DASH Diet For a Healthy Blood Pressure
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
The DASH diet was made to help people lower their blood pressure pressure to healthy levels. It is a heart-healthy diet that is good for most people.
Eating on the DASH Diet
The basics of the DASH diet are:
It also limits:
Grains and Grain Products
Choose whole-grain foods over white breads, pastas, or rice. Whole grains have fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They may also help you feel more full. Examples of 1 serving are:
Good choices are:
Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are low in calories. Most have almost no fat. They are also good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some of these minerals can help manage blood pressure. Examples of 1 serving are:
All fruits and vegetables are good choices. Try different ones. Look for bright colors to get a good mix of minerals and vitamins.
Low-fat or Fat-free Dairy Foods
Dairy foods are good sources of calcium and protein. Examples of 1 serving of dairy are:
Meats, Poultry, and Fish
Meats, poultry, and fish are packed with protein and magnesium. Be sure to buy lean cuts of meat and poultry. Examples of 1 serving are:
Nuts, Seeds, and Dry Beans
Nuts, seeds, and beans are great source of magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber. Examples of 1 serving are:
Look for unsalted nuts or seeds.
Fats and Oils
Fats and oils should be limited. Look for those that are lowest in saturated fats. Examples of 1 serving are:
Sweets have low nutritional value. Choose ones that are low in fat. Examples of 1 serving are:
Some people are sensitive to salt. This may raise their blood pressure. Taking in less salt may lower blood pressure. Most salt comes from processed or canned foods. Look for low sodium options. Choose fresh meats, poultry, or fish and prepare them at home. That will help you control how much salt is used. Be aware of foods that are high in salt, such as cured meats or brined foods like pickles.
American Heart Association
The DASH Diet Eating Plan
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
DASH diet. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/dash-diet. Updated January 15, 2018. Accessed February 4, 2020.
Description of the DASH eating plan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan. Accessed February 4, 2020.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Last Updated: 2/2/2021
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