Dash Diet the Ultimate Guide

Food on a table with writing in the middel

Before we begin with dash diet the ultimate guide I want to say that there was a lot of research that went into this article while we try 100% to give accurate guidelines and results it’s always a good idea to consult your general practitioner and nutritionist before going on any diet as this is a very long article we will

What is the dash diet…

Dash diet stands for  “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension

November 7th, 2016 on the today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda two women were asked to choose a diet that they would like to follow for a month one of the women chose to follow the dash diet weight loss solution her results were spectacular (41,42)

The dash diet was originally intended for people with hypertension which is a medical term for high blood pressure men and women went on this diet to lower their risk of heart disease it was later also stated that the dash diet can help with weight loss in men and women the dash diet controls the intake of salt also called sodium researchers discovered this diet after noticing lower risk of high blood pressure in vegans and vegetarians the dash diet consumes fruits and vegetables and some lean meat like chicken and fish had a low-fat dairy products and nuts are also included in the dash diet later on we will include the dash diet menu and the dash diet eating plan so you go ahead and read on. (5,6)

Dash diet and high blood pressure

high blood pressure

High blood pressure is in definition the force of which the blood pushes against the artery walls the measurement of this is (mmHg) and called millimeters of mercury Blood pressure is recorded in two numbers namely systolic pressure and diastolic pressure 

  • Systolic pressure is the measurement of the force of blood against the artery walls while the heart is beating.
  • Diastolic Pressure  is the measurement of the force of blood against the artery walls while the heart is resting or between heartbeats

High blood pressure is dangerous as it lets the hart work overtime for extended periods of time and this can lead to damage of organs like eyes, kidneys and the Brain eventually damaging the heart itself blood pressure affects more than 65 million people have high blood pressure can also be controlled if you follow these steps to maintain a healthy weight must be physically active on most days follow a healthy eating plan which includes foods lower in sodium alcoholic beverages should be taken wisely if you have prescribed medication always stick to it how does the dash diet and high blood pressure work together findings by the national heart lung and blood Institute showed that blood pressure was reduced while following a healthy eating plan that’s low in saturated fat cholesterol and total fat the dash diet products are grain products fish poultry and nuts must be rich in potassium magnesium and calcium as well as protein and fiber (1,2,3,4)

Daily goals use in the dash diet

If you are following a 2100 calories eating plan: Total fat should be 27% of  total calories saturated fat 6% of calories Protein 18% of calories Carbohydrates 55% of calories Cholesterol 15 mg, Calcium 1250 mg Magnesium 500 mg, Fiber 30 gram

The dash diet study

The study involved 459 adults with systolic blood pressure less than 160 (mmHg) and diastolic Pressure of 80-95 (mmHg) 27 of them had high blood pressure 50% were women and 60% were African Americans the study involved an eating plan of food that many Americans regularly eat the dash eating plan contained about 3000 milligrams of sodium none of these plans were vegetarian. Studies were conducted at 4 medical stations and sponsored by the (NHLBI) The dash eating plan had the greatest effect, especially for those who have high blood pressure these differences came within two weeks of starting the dash diet plan. (7,8,9,10,11,12,13)

How to lose weight with the dash diet

The dash diet can be adopted to promote weight loss it is rich in lower-calorie foods or also called (negative calorie foods) such as fruit and vegetables you can make it lower in calories by replacing higher-calorie foods such as sweets with more fruits and vegetables here are some examples eat a  medium apple instead of shortbread cookies used low-fat or fat-free condiments eat smaller portions check food labels to compare fat content limit food with lots of added sugars such as pies candy bars snack on fruits (14,15,16,20,21)

Snack on unbuttered and  unsalted popcorn or rice cakes drink lots of water (17,18,19)

What do you eat on the dash diet

The dash diet consists more of what serving sizes you should eat them telling you exactly what food you should eat below is a list and serving suggestion based upon a 2000 calorie a day intake. (22)

