The DASH Diet
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 ounce of dry cereal—½ to 1-¼ cup; check the Nutrition Facts label on the cereal box
- ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
- 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
- ½ cup of cooked vegetables
- ½ cup of vegetable juice
- Greens, like collards, kale, and spinach
- Beans, including green beans and lima beans
- Sweet potatoes
- ½ cup of fruit juice
- 1 medium piece of fruit
- ¼ cup of dried fruit
- ½ cup of fresh (cut up), frozen, or canned fruit
- Citrus, such as oranges and orange juice, and grapefruit and grapefruit juice
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of yogurt
- 1-½ ounces of cheese
- Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk
- Fat-free or low-fat buttermilk
- Fat-free or low-fat regular or frozen yogurt
- Fat-free or low-fat cheese (Remember, though that most cheeses—including cottage cheese—can be quite high in salt.)
- Select lean meats
- Trim away visible fat
- Use lowfat cooking methods, such as broiling, roasting, or boiling
- Remove skin from poultry before eating
- Try not to eat more than 4 egg yolks per week since they are high in cholesterol
- 1/3 cup or 1-½ ounces of nuts
- 2 tablespoons or ½ ounce of seeds
- ½ cup of cooked dry beans
- Nuts: almonds, filberts, mixed nuts, peanuts, and walnuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Dry beans: kidney beans, black beans, lentils, peas
- 1 teaspoon of soft margarine
- 1 tablespoon of lowfat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of salad dressing
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- Soft margarine (The softer the margarine, the less trans fatty acids it has; trans fats are as dangerous to your heart as saturated fats found in butter.)
- Low-fat mayonnaise
- Light salad dressing
- Vegetable oils: olive, corn, canola, safflower
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of jelly or jam
- ½ cup of sorbet, gelatin dessert
- 8 ounces of lemonade
- Maple syrup
- Jellies and jams
- Fruit-flavored gelatin
- Candy: jelly beans and hard candy
- Fruit punch
- Choose low- or reduced-sodium versions of foods and condiments when available.
- Buy fruits and vegetables fresh, frozen plain, or canned in water, with no salt added.
- Use fresh meats, poultry, and fish rather than canned, smoked, or processed versions.
- Check the Nutrition Facts label on breakfast cereals and snacks. Choose those lowest in sodium.
- Limit cured foods, such as bacon and ham.
- Limit foods packed in brine, such as pickles, pickled vegetables, olives, and sauerkraut.
- Limit condiments, such as MSG, mustard, horseradish, ketchup, and barbecue sauce.
- Add half the amount of salt than you normally would to your foods; gradually decrease this amount.
- Instead of seasoning with salt, use other sources of flavor—herbs, spices, lemon, lime, vinegar, or salt-free seasoning blends.
- Do not add salt when you are cooking rice, pasta, and hot cereal. Cut back on instant mixes of these foods; they are usually high in salt.
- Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, to remove some sodium
- Cut back on convenience foods, such as frozen dinners, packaged mixes, and canned soups or broths.
Putting It All Together
- 1 lowfat granola bar (½ grain)
- 1 medium banana (1 fruit)
- 1 cup of fruit yogurt, fat-free, no sugar added (1 dairy)
- 1 cup of orange juice (1-½ fruit)
- 1 cup of fat-free milk (1 dairy)
- Turkey breast sandwich: 3 ounces of turkey breast (1 meat), 2 slices of whole wheat bread (2 grains), 2 slices (1-½ ounces) of natural cheddar cheese, reduced fat (1 dairy), 1 large leaf of romaine lettuce (¼ vegetable), 2 slices of tomato (½ vegetable), 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise, lowfat (2/3 fat), 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 cup of broccoli, steamed from frozen (2 vegetables)
- 1 medium orange (1 fruit)
- 3 ounces of spicy baked fish (1 fish)—see recipe below
- 1 cup of scallion rice (2 grains)—see recipe below
- ½ cup of spinach, cooked from frozen (1 vegetable)
- 1 cup of carrots, cooked from frozen (2 vegetables)
- 1 small whole wheat roll (1 grain)
- 1 teaspoon of soft margarine (1 fat)
- 1 cup of fat-free (skim) milk (1 dairy)
- 2 large rectangle graham crackers (1 grain)
- 1 cup of fat-free (skim) milk (1 dairy)
- ¼ cup of dried apricots (1 fruit)
- 1 pound of cod (or other fish) fillet
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of spicy seasoning, salt-free
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking oil spray.
- Wash and pat dry fish. Place in dish. Mix oil and seasoning in separate bowl and drizzle over fish.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
- Cut into 4 pieces and serve with rice.
- 4-½ cups of cooked rice (in unsalted water)
- 1-½ teaspoons of bouillon granules, unsalted
- ¼ cup of scallions (green onions) chopped
- Cook rice according to directions on the package.
- Combine the cooked rice, scallions, and bouillon granules, and mix well.
- Measure 1 cup portions and serve.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
DASH diet. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 3, 2013. Accessed March 27, 2014.
Dash diet serving sizes. The Dash Diet Eating Plan website. Available at: http://dashdiet.org/servingsizes.asp. Updated March 6, 2014. Accessed March 27, 2014.
Following the DASH eating plan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash/followdash.html. Updated July 2, 2012. Accessed March 27, 2014.
Your guide to lowering your blood pressure with DASH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/how%5Fmake%5Fdash.html. Accessed March 27, 2014.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Levitan EB, Wolk A, Mittleman MA. Consistency with the DASH diet and incidence of heart failure. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:851-857.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/27/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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