DASH diet

DASH diet stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. This dietary pattern is designed to control hypertension. It focuses on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It eliminates fats, sugars,

alcoholic beverages, and processed foods. According to USDA, it is considered as the most healthy eating plan.

This healthy eating plan provides a high-quality lifestyle. Even if you want to lose your weight then this diet is ideal for you. This article gives you a complete overview of the DASH diet and the DASH diet eating plan.


What is the DASH diet?

DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. This diet is based on the following principles.

Standard DASH diet:

  • Sodium per day intake is 2300mg or 1 tablespoon.

Lower Sodium DASH diet:

  • Take 1500 mg sodium for better results.

Potential benefits of the DASH diet

DASH diet has several benefits for your body.

Lowers Blood Pressure

  • Hypertension is becoming a common problem worldwide. No of people suffering from high pressure has been increasing day by day. High blood pressure is linked with several other chronic diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, heart failure, and obesity.
  • Diet plays a very important role in the maintenance of blood pressure.
  • Normal systolic blood pressure for adults. 120mmHg
  • Normal diastolic blood pressure for adults is 80mmHg.
  • Blood Pressure ranging from 140/90mmHg is considered as high blood pressure.
  • DASH diet is specifically designed to lower blood pressure. It reduces systolic pressure by 12mmHg and diastolic pressure by 5mmHg.
  • DASH diet contains 2300mg (1 teaspoon) of sodium per day.

Helps in weight loss

  • As the DASH diet limits fats, sugars, and alcoholic beverages. It is very helpful in losing weight.
  • Obesity is interlinked with high blood pressure. High blood pressure causes obesity. So, when a DASH diet lowers blood pressure it also reduces weight.
  • However, if you want to lose your weight on the DASH diet then you should also limit calorie intake.

Decreases Cancer risk

Decreases Diabetes risk

Lowers Heart Disease risk

DASH diet lowers the risk of heart diseases to 20%. And decreases the risk of stroke to 29%. DASH diet decreases CVD risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, and weight.

What to eat in the DASH diet?

The amount of service depends on the calories you need for a day. Here is the food serving for a 2000 calorie diet plan.

Grains 6 to 8 servings per day

Consume whole grains as compared to refined grains. Whole grains contain a high amount of fiber and nutrients. Use brown bread instead of white bread and use brown rice instead of white rice. Use whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta. Fat content is low in grains. Try to consume whole grains without any added butter or cream.

  • Grains include rice, pasta, cereals, legumes, and bread.
  • 1serving include half a cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread

Vegetables 4 to 5 servings per day

Vegetables are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Select raw and fresh vegetables. If you are looking for canned vegetables then consume those vegetables that are labeled as low salt or without salt.
  • If you want to increase the servings of vegetables then decrease servings of meat and add vegetable servings instead of it.
  • Leafy green vegetables, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and peas are good to use.
  • 1 serving includes half a cup raw or cooked sliced vegetables like broccoli or carrots.
  • 1 cup of leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale.

Fruits 4 to 5 servings per day

Fruits are enriched with antioxidants, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and all other essential nutrients that are needed to maintain a healthy body.

In the case of canned fruits make sure that it contains no added sugar.

  • In the case of citrus fruits and juices consult with your doctor as citrus fruits can interact with certain medications.
  • The peels of apples, pears contain essential nutrients and fiber. So, don’t remove it. Try to consume it in raw form.
  • 1 serving include one medium Apple
  • Half cup of canned or frozen peaches

Dairy 2 to 3 servings per day

Use fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Consume skim milk or buttermilk alternative. Dairy products are very important for the body because they are a good source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D.