Whole Grains6 – 8One slice bread one once dry cerealHalf a cup cooked rice
Vegetables4 – 5One cup raw leafy vegetablesHalf a cup raw vegetablesHalf a cup vegetable juice
Fruits4 – 5One medium fruit
Quarter cup dried fruit half a cup fresh frozen or canned fruits
Lean Meats Poultry And Fish6 – LessOne ounce cooked meat poultry or fish One egg

Fat-free or Low-fat milk and milk products2 – 3One cup milk or yogurt one and a half of ch ounce of cheese
Nuts Seeds and Legumes4 – 5 per weekOne and a half cup nuts two tbsp peanut butter one cup dried beans and peas
Fats and Oils2 – 3One tsp soft margarineOne tsp vegetable oil to tbsp salad dressing
Sweets And Added sugars5 – or lessOne tbsp of sugar one tbsp of jelly or jam One cup lemonade

The below table we’ll have examples of food groups and the significance of each of these food groups.

Whole wheat bread and rolls whole wheat pasta, pita bread, pretzels and popcornA major source of energy and fiber
Tomatoes, Sweet potatoes collards green beans, peas, broccoli and carrotsRich in sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber
Bananas, apricots, apples, grapes, melons, strawberries, peaches and mangoes.An important source of potassium magnesium and fiber
Fat-free or Low-fat milk frozen yogurt and reduce cheesesMajor sources of calcium and protein
Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts sunflower seedsRich sources of energy magnesium and fiber
Soft margarine vegetable oils light salad dressingsThe dash diet study shows that 27% of total calories should be fats

Sweets and sugars can be taken with the dash diet but it is not recommended it would be best to cut the sugar intake to a very minimum. Find 8 superfoods you can repace with sugar

The below table shows the number of daily servings with different calorie levels there are 3 different levels

  • 3100 calories – Normal healthy living Dash diet.
  • 2600 calories – Dash Diet to reduce high blood pressure.
  • 1600 calories – Dash diet if you want to lose weight.

Serving per day

Whole grains
610 – 1113
3 – 45 – 6
45 – 66
Low-fat milk
2 – 333 – 4
Lean meats
3 – 66 6 – 9

Dash diet recipes for one week

Day 1

Chicken Salad

tomato and lemon juice with chicken on plate
  • Three and a quarter cup of chicken breast cooked, cubed, and skinless.
  • Quarter cup celery chopped
  • One tablespoon lemon juice
  • Half a tablespoon onion powder
  • One eight of salt
  • Three tablespoons mayonnaise low fat
  1. Bake chicken cut into cubes and refrigerate.
  2. In a large bowl combine rest of ingredients add chilled chicken and mix well
  3. Makes five servings if the serving size is a quarter cup each

Day 2

Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti with tomatoes on a plate
  • Two tablespoons olive oil
  • Two small onions chopped
  • Three cloves garlic chopped
  • One quarter cups zucchini sliced
  • One tablespoon oregano dried
  • One eight-ounce can of tomato sauce 
  • One 6 ounce can of tomato paste 
  • Two medium tomatoes chopped
  • One cup of water
  1. In a medium skillet heat oil saute onions garlic and zucchini in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 45 minutes serve over spaghetti.

Day 3

New Potato Salad

Potato salad and the dash diet
  • Sixteen small new potatoes approximately five cups
  • Two tablespoons olive oil
  • Quarter cup green onions chopped 
  • Quarter teaspoon black pepper
  • One teaspoon dill weed dried

1.Thoroughly clean potatoes with vegetable brush and water

2.Boil potatoes for twenty minutes or until tender

3.Drain and cool potatoes for 20 minutes

4. Cut potatoes into quarters and mix with olive oil onions and  spices

5. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Makes five servings of one cup each

Day 4

Chicken and Spanish rice

chicken and spicy rich will help with dash diet
  • One cup onions chopped
  • Three-quarters green peppers
  • Two teaspoons vegetable oil
  • One eight-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • One teaspoon parsley chopped
  • Half teaspoon garlic minced
  • Five cups cooked brown rice(cooked in unsalted water)
  • Three and a half chicken breast cooked skin and bone removed and dice
  1. In a large skillet saute onions and green peppers in oil for five minutes on medium heat
  2. Add tomato sauce and spices heat through
  3. Add cooked rice and chicken heat through 
  4. Makes five servings one and a half cup each

