The Dash Diet Program

A study was done at the Boston Medical College which used the internet to collect volunteers. Surprisingly, Over 4,000 people signed up in the DASH DIET PLAN program.

However, only 459 individuals were selected to join the DASH DIET Research. they were arbitrarily assigned to one of 3 different plans:

They tracked the changes they made to their diet plan, blood, exercise and also weight pressure online.

  • The common American meal plan.
  • A diet plan with more vegetables as well as fruits, but similar to the common American diet.
  • The DASH diet plan rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy and milk moderate in fish, chicken, and also nuts and low in red meat, desserts, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • The DASH diet plan is low in saturated fat.
  • The participants got regular e-mail reminders to visit the site for info like weight reduction, exercise, reading food labels, grocery purchasing and even more.

    Participants were weighed regularly to see whether their weight has changed or stayed as it is. They were provided a bit of extra food to consume to get their weight back to what it was.

    Salt/sodium consumption was the exact same in all three diet plans -somewhat less than the U.S. average, but still greater than what most standards recommended.

    The Results

    What Is The Dash Diet

    Sample menus for the DASH diet

    The main focus of the DASH diet is to help people decrease their blood pressure. To do that, the guidelines help people reduce their sodium intake and avoid high-calorie, sugary, fatty foods that may increase blood pressure, as these foods are closely linked to heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol. Experts created this diet after multiple studies showed that when people followed a plant-based diet, they had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

    At the same time, you’ll also be increasing your micronutrient intake: the DASH diet suggests eating more fruits and vegetables. Following whole grains, produce is the most commonly consumed food group on the diet.

    “There is sound science that tells us that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, low in animal meats, and moderate in whole grains, fish, and nuts can help to reduce blood pressure,” says nutrition expert Beth Auguste, RD.

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