  • If you are suffering from lactose intolerance then use lactose-free products.
  • Add some pieces of fruits in dairy products to make them tasty and healthy.
  • 1 serving include
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt

Lean meat -6 -1-ounce servings or fewer per day

  • Choose lean meat that is fish and poultry that is low in saturated fat and trans fat.
  • You can roast, boil, grill, or bake meat pieces instead of frying it in oil.
  • Consume Salman fish and tuna fish which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids essential for heart health.
  • 1 serving include
  • One egg
  • 1 ounce of cooked meat

Nuts, seeds, and legumes 4 to 5 servings per week

  • Nuts are a good source of protein, potassium, and magnesium. They are also loaded with fibers, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are plant compounds that protect against cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases.
  • They are consumed in small serving sizes because of their fat content. So, eat them in moderation.
  • They contain healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.
  • Soybean based seeds are a good source of protein and are used as an alternative to meat.
  • 1 serving include
  • 2 tablespoons of seeds
  • Half cup of cooked legumes

Fats and oils 2-3 servings per day

  • DASH diet recommends 30% of total calories from the fast group.
  • Fat is very important for the immune system of the body but too much fat can lead to heart diseases and obesity.
  • DASH diet emphasis on the intake of monounsaturated fat as compared to saturated fat and trans fat.
  • Before choosing any margarine and salad dressing read food labels carefully and choose those foods that are low in saturated and trans fat.
  • 1 serving include
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp of salad dressing

Sweets five servings or fewer per week

  • Choose those sweets that are low in fat or fat-free like hard candies or fat-free cookies.
  • Use diet Coke instead of regular coke.
  • Sensibly use artificial sweeteners to satisfy your sugar needs.
  • Limit those foods that contain added sugar.
  • 1 serving include
  • 1 tbsp of jelly or jam
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

Dash diet Eating plan for one day

Breakfast 1 cup oatmeal +1 cup skim milk + ½ cup raspberries + half cup fresh orange juice
Snack 1 medium banana
Lunch Salad made with 130g of grilled tuna +1 boiled egg+2 cups of green salad +2 tablespoon of low-fat dressing + half cup of cherry tomatoes
Snack 1 cup of fruits salad
Dinner 3 ounces fish with 1 cup mixed vegetables + 1 cup of brown rice

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to exercise on the DASH diet?

DASH diet becomes more effective with exercise. To lower blood pressure and weight 30 minutes, moderate activity is recommended.

Can I drink coffee in the DASH diet?

DASH diet has no specific guidelines about coffee. However, it is assumed that coffee contains caffeine that can raise blood pressure. But that rise in BP is only short term.

  • For normal healthy individuals, 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day is considered safe.
  • For those people suffering from hypertension, should care about can coffee intake.

What do you eat for breakfast on the DASH diet?

Is the DASH diet healthy?

DASH diet is considered as a healthy eating plan. It is low in sodium, trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. It includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean meat, nuts, and beans.

What is not allowed on the DASH diet?

  • High sugar foods
  • High fats
  • High sodium-containing foods are not allowed.


Dash type means dietary approaches to stop hypertension. This diet is designed to prevent from hypertension. Moreover ,it provides several other health benefits. It also helps to protect against certain types of cancers and type 2 diabetes. This diet emphasis on fruit and vegetable consumption and reduces sodium intake. DASH diet work effectively with lifestyle modifications like exercise and weight loss programs.

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What is the DASH diet?

DASH diet eating plan

Is the DASH diet healthy?

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DASH Diet was developed because more than a billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide, the United States National Institutes of Health decided to tackle the problem head-on by developing the DASH diet in the 1990s. For the diet, approach to stop hypertension, or in French diet approach to stop hypertension.

The Goal

To sustainably lower or even prevent the blood pressure of hypertensive patients to prevent cardiovascular complications, through a healthy diet with low sodium content. It also encourages people to stay healthy or lose weight, as overweight and obesity are the main risk factors for hypertension.

How Does the DASH Diet Work?
Like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet consists of promoting a healthy and varied diet through the consumption of foods that are naturally low in sodium, such as fruits and vegetables.

As salt plays a vital role in causing hypertension, the ultimate goal of this diet is to limit the salt intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day (that is about a teaspoon of salt) and then, slowly and gradually, to 1,500 mg, with the consultation from a doctor.

The DASH diet emphasizes the precise amounts of food to be observed. It is based on a table that indicates the number of servings of each food group recommended for an individual based on of the number of calories that can be consumed. The latter is determined by gender, age and level of physical activity.

For example, a woman aged 19 to 30 with little exercise needs 2,000 calories a day: according to the table, she needs four to five servings of vegetables. This number of calories must be adjusted (in this case reduced), under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist, if you want to lose weight.

To achieve this goal, the DASH diet also recommends regular exercise, that is, at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
The DASH diet provides the three recommended daily meals, plus a snack and no snacks.

What can I eat?

Recommended foods

The food groups recommended by the DASH diet are:

  1. The fruits
  2. The vegetables
  3. Products that are Low-fat or semi-skimmed milk products (like milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cream)
  4. Whole grains (bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, etc.)
  5. Fish
  6. Lean meat and poultry
  7. Vegetables
  8. Seeds, dried and nuts
  9. Fat added in small amounts (rapeseed, nuts or olive oil, butter and margarine)

Prohibited foods

Among the non-recommended foods and drinks we find:

  1. Foods that are high in sodium (like bouillon cubes, cold cuts, etc.)

  2. Foods and drinks rich in sugars (flavoured yoghurt, sweets, sweetened drinks, etc.)

  3. The alcohol

  4. Foods rich in saturated fat (ready meals, fried foods, fast food, etc.)

  5. Red meat

Some tips

So to begin with, the DASH diet suggests:

  1. Add less salt to your dishes and look for alternatives to salt, such as herbs, spices, lemon, etc.

  2. Add a serving of vegetables for lunch and a serving for dinner the next day.

  3. Add a serving of fruit to a meal or snack.

  4. Increase your consumption of low-fat or semi-skimmed dairy products to three servings a day.

  5. Limit lean meat to about 170 g per day.

  6. Eat two or more meatless meals each week.

  7. Increase the consumption of brown rice and brown pasta.

  8. Prefer fruits, unsalted nuts or frozen yoghurt as an appetizer.

  9. Eat fresh, frozen or prepared fruits and vegetables as long as they are low in sodium.

Is the DASH Diet Easy to Follow?

The cost of the DASH diet can be high, with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, meat, and fish generally being expensive. However, savings can be made on red meat, sweets and industrial items or products.

Effectiveness of DASH diet

Numerous scientific studies have shown that the DASH diet is effective in lowering blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure, but also cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is also said to have beneficial effects on insomnia, gout or colorectal cancer. On the other hand, the data on weight loss is weak, which is not the main goal - although it contributes to this by recommending healthy and raw foods, controlling amounts, or even reducing people’s calorie intake and obesity.

What type of exercise should be done with the DASH diet?

Regardless of the type of exercise, the DASH diet recommends exercising at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, or even 60 minutes to avoid weight gain. So, according to the DASH Diet Guide developed by the Nationals Institutes of Health.

In the case of moderately high blood pressure, 30 minutes of brisk walking per day would be sufficient to avoid the use of antihypertensive drugs. If you are already taking treatment through consultation of a doctor, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity would enhance effectiveness.

If your blood pressure stays in the normal range, regular exercise helps in keeping it on a lower side. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle tends to increases the risk of hypertension.

Benefits of the DASH Diet

  1. The DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and provides the amount of fibre the body needs, which is generally low in consumption.

  2. It has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure and thus preventing cardiovascular disease.

  3. It provides modest weight loss by adopting healthy eating habits for overweight people.

Disadvantages of the DASH diet

  1. Like all diets, the DASH diet exposes the yo-yo effect: 80% of people experience weight gain in one year and gain weight in long term.

  2. Reduced energy intake that the body may have difficulty with. For this reason, adopting the diet according to the patient’s tastes and habits is important to ensure long-term adherence to therapy.

  3. The DASH diet is particularly difficult to follow as salt intake requires constant attention.

  4. Finally, there may be risks of micronutrient deficiencies associated with an imbalance in energy and lipid intake.

Is this diet dangerous for health?
In its report on the risks associated with dietary weight-loss practices, ANSES explains that with any diet, “weight loss does not only occur at the expense of fat reserves but quickly leads to the loss of fat, muscle and bone masses.”

In addition, be careful not to limit fat such as cooking oils too much. Nutritionists warn of the risks of omega 3 fatty acid deficiencies, which are essential for cardiovascular health. And paradoxically, ANSES shows that diets low in lipids would also have a negative impact on the lipid profile. Also, in the absence of weight loss, a hypo lipid diet causes both an increase in triglycerides and a drop in HDL cholesterol.
In any case, you should seek medical advice before starting a diet. Also note that people who are not used to consuming a lot of fibre may have difficulty digesting it(bloating, constipation) hence the importance of doing it gradually.

Is it compatible with special diets?
The vegetarian or vegan diet
The DASH diet can be adapted to the vegetarian diet, by replacing animal flesh with tofu, for example. The DASH diet can be adapted to a vegan diet, replacing all animal products with soy products, for example.

Gluten-free diet
The DASH diet is compatible with a gluten-free diet, provided meals are prepared with certified gluten-free products.

Low salt diet
The DASH diet is itself a low salt diet.

Kosher diet
The DASH diet is compatible with a kosher diet, as long as you choose certified kosher products.

Halal diet
The DASH diet is compatible with a halal diet, as long as you choose certified halal products.

It is a balanced and healthy diet that favours a diet low in salt, meat and high in whole grains, oilseeds and fruits and vegetables. Its objective is to reduce arterial hypertension. Several studies have shown its effectiveness, not only on lowering blood pressure but also on lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The diet is not restrictive and generally corresponds to official recommendations, but it is still low in fat. The intake of vitamin D and omega 3 cannot therefore be sufficient, yet they have a beneficial role in cardiovascular health.

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Dash Diet – A dietary pattern

The DASH Diet is a dietary pattern that is being promoted by the National Heart, Lungs and Blood Institute – A U.S. based institute; used to prevent or control hypertension. It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a flexible eating plan that promotes a balanced lifestyle.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension also known as High Blood Pressure in layman language. Hypertension can be a consequence of high cholesterol that leads to blockage of arteries by accumulation of plague.
As a result, the artery wall thickens, and the blood flow is hindered. When the blood supply to the cells is cut down, the heart exerts greater force to pump the blood. Hence results in hypertension (high blood pressure)

How to know if I am hypertensive?

• If your systolic blood pressure is ranging from 120-139 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure is from 80-89 mmHg you are pre-hypertensive
• But if your systolic and systolic blood pressure is 140 / 90 respectively or higher, you are hypertensive

What to eat in a DASH Diet

A DASH Diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts and beans, low fat dairy
It limits the consumption of fats, sugar sweetened products, jink food and red meat

Health Benefits of DASH Diet

• DASH Diet is proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol in studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health
• It lowers the risk of heart diseases, heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes, stroke, several cancers
• DASH Diet slows the progression of kidney diseases

Types of DASH Diet Plans

There are two hypes of DASH Diet eating plan based on the minimum sodium intake you are allowed, since sodium can drastically enhance the blood pressure

Standard DASH Diet

In standard DASH Diet plan, you can consume up to 2300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day

Lower Sodium DASH Diet

In this, you can consume up to 1500 mg of sodium per day

How can I measure salt in milligrams at home

• One teaspoon of table salt has about 2300 mg of sodium
• 2/3 teaspoon of table salt has 1500 mg of sodium
• But be aware that many food items contain a natural sodium content

