Diet dash diet

Published on January 24th, 2013 | by George Conte



The DASH Diet is a diet plan created by the National Health Institute of America. The goal of DASH diet is the reduction of blood pressure, without the use of drugs. Dash means “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”.

The DASH diet can also be used as a diet for weight loss. This diet suggests a healthy lifestyle, reduced consumption of salt.

What is hypertension?

Blood pressure is the force that pushes the walls of arteries. Blood pressure is measured in units called millimeters of mercury. There are two values ​​of blood pressure:

Systolic pressure – is the pressure that blood exerts on the arteries when the heart beats. In common language it is called high blood pressure.

Diastolic pressure – is the pressure that blood exerts on the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats. In common language it is called low blood pressure.

Normal blood pressure values

Normal blood pressure values ​​are:

Systolic pressure is below 120mmHg and diastolic pressure is less than 80mmHg.

The high blood pressure, hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140mmHg and diastolic pressure equal to or higher than 90mmHg. Otherwise
When the values ​​are intermediate, i.e. the systolic pressure is between 120mmHg and 140mmHg and diastolic pressure between 80mmHg 90mmHg and then the condition is called pre-hypertension.

When blood pressure is even slightly above the normal range it could be dangerous to your health.

The DASH diet fundamentals

The DASH diet plan emphasizes at eating fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products with little or no fat, while limiting saturated fats, foods high in cholesterol and fat in general.

The DASH diet includes whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and nuts. Red meat, sweets and juices with high sugar are restricted. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, proteins and fiber.

The DASH diet suggests two similar diets in relation to the consumption of sodium, one is up to 2300 milligrams per day and the other at about 1500 milligrams per day.

In the DASH diet you are setting up your diet. The DASH diet suggests some food groups that should be consumed and under calorie needs defines the number of units allowed to consume.

How many calories you need depends on the sex, age and the level of your physical activity. The DASH diet divides physical activity in three categories.

Sedentary – You only do some physical activities that are part of your daily life.

Moderate Active – Physical activity equivalent to walking about 2.5 to 5 km with speed of 5 miles per hour and some light physical exercises.

Very Active – Physical activity equivalent to over 5 km at a speed of 5 km per hour and some light physical exercises.

You can find out how many calories you need daily using the table below.

Daily calorie needs




Moderate Active

Very Active



























When you find how many calories you need daily you can use the table below to plan your diet.

Food group

Servings per day

Serving Samples

1600 Calories

2000 Calories

2600 Calories

Grains & grain products




1 slice bread
1 cup ready-to-eat cereal

One-half cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal





1 cup raw leafy vegetable

cup cooked vegetable
6 ounces vegetable juice





1 medium fruit
cup dried fruit

cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit

6 ounces fruit juice

Low fat or fat free dairy foods




8 ounces milk
1 cup yogurt
1 ounces cheese

Lean meats, poultry, and



6 or less


3 ounces cooked lean meats, skinless poultry, or fish

Nuts, seeds, and dry beans

3 per week

4-5 per week


1/3 cup or 1 one-half ounces nuts

1 tablespoon or one-half ounce seeds

one-half cup cooked dry beans

Fats & oils




1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 tablespoon lowfat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons light salad dressing

1 teaspoon vegetable oil



5 or less per week

Less than 2

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon jelly or jam

one-half ounce jelly beans

8 ounces lemonade

Examples of foods to choose from each category:


  • Whole grain bread
  • whole wheat pasta
  • bagel
  • cereals
  • grits
  • oatmeal
  • brown rice
  • popcorn


  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • cabbage
  • beans
  • peas
  • cabbage
  • potatoes
  • spinach
  • squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes


  • apples
  • apricots
  • bananas
  • dates
  • grapes
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • grapefruit juice
  • mango
  • melons
  • peaches
  • pineapples
  • raisins
  • strawberries
  • tangerines

Dairy fat-free or low-fat

  • milk or butter fat or low-fat (1%),
  • low fat cheese
  • yogurt with little or no fat

Lean meat, poultry and fish

  • Select only lean meat roasted or boiled, skinless poultry.

Nuts, seeds and legumes

  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • nuts
  • peanuts
  • walnuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • beans
  • lentils
  • split peas

Fats and oils

  • margarine
  • vegetable oils
  • mayonnaise
  • low-fat
  • light salad dressing

Sweets and added sugars

  • gelatin fruit-flavored
  • hard candy
  • jelly
  • maple syrup
  • sorbet and ices
  • sugar

Based on the above tables you can create your own diet plan.

How to lower blood pressure with DASH diet?

The DASH diet emphasizes the intake of potassium from foods, especially fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in potassium can reduce an elevated high blood pressure.
Foods rich in potassium are: milk, yogurt, fish, potatoes, spinach, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, bananas, oranges, apples, apricots.

The DASH diet suggests that you carefully read food labels and watch your sodium consumption.

What can the DASH diet do for me?

This is the best diet for 2012 according to the US News and World Report. In my opinion it is indeed a healthy and balanced diet with many benefits. Research done in USA has shown that the DASH diet can actually help to lower your blood pressure and hypertension if you follow it. Long-term it can help you lose weight if the quantities of calories you consume are less than you need. It is an Ideal diet for those who suffer from hypertension, it is suitable for diabetics and it promotes a healthy lifestyle. It is proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol without medication and it can be followed with ease.

The DASH diet is a diet that offers many benefits to those who suffer from elevated blood pressure or hypertension, high cholesterol and type-2 diabetes. If you want to improve your health or lose some weight the DASH diet is a good solution.

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About the Author

George Conte is a student of Nutrition and Dietetics, a fitness and healthy living enthusiast. After seven years of personal experience with weight loss, exercise and a total body transformation where he managed to burn 121+ pounds of fat he became the founder of A website dedicated to help you overcome obesity and transform your life the same way he did!

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