3.7- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH Diet)

Learning Objectives

Examine the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.


What is the D.A.S.H. Diet?

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes the D.A.S.H. diet as “a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life.”

“The DASH eating plan requires no special foods and instead provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. