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DASH Diet Menu

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is a well-known heart healthy diet that has been well studied for its ability to reduce high blood pressure.

Basics of the DASH Diet

The DASH diet focuses on foods rich in nutrients expected to reduce high blood pressure - potassium, magnesium and calcium. Basic components of the DASH diet are:

  • Limit sodium
  • Limits saturated fat and total fat and in turn helps lower cholesterol
  • Emphasizes fruits and vegetables
  • Emphasizes fat-free and low-fat milk and dairy products
  • Rich in protein and fiber

You can follow the DASH diet plan by eating the recommended number of servings from each food group. For a 2,000 calorie per day diet (your calorie requirements may be higher or lower), the recommended daily servings are:

Grains: 6-8 servings, serving = 1 slice of bread, 1 oz. dry cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta

Vegetables: 4-5 servings, serving = 1 cup raw leafy greens, 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, 1/2 cup vegetable juice

Fruits: 4-5 servings, serving = 1 medium fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit, 1/2 cup fresh fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice

Fat-free or low-fat milk products: 2-3 servings, serving = 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 oz. cheese

Lean meats, poultry, fish: 6 or fewer servings, serving = 1 oz cooked meat, poultry or fish, 1 egg

Nuts, seeds, legumes: 4-5 per week, serving = 1/3 cup, 1 1/2 oz. nuts, 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. or 1/2 oz. seeds, 1/2 cup cooked beans or peas

Fats and oils: 2-3 servings, serving = 1 tsp. soft margarine, 1 tsp. vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. salad dressing

Sweets and added sugars: 5 or less per week, serving = 1 Tbsp. sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 cup sorbet, 1 cup lemonade

DASH Diet Sodium Goals

Another important part of the DASH Diet plan is to reduce your intake of salt and sodium. DASH recommends two levels of sodium. The first step is to lower sodium to 2,300 mg or less of per day. A further goal is to lower sodium to 1,500 mg or less per day.


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