The DASH diet provides a recommended number of daily and weekly portions of these food groups. These loose service lines they are what make the diet sustainable and flexible, allowing each person to choose their own meal plan.
The DASH diet recommended a daily portion
- 6-8 servings of grain
- 2-3 servings of cheese
- 4-5 servings of vegetables
- 4-5 servings of fruits
- 6 servings of an ounce of lean protein
The DASH diet recommended weekly servings
- 5 servings or less of sweet food per week
- 4-5 servings of legumes, nuts, walnut butter, and seeds
What should you limit about the DASH diet?
The DASH diet plan encourages followers to choose healthy food sources that help manage blood pressure. In contrast, the eating plan limits:
- Red meat
- Sodium (salt)
- Sweet and sugar added
Since excess sodium intake has been linked to increased blood pressure, monitoring sodium intake is important for the DASH diet. Depending on your health needs, there are two different DASH diet paths you can take when it comes to sodium:
- DASH standard diet: This version allows 2,300 mg of sodium per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day.
- Low-sodium DASH diet: This road recommends 1,500 mg of sodium per day, equal to two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt.
“For too long we’ve been concentrating only on cutting back on sodium,” he says Lisa Sasson, a registered dietitian and clinical professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University. “Now we know that including more of the other minerals that are in plant foods is very helpful and beneficial.”
That’s why the DASH diet is built around nutrient-rich foods that are low in sodium, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with an emphasis on moderating foods rich in healthy fats such as poly- and monounsaturated fat.
Following this logic, the DASH diet looks at the sources of coronary heart disease and
moderating how many high-fat foods your diet contains such as eggs and other dairy products.
What the research says
Over the years, there has been a wide range of studies linking lower blood pressure and the DASH diet, highlighting how nutrition has a significant impact on your heart health and blood pressure readings.
A Study 2017 published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined 412 participants with pre-hypertension or a stage of hypertension – and it was clear that consuming less salt had a direct association with lower blood pressure.
The study found that participants who followed the DASH diet and reduced their sodium intake to 1,150 milligrams per day for 30 straight days saw a greater reduction in their systolic blood pressure than participants who ate a standard American diet. .
In addition, the higher a person’s systolic blood pressure at the start of the study, the greater will be the improvement they saw from following a low-sodium DASH diet.
For example, people whose original systolic blood pressure was greater than 150 mm Hg saw a decrease of as much as 15.54 mm Hg, while people whose original systolic blood pressure was less than 130 mm Hg saw a drop of as much as 2.07 mm Hg.
A 2014 magazine in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease found that the DASH diet was also associated with lower diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure.
And while these two studies have not examined the effect of diet on long-term blood pressure, a Study 2014 published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that a 16-week structured DASH diet was associated with lower systolic blood pressure for the next eight months.
In addition, a Study 2018 published in the British Journal of Nutrition of 1,409 participants aged 24 to 28 years found that living with a DASH diet could also improve a person’s cardiovascular health, as it was associated with higher HDL cholesterol levels and a faster blood pressure. lower impulse wave, a measure of a person’s arterial health.
Cardiovascular health was even better for people who combined the DASH diet with regular exercise, the study found.
The DASH diet can also help with weight loss
The benefits of this diet extend beyond hypertension and heart health.
“Even if the original research was on the benefits of the DASH diet in hypertension, it would be a diet I recommend for everyone,” says Sasson.
According to Sasson, it’s a diet that’s easy to follow, since it’s not very specific and there aren’t a lot of restrictions, other than cutting out excessive sweets – the NIH recommends five servings of sweets a week at most.
“The diet is very safe and sustainable for anyone looking to eat healthier,” says Sasson. “That’s exactly how we should advise all people to eat.”
For example, a Study 2016 found that the DASH diet was more effective for weight loss than other low-energy diets, particularly for participants who were overweight or obese.
According to Sasson, the DASH diet is also a good way to educate people on what healthy meals look like, especially when so many of us eat on the go and opt for processed foods.
“We should look at it as one of the healthiest ways to eat,” she says.
Example of less DASH diet
If you think you want to try the DASH diet, here’s how you can get a day on DASH:
- Breakfast: Three-quarters of a cup of cereal flakes, with a medium banana and a cup of low-fat milk, accompanied by a slice of wholemeal bread and, if desired, a teaspoon of margarine. Wash everything with a cup of orange juice.
- Snack: One-third of a cup of unsalted almonds.
- Lunch: Three-quarters cup of chicken salad, with two slices of wholemeal bread and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
- Snack: A quarter cup of grapes passes.
- Dinner: Three ounces of roast beef with two tablespoons of fat-free sauce on one side of a cup of sautéed green beans and a small potato cooked with a teaspoon of margarine. If you’re not happy, add a small apple and a cup of fatty milk.
- Snack: Half a cup of fat-free fruit yogurt
For more meal ideas, the NIH has one Weekly value of daily meal plans.
Take away the Insider
Dietitians recommend the DASH diet to anyone who wants to lower their blood pressure in a sustainable and flexible way. You should limit dairy products to about five times a week and limit dairy products to two to three servings a day.
If weight loss is one of your goals, think about cutting calories in addition to following the DASH diet service guidelines. You can also monitor your sodium intake to further reduce high blood pressure – between 1,500 mg and 2,300 mg is recommended.