Day 5

Tuna Salad

tuna salad and the dash diet
  • Two six-ounce cans of tuna water-packed
  • Half cup raw celery chopped
  • One-third cup green onions chopped
  • Six and a half tablespoons mayonnaise low fat
  1. Rinse and drain tuna for five minutes break apart with a fork.
  2. Add celery onion and mayonnaise and mix well.
  3. Makes five servings half a cup each.

Day 6

Spicy Baked Fish

fish on a plate good for the dash diet
  • One pound salmon(or other fish) fillet
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • One teaspoon spicy seasoning salt-free
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit spray a casserole dish with cooking oil spray
  2. Wash and dry fish
  3. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork cut into four pieces and serve with rice
  4. Makes four servings of one piece each

Day 7

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini on a plate
  • Half a pound cooked lasagna noodles cooked unsalted water
  • Quarter cup part-skim mozzarella cheese grated
  • One and a half cups cottage cheese fat-free
  • Quarter cup  parmesan cheese grated
  • One and a half cups raw zucchini sliced
  • Two and a half cups low sodium  tomato sauce
  • Two teaspoons basil dried
  • Two tablespoons oregano dried
  • Quarter cup onion chopped
  • One clove garlic
  • One eight teaspoons black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  lightly spray a 9 by 13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray
  2. In a small bowl combine 1/8 cup mozzarella and one tablespoon with vegetable oil spray 
  3. In a medium bowl combine the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese with all the cottage cheese mix well and set aside
  4. Combine tomato sauce with remaining ingredients spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish add a third of the noodles in a single layer spread of the cottage cheese mixture on top and a layer of zucchini.
  5. Repeat layering at a thin coating of sauce top with noodles sauce and reverse cheese mixture covered with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake 30 to  40 minutes cool for 10 to 15 minutes cut into 6 portions.

Now that we have the recipes we can start preparing the meal plan for the dash diet following below is 

The dash diet eating plan for one week

Blue plate with letters says meal plan

Day 1


Quarter cup bran flakes cereal one medium banana one cup low-fat milk one slice of wheat bread 1 tsp soft tub margarine 1 cup of orange juice


Quarter cup chicken salad two slices of wheat bread 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Salad: Half a cup of fresh cucumber slices half a cup tomato wedges 1 tbsp sunflower seeds 1 tsp Italian dressing low calorie half a cup fruit cocktail juice pack 


Three ounces beef eye of round 2 tablespoons beef gravy fat-free one cup green beans sauteed with 1/2 tsp canola oil one small baked potato one tablespoon sour cream fat-free one tablespoon grated natural cheddar cheese reduced-fat 1 tbsp chopped scallions one small whole wheat roll one tsp substitute margarine one small apple one cup low-fat milk

Day 2


Half a cup of instant oatmeal One Mini whole wheat bagel 1 tbsp peanut butter one medium banana one cup low-fat milk


Chicken breast sandwich 3 oz chicken breast skinless to slice of whole wheat bread one slice natural cheddar cheese reduced fat one large Leaf Romaine lettuce two slices tomato 1 tbsp mayonnaise low-fat one cup cantaloupe chunks


1 cup spaghetti 3/4 cup vegetarian spaghetti sauce 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese spinach salad 1 cup fresh spinach leaves quarter cup fresh carrots greater quarter cup fresh mushrooms sliced 1 tbsp vinaigrette dressing half a cup corn cooked from frozen half a cup canned pears juice pack 

Day 3


Quarter cup bran flakes cereal one medium banana one cup low-fat milk one slice of bread 1 tsp soft tub margarine and 1 cup of orange juice


Beef barbecue sandwich 2 oz beef eye of round 1 tbsp barbecue sauce two slices natural cheddar cheese reduced fat one hamburger bun one large Leaf Romaine lettuce to slices tomato 1 cup new potato salad one medium Orange 


