Dash Diet Plan For High Blood Pressure


Dash diet plan for high blood pressure: The Dash Diet plan is an effective way to lower blood pressure. It has been created and proven by American Heart Association to fight against the high blood pressure or hypertension. The advanced formula of this diet plan gives you good results, providing better health and healthy lifestyle. With the Dash diet plan, you can experience lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease.

What Is the DASH Diet?


Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, is a diet recommended for people who want to prevent or treat hypertension — also known as high blood pressure — and reduce their risk of heart disease.

The DASH diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.

The diet was created after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was much less common in people who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians.

That’s why the DASH diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables while containing some lean protein sources like chicken, fish and beans. The diet is low in red meat, salt, added sugars and fat.

Scientists believe that one of the main reasons people with high blood pressure can benefit from this diet is because it reduces salt intake.

The regular DASH diet program encourages no more than 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) of sodium per day, which is in line with most national guidelines.

The lower-salt version recommends no more than 3/4 teaspoon (1,500 mg) of sodium per day.


The DASH diet was designed to reduce high blood pressure. While rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, it restricts red meat, salt, added sugars and fat.

Potential Benefits

Beyond reducing blood pressure, the DASH diet offers a number of potential benefits, including weight loss and reduced cancer risk.

However, you shouldn’t expect DASH to help you shed weight on its own — as it was designed fundamentally to lower blood pressure. Weight loss may simply be an added perk.

The diet impacts your body in several ways.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the force put on your blood vessels and organs as your blood passes through them. It’s counted in two numbers:

  • Systolic pressure: The pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats.
  • Diastolic pressure: The pressure in your blood vessels between heartbeats, when your heart is at rest.

Normal blood pressure for adults is a systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg. This is normally written with the systolic blood pressure above the diastolic pressure, like this: 120/80.

People with a blood pressure reading of 140/90 are considered to have high blood pressure.

Interestingly, the DASH diet demonstrably lowers blood pressure in both healthy people and those with high blood pressure.

In studies, people on the DASH diet still experienced lower blood pressure even if they didn’t lose weight or restrict salt intake.

However, when sodium intake was restricted, the DASH diet lowered blood pressure even further. In fact, the greatest reductions in blood pressure were seen in people with the lowest salt consumption.

These low-salt DASH diet results were most impressive in people who already had high blood pressure, reducing systolic blood pressure by an average of 12 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg.

In people with normal blood pressure, it reduced systolic blood pressure by 4 mmHg and diastolic by 2 mmHg.

This is in line with other studies which reveal that restricting salt intake can reduce blood pressure — especially in those who have high blood pressure.

Keep in mind that a decrease in blood pressure does not always translate to a decreased risk of heart disease.

DASH Diet and High Blood Pressure

One of the steps your doctor may recommend to lower your high blood pressure is to start using the DASH diet. 

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (high blood pressure). The diet is simple:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  • Cut back on foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats
  • Eat more whole-grain foods, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Limit sodium, sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats

In research studies, people who were on the DASH diet lowered their blood pressure within 2 weeks.

Another diet — DASH-Sodium — calls for cutting back sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day (about 2/3 teaspoon). Studies of people on the DASH-Sodium plan lowered their blood pressure as well.

Starting the DASH Diet

The DASH diet calls for a certain number of servings daily from various food groups. The number of servings you require may vary, depending on how many calories you need per day.

You can make gradual changes. For instance, start by limiting yourself to 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day (about 1 teaspoon). Then, once your body has adjusted to the diet, cut back to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day (about 2/3 teaspoon). These amounts include all sodium eaten, including sodium in food products as well as in what you cook with or add at the table.

Dash Diet Tips

  • Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
  • Add a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use, but check that they don’t have added sugar.
  • Use only half your typical serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing, and use low-fat or fat-free condiments.
  • Drink low-fat or skim dairy products any time you would normally use full-fat or cream.
  • Limit meat to 6 ounces a day. Make some meals vegetarian.
  • Add more vegetables and dry beans to your diet.
  • Instead of snacking on chips or sweets, eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yogurt, frozen yogurt, unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
  • Read food labels to choose products that are lower in sodium.

Staying on the DASH Diet

The DASH diet suggests getting:

Grains: 7-8 daily servings

Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings

Fruits: 4-5 daily servings

Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings

Meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or less daily servings

Nuts, seeds, and dry beans: 4-5 servings per week

Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings

Sweets: try to limit to less than 5 servings per week

How Much Is a Serving?

When you’re trying to follow a healthy eating plan, it helps to know how much of a certain kind of food is considered a “serving.” One serving is:

  • 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 cup raw vegetables or fruit
  • 1/2 cup cooked veggies or fruit
  • 8 ounces of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil (or any other oil)
  • 3 ounces cooked meat
  • 3 ounces tofu

DASH diet: What to eat

The DASH diet is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life. It’s easy to follow using foods found at your grocery store.

The DASH diet is rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. It includes fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans and nuts. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products.

When following DASH, it is important to choose foods that are:

  • Rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and protein
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Low in sodium

DASH diet: Recommended servings

The DASH diet provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. The number of servings you should have depends on your daily calorie needs.

Here’s a look at the recommended servings from each food group for a 2,000-calorie-a-day DASH diet:

  • Grains: 6 to 8 servings a day. One serving is one slice bread, 1 ounce dry cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
  • Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings a day. One serving is 1 cup raw leafy green vegetable, 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables, or 1/2 cup vegetable juice.
  • Fruits: 4 to 5 servings a day. One serving is one medium fruit, 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit, or 1/2 cup fruit juice.
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products: 2 to 3 servings a day. One serving is 1 cup milk or yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces cheese.
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish: six 1-ounce servings or fewer a day. One serving is 1 ounce cooked meat, poultry or fish, or 1 egg.
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes: 4 to 5 servings a week. One serving is 1/3 cup nuts, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons seeds, or 1/2 cup cooked legumes (dried beans or peas).
  • Fats and oils: 2 to 3 servings a day. One serving is 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or 2 tablespoons salad dressing.
  • Sweets and added sugars: 5 servings or fewer a week. One serving is 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 cup sorbet, or 1 cup lemonade.

Diet Chart For Dash Diet For Hypertension


Hypertension or high blood pressure is the excessive force exerted on the blood vessels due to the speedy work of heart pumping the blood. Hypertension is characterized by the blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg. It is important to keep a check on your blood pressure by regular medical checkups, diet control, and proper medications. Caused by various reasons like smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, stress, old age, genetics, etc.

Hypertension can be brought under control with dash diet for hypertension:

  1. DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a necessary step to take control of your health and weight before it takes control of you and hence, keeps hypertension at bay. It includes various steps along with a reduction in sodium consumption to help out the high blood pressure patient in a very short time.
  2. The dash diet for hypertension advises to cut down on cholesterol and fatty substances in the diet replacing them with fruits and vegetables which do not retain fats in the body. The dash diet for hypertension works with the internal organs of the patient making it healthy and more efficient within two weeks.
  3. The dash diet focuses on heart-healthy diet. Reverse aging effect, positive effect on hair and revitalizes skin are some of the other benefits of the dash diet for hypertension. With all these benefits embracing the dash diet as a healthier way of living is necessary to step to ensure a healthy future for your heart.

Diet Chart

Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup milk/ tea + 1 toasted bread + 1 omelette with lots of vegetables + 4-5 almonds
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 apple
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup moong dal + 1 cup bhindi + 2 chapatti + 1/2 cup curd + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup vegetable soup
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup dal + 1 cup potato curry + 1 cup brown rice + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup milk + 1.5 cup vegetable poha + 3-4 walnuts
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 cup watermelon
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup rajma + 1 cup gobhi aloo + 1 cup cucumber raita + 1 cup rice + 1 chapatti + onion salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup sprouts salad
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup arhar dal + 1 cup methi mattar + 2 chapatti + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup milk/ tea + 2 vegetable moong dal cheela + 4-5 almonds
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 cup pomegranat
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup chana dal + 1 cup soybean vegetable + 2 chapatti + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup chana chaat
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup moong dal + 1 cup ghia vegetable + 2 chapatti + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup milk/ tea + 2 vegetable suji cheela + 3-4 walnuts
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 cup buttermilk
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup white chana + 1 cup palak paneer + 1 cup rice + 1 chapatti + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup roasted soy chaap
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup masoor dal + 1 cup snake gourd + 2 chapatti + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup milk/ tea + 1 cup vegetable bread upma + 4-5 almonds
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 cup papaya
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup moong dal + 1 cup tinda vegetable + 2 chapatti + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup vegetable soup
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup soybean vegetable + 2 chapatti + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup milk/ tea +2 vegetable besan cheela + 3-4 walnuts
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 cup cantaloupe
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup palak dal + 2 chapatti + 1 cup ghia raita + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup sprouts salad
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup mattar paneer vegetable + 1 cup rice + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM)1 cup vegetable idli + 1 cup sambhar + coconut chutney + 4-5 almonds
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM)1 banana
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM)1 cup soybean curry + 1 cup rice + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM)1 cup paneer tikka
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM)1 cup bhindi + 2 chapatti + salad

Food Items To Limit

Foods and drinks to avoid when following the DASH diet include high sugar, high fat snacks, and foods high in salt such as: Candy, Cookies, Chips, Salted nuts, Sodas, Sugary beverages, Pastries, Snacks, Meat dishes, Prepackaged pasta and rice dishes (excluding macaroni and cheese because it is a separate category), Pizza, Soups, Salad dressings, Cheese, Cold cuts and cured meats, Breads and rolls, Sandwiches, Sauces, gravies etc.,

Do’s And Dont’s


  1. Serve up lean poultry and fish in moderation. They’re low-fat, heart-healthy choices.
  2. Do: Load up on whole grains and vegetables. Many of these foods are rich in fiber, calcium, protein and potassium, which have been shown to help fend off or lower high blood pressure.
  3. Do satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit. Skip the sugary, fat-laden desserts.
  4. Do: Have low-fat or fat-free dairy. Lowering your fat intake is important for a heart-healthy diet.
  5. Most packaged foods have a Nutrition Facts label that can help you figure out how they fit into your diet. Look for reduced sodium and fat products. Compare like items and choose the one that’s lower in sodium and fat and has fewer calories.


  1. Don’t reach for the saltshaker. Instead, season your dishes with herbs, spices or lemon zest.
  2. Don’t: Overdo it on the red meat. It’s fattier than lean chicken and fish.
  3. Don’t: Drink too much alcohol. It can raise your blood pressure and damage the liver, heart and brain. Moderation is key – one drink a day for women and two for men.

Food Items You Can Easily Consume

  1. Grains include bread, cereal, rice and pasta.
  2. Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens and other vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, and such minerals as potassium and magnesium.
  3. Many fruits need little preparation to become a healthy part of a meal or snack. Like vegetables, they’re packed with fiber, potassium and magnesium and are typically low in fat- coconuts are an exception.
  4. Milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are major sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein. But the key is to make sure that you choose dairy products that are low fat or fat-free because otherwise they can be a major source of fat and most of it is saturated.
  5. Meat can be a rich source of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc. Choose lean varieties and aim for no more than 6 ounces a day. Cutting back on your meat portion will allow room for more vegetables.
  6. Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, peas, lentils and other foods in this family are good sources of magnesium, potassium and protein. They’re also full of fiber and phytochemicals, which are plant compounds that may protect against some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
  7. Fat helps your body absorb essential vitamins and helps your body’s immune system. But too much fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The DASH diet strives for a healthy balance by limiting total fat to less than 30 percent of daily calories from fat, with a focus on the healthier monounsaturated fats.

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