Figure The Dash Eating Plan

The DASH eating plan is based on 2000 calories a day. The number of daily servings in a food group may vary from those listed, depending on your caloric needs. Use this chart to help you plan menus or take it with you when you go to the store.

Food Group Grains and grain products



Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods

Meats, poultry, and fish

Nuts, seeds, and dry beans

Daily Servings (except as noted)

2 or less

4-5 per week

Serving Sizes 1 slice bread 1 oz. dry cereal* 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal

1 cup raw leafy vegetable 1/2 cup cooked vegetables 6 oz. vegetable juice

6 oz. fruit juice 1 medium fruit 1/4 cup dried fruit 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit

8 oz. milk 1 cup yogurt 11/2 oz. cheese

3 oz. cooked meats, poultry or fish

seeds 1/2 cup cooked dry beans, peas

Examples and Notes Whole-wheat bread, English muffin, pita bread, bagel, cereals, grits, oatmeal, crackers, unsalted pretzels, popcorn

Tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green peas, squash, broccoli, turnip greens, collards, kale, spinach, artichokes, green beans, lima beans, sweet potatoes

Apricots, bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, prunes, raisins, strawberries, tangerines Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk, fat-free or low-fat buttermilk, fat-free or low-fat regular or frozen yogurt, low-fat and fat-free cheese Select only lean; trim away visible fats; broil, roast, or boil instead of frying; remove skin from poultry Almonds, filberts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, lentils

Significance of Each Food Group to the DASH Eating Plan Major sources of energy and fiber

Rich sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber

Important sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber

Major sources of calcium and protein

Rich sources of protein and magnesium

Rich sources of energy, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber




Food Group Fats and oils^

Daily Servings (except as noted)


Serving Sizes 1 tsp. soft margarine

1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. light salad dressing

1 tsp. vegetable oil

Examples and Notes Soft margarine, low-fat mayonnaise, light salad dressing, vegetable oil (such as olive, corn, canola, or safflower)

Significance of Each Food Group to the DASH Eating Plan

DASH has 27 percent of calories as fat, including fat in or added to foods


2 Tbsp. jelly or jam 1/2 oz. jelly beans 8 oz. lemonade

Maple syrup, sugar, jelly, jam, fruit-flavored gelatin, jelly beans, hard candy, fruit punch, sorbet, ices

Sweets should be low in fat

*Equals V2-IV4 cups, depending on cereal type. Check the product's Nutrition Facts label.

tFat content changes serving counts for fats and oils. For example, 1 Tbsp. of regular salad dressing equals 1 serving; 1 Tbsp. of a low-fat dressing equals V2 serving; 1 Tbsp. of a fat-free dressing equals 0 servings.

Source: "Facts About the DASH Eating Plan," National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH Publication #03-4082, 2003.

Excess body weight is correlated closely with increased blood pressure. Weight reduction reduces blood pressure in a large proportion of hypertensive individuals who are more than 10 percent above ideal weight.

Excessive alcohol intake can raise blood pressure and cause resistance to antihypertensive therapy. Hypertensive patients who drink alcohol-containing beverages should be counseled to limit their daily intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One drink equals IV2 ounces of 80-proof whiskey, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.

Regular aerobic physical activity that is adequate to achieve at least a moderate level of physical fitness may be beneficial for both prevention and treatment of hypertension. Sedentary and unfit individuals with normal blood pressure have a 20 to 50 percent increased risk of developing hypertension during follow-up compared with their more active and fit peers.

On average, the higher your salt (sodium chloride) intake, the higher your blood pressure. Nearly all Americans consume substantially more salt than they need. Decreasing salt intake is important to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure. Some individuals tend to be more sensitive to salt than others, including African-Americans, older and middle-aged adults, and people with hypertension.

Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C also need to be in the diet in adequate supply to normalize blood pressure. In fact, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet recommends 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables (great sources of potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium) and 2 to 3 servings of dairy products daily (as part of a 2000-kcalorie diet). The DASH diet also emphasizes low fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and added sugars, and so it is reduced in red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages. Because it is rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH eating plan makes it easier to consume less salt and sodium. Tips to start the DASH diet are listed in Figure 11-9.

My Life My Diet

My Life My Diet

I lost over 60 pounds and 4+ inches off my waist without pills, strenuous exercise, or any of the things that the diet experts tell you to do...and I did it in less than 4 months! If you have the desire, and can read through my e-book , then this is for you! I could have easily made it a lot more difficult, with stacks of information that people will never read, but why?

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment