Dash Diet Eating Plan

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The Dash Diet eating plan focuses on including fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein into your daily diet.

 

It aims to reduce the amount of salt and sodium, added sugar, fats, and red meat. The diet is rich in nutrients that promote low blood pressure including potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein, and fiber.

 

Below are the recommendations for daily servings based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. These guidelines were developed by the National Institutes of Health.

DASH Diet Eating Plan

Whole grains: 6 to 8 servings per day

This category includes breads, pasta, oats, cereals, rice, quinoa, rye as well as other grains. It is recommended that you choose whole grains over white and refined grains.

Sample servings:

  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 ounce cereal
  • ½ cup cooked pasta or rice

Vegetables: 4 to 6 servings per day

This category includes asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, green beans, green leafy vegetables, kale, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and turnips as well as other vegetables.

Sample servings:

  • 1 cup leafy greens
  • ½ cup cooked or raw vegetables
  • ½ cup vegetable juice

Fruits: 4 to 6 servings per day

This category includes apples, bananas, cherries, dates, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, melons, peaches, pears, pineapple, raisins, strawberries, and watermelon as well as other fruits.

Sample servings:

  • 1 medium apple, peach, or pear
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
  • ¼ dried fruit

Dairy products: 2 to 3 servings per day

This category includes low-fat/nonfat milk, buttermilk, low-fat/nonfat cheeses, and low- fat/nonfat yogurt.

Sample servings:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) milk or yogurt
  • 1 ½ ounces cheese

Lean protein: 3 to 6 servings per day

This category includes meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Choose lean cuts of meat and trim away excess fat. Remove skin from poultry.

Sample servings:

  • 1 egg.
  • 1 ounce cooked meat (to visualize, 4 ounces is about the size of a deck of cards).

Nuts, seeds, legumes: 3 to 5 servings per week

DASH Diet Eating Plan

This category includes almonds, black beans, hazelnuts, kidney beans, legumes, lentils, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, split peas, and sunflower seeds as well other nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Sample servings:

  • 1/3 cup (1 ½ ounces) nuts
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup cooked legumes

Fats and oils: 2-3 serving per day

This category includes coconut oil, ghee, low-fat mayonnaise, margarine, olive oil, salad dressings, and vegetable oils.

Sample servings:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons salad dressing

Sweets and sugars: 5 or less per week

This category includes fruit-flavored gelatin, candy, jelly, maple syrup, sorbet, and sugar.

Sample servings:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon jam
  • ½ cup sorbet

The table below outlines the number of recommended daily servings for various calorie levels. The amount of calories needed per day depends on a number of factors including your current age, weight, gender, and activity level.

 

Dash Eating Plan—Number of Daily Servings for Other Calorie Levels

DASH Diet Eating Plan