3 ounces fish one teaspoon lemon juice half cup brown rice 1 cup spinach cooked from frozen Southside with one tsp canola oil 1 tbsp almonds slivered one small cornbread muffin made with oil 1 tsp soft-tip margarine


One cup fruit yogurt fat-free no added sugar 1 tbsp sunflower seeds unsalted two large graham cracker rectangles one tablespoon peanut butter

Day 4


One slice of whole wheat bread 1 tsp soft margarine 1 cup fruit yogurt fat-free no added sugar one medium peach half a cup grape juice


Ham and cheese sandwich 2 oz Ham low-fat low-sodium one slice natural cheddar cheese reduced-fat two slices whole wheat bread one large leaf Romaine lettuce two slices tomato 1 tbsp mayonnaise low-fat one carrot stick.


Chicken and Spanish rice one cup green piece salt trade with one teaspoon of canola oil one cup cantaloupe chunks 1 cup low-fat milk.


quarter cup almonds unsalted 1 cup apple juice quarter cup apricot 1 cup low-fat milk

Day 5


1 cup whole grain oats cereal one medium banana one cup low-fat milk one medium raisin bagels 1 tbsp peanut butter 1 cup of orange juice


Tuna salad plate half a cup tuna salad one large Leaf Romaine lettuce one slice of whole wheat bread cucumber salad 1 cup fresh cucumber slices half a cup tomato weight is 1 tbsp vinaigrette dressing half a cup of cottage cheese low-fat half a cup of canned pineapple juice pack 1 tbsp almonds unsalted


3 oz is Turkey meatloaf one small baked potato one tablespoon sour cream fat-free 1tbsp natural cheddar cheese reduced-fat grated one scallion Stalk 1 cup Collard Greens sauteed with 1 tbsp canola oil one small whole wheat roll one medium peach


One cup fruit yogurt fat-free no added sugar 1 tbsp sunflower seeds unsalted

Day 6


1 low-fat granola bar one medium banana Harbor Cup fruit yogurt fat-free no sugar added one cup of orange juice one cup low-fat milk


Turkey breast sandwich 3 oz of turkey breast two slices of whole wheat bread one large Leaf Romaine lettuce two slices tomato 1 tbsp mayonnaise low-fat 1 tbsp dijon  mustard 1 cup steamed broccoli cooked from frozen one medium Orange


Three ounces spicy baked fish one cup Scallion rice half a cup spinach cooked from frozen Saute with 2 tbsp canola oil 1 tablespoon almonds silver unsalted one cup carrots cook from frozen one small whole wheat roll one teaspoon margarine one small cookie

Day 7


1 cup whole grain oat rings  one medium banana 1 cup low-fat milk 1 cup fruit yogurt fat-free no sugar added


One cup tuna drained rinsed 1 tbsp mayonnaise low-fat one large Leaf Romaine lettuce two slices tomato two slices of wheat bread one medium apple one cup low-fat milk


One-sixth a zucchini lasagna, 1 cup fresh spinach leaves 1 cup tomato wedges 2 tablespoons croutons seasoned 1 tbsp vinaigrette dressing reduced-calorie 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds one small whole wheat roll 1 tablespoon of margarine one cup grape juice


Quarter cup almonds unsalted quarter cup dry apricots 6 whole-wheat crackers

There you’ve got 7 days of meal planning done for you you can always go back to the recipes or even look through on the internet for any other – diet recipes mix these up and you can go for approximately one month with different types of recipes

Can you eat eggs on the dash diet

Two plates with eggs on plus knives and fork

You can eat eggs with the dash diet you have to keep in mind that the dash diet is against sodium so you can eat eggs but without any salt better to eat only the whites which include a lot of protein replacing eggs with whole potatoes which is full of potassium is a much better option

Potential health benefits with the dash diet

Two animated potatoes giving a thumps up

According to a recent study that followed women on the dash diet had a 20% lower risk of heart-related illnesses and 30% chance of getting a stroke the dash diet has also been linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes some studies showed it can improve insulin resistance women following the dash diet have a lower risk of breast cancer most of the dash diet foods are fruits and vegetables and this is probably the main reason for the lower risk of diseases such as fresh produce like fruits and vegetables have a lot of minerals and vitamins which keeps the body safe from diseases (23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32)

Stress management with dash diet

Written with red pencil stress on white paper

The dash diet is all about lowering your blood pressure as we all know stress is a competing factor when it comes to blood pressure a lot of stress can have a significant impact and raise your blood pressure, in many cases, there are things that we feel we cannot change in life like a boss at work-family situations and our own health worries what we can change is how we let this impact our daily lives trying to learn some stress management techniques there are courses available online for these types of stress management examples meditation and mindfulness stress reduction poor sleep can also be a huge influence in high-blood-pressure studies have been done showing that people with sleep apnea have higher chances of high blood pressure 

Exercise and the dash diet

Woman running in the distance spooky road

When did dash diet was invented back in the 1990s it was intended only for a food perspective later revised it became clear that when you add it moderate exercise to the dash diet it can be more effective in lowering blood pressure and losing overall weight, it is recommended to do about 30 minutes of moderate activity daily this made include brisk walking 9 minutes per kilometre of 15 minutes per mile running cycling swimming 20 minutes or even housework for 60 minutes(6 more ways you can lose weight) (38)

Potassium and the dash diet

Two avocados with a brown bowl in the background potassium is good for the dash diet

Potassium is so important in the dash diet that we have to say a few words about it it plays a unique role in regulating one’s blood pressure it balances out there facts of salt or sodium the dash diet recommend eating 4700 milligrams of potassium daily to further lower blood pressure here are some foods that are high in potassium one whole avocado, one medium baked potato one medium sweet potato, spinach, half a fillet of Solomon, plain yogurt, beets, banana, orange juice

Drawbacks  to the dash diet

The dash diet was not designed for weight loss per se and this can lead to discouragement for some the dash diet does not give Direct instructions for weight-loss methods rather giving the number of servings for food groups for different calorie levels other people may find it hard to eat as much fiber as the dash diet recommends.

Can I drink coffee with the dash diet

It’s well-known that caffeine can cause a short-term increase in blood pressure furthermore the increase in blood pressure is extreme in people that have high blood pressure already a recent study review claimed that there are no long-term effects of heart disease or high blood pressure while drinking caffeinated products three to four cups of coffee a day are considered safe (33,34,35,36)

How much does the dash diet cost

the dash diet can be on the expensive side since fresh produce like fruits and vegetables plus all grains are generally pricier than processed or fatty foods I suggest taking it week-by-week when you are setting up your weekly – diet eating plan you will know what to buy and where to find the best deals

Am I going to starve on the dash diet

The first answer is no nutritionist have expressed the importance of satisfying the feeling of you didn’t have enough that emphasizes lean protein and fiber filled fruits and veggies which should keep you full even if you reduce your calorie level to support your weight loss


Blue background with yellow blocks written letters says conclusion to the dash diet

The dash diet is one of the best healthiest diets out there on the market today the dash diet mostly Focuses on lowering high blood pressure and it was invented in the 1990s the dash diet was later on repackaged and even lower calories were used in weight loss diet the dash diet has been recommended by a lot of general practitioners and dietitians in this article you will find the meal plan and the recipes for a healthy dash diet experience If you experience any symptoms of high blood pressure it is highly recommended that you go on the dash diet immediately the dash diet is not only for people with high blood pressure but you can also use it for weight loss It is speculated that the dash diet has a lot of similarities with The low carb diet

Please let us know in the comments what you think about this article is there anything we left out or we didn’t put in that you would like us to revise

Have you been on any diets lately and which one is your best?


Hi there My name is Christo Zeelie and I am the CEO and founder of healthopolitan.com we are a company dedicated to bringing our audience information that is accurate and honest. Family values are at the core of our business If you have any question please feel free to send us a mail at: [email protected] Kind regards Christo Zeelie

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