DASH eating plan tips

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension

A study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School of more than 400 adults with prehypertension, or stage 1 high blood pressure, found that combining a low-salt diet with the heart-healthy DASH diet substantially lowers systolic blood pressure.

The DASH eating plan is in line with dietary recommendations to help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. DASH was not intended as a weight loss tool; however, because it has an emphasis on real foods, heavy on fruits and vegetables, balanced with the right amount of protein, DASH may be a weight loss solution. DASH is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life.

The DASH eating plan is flexible and balanced

DASH helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life. 

It includes plenty of these:

  • Vegetables 
  • Fruits 
  • Whole grains
  • Fat free or low fat milk products
  • Fish, poultry and lean meat
  • Beans, nuts and legumes

It limits:

  • Sodium
  • Saturated fats
  • Added sugars

Using the DASH eating plan to manage weight

  • To figure out your caloric needs, you need to consider your age and physical activity level
  • If you want to maintain your current weight, you should eat only as many calories as you burn by being physically active
  • If you need to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than you burn or increase your activity level to burn more calories than you eat

DASH doesn’t require any special foods or supplements

It simply calls for a certain number of daily servings from various food groups. The number of servings depends on the number of calories you choose to eat every day. Your caloric needs depend on your age, gender and activity level. You can choose the “regular” DASH plan, which limits your daily sodium intake to around 2300mg or you can choose the lower sodium version, which limits your daily sodium intake to around 1500mg. The less salt you eat, the more you may be able to help lower your blood pressure.

Find out how many calories you need per day

View the charts below to add up how many calories you need per day. Then you can view the daily food servings and calorie chart to help you make healthier DASH choices every day. 

The DASH eating plan is a diet full of natural, healthy foods and eliminates processed foods.