The DASH Diet for Weight Loss

DASH Diet plan for weight loss helps reduce excess body weight, helps people having metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Polycystic ■■■■■ Syndrome (PCOS) and post-menopausal weight loss
It has focus on cutting down the extra fat and sweet consumption, lower the sodium content and enhance the consumption of fruits and vegetables

Daily Nutrient Goal used in DASH Diet studies

For a 2000 kcal eating plan, the percentages of different nutrients are provided below:


• Total fat allowed is 27% of total kcals
• Saturated fats consumed are 6% of kcals
• Protein is 18% of calories
• Carbohydrates consumed are 55% of kcals
• Fiber allowed are 30 g
• Cholesterol 150 mg


• Sodium 2300 mg
*1500 mg of sodium is recommended for people who have high blood pressure, metabolic diseases, middle aged and older people
• Potassium 4700 mg
• Calcium 1250 mg
• Magnesium 500 mg


DASH Diet does not only helps control blood pressure by dietary modifications, but it also adds the diversity to your plate. It is lifestyle modification needed to live a healthy life. Consuming a moderate carbohydrates and protein and low-fat diet and diet rich in minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium helps reduces the risk of metabolic diseases and enhance healthy living.

Are you longing to be fit? Heard a lot about diet? Have no idea what steps to follow? How to start? Wanted to do it for a fashion or a healthy balanced lifestyle?

You don’t have to get too much panic over it and start to follow the DASH diet. It is a modified version of the old diet. It is an abbreviation of dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It includes eating vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods and moderate amounts of nuts, fish, poultry, and whole grains.

What grains to eat?

  1. Popping corns
  2. Brown rice
  3. Multigrain bread
  4. Hot Rolled oats
  5. Granola
  6. Whole wheat pasta

What vegetables to eat?

  1. Carrots
  2. Mixed Greens
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Broccoli
  5. Celery
  6. Orange Bell Pepper
  7. Red Cabbage
  8. Brussel sprouts

What fruits to eat?

  1. Bananas
  2. Raspberries
  3. Strawberries
  4. Pears
  5. Avocados
  6. Honeycrisp apples
  7. Pomegranate seeds

What nuts to eat?

  1. Sunflower seeds
  2. Pumpkin seeds
  3. Almonds
  4. Pistachios

What meat to eat?

Must eat Lean meat like:

  1. Salmon
  2. Shrimp
  3. Monkfish
  4. Skinless Chicken ■■■■■■■

What DASH diet does recommend the most?

The main focus of the dash diet is the meal having low sodium and high potassium. DASH diet meals must include eggs because of proteins. It also includes potatoes because of the high concentration of potassium and low concentration of fats and sodium. And it doesn’t recommend salty food.

Difference between the Mediterranean and DASH diet:

Both help to balance the diet but still, there are some differences:

  1. Dash diet requires high carbohydrates and low fats, while the Mediterranean diet requires low carbohydrates and high fats.
  2. Dash diet allows red meat, while others permit sparing amounts of meat.
  3. DASH diet demands 12-13% and the Mediterranean demands 28% monounsaturated fats.

Is the dash diet a fad diet?

DASH is a healthy eating plan and not a fad diet. As the fad diet focuses on-trend and fashion, however, the dash diet has long term positive effects. Fad diet causes nutritional and other health problems, but the DASH diet helps a lot in maintaining blood pressure, so it is much better than a fad diet.

What is the best dash diet for diabetics to follow?

If you are facing diabetes, then you must have to manage your carbohydrate intake and should take

  1. High fiber
  2. Low-fat dairy
  3. Healthy vegetable-based fats
  4. Processed carbohydrates


For a diet, you don’t have to eat fancy or complicated food but have to eat good food from fresh ingredients. A diet provides you a balanced healthy lifestyle and saves from so many health issues so, try to follow the best diet plan that has more benefits and fewer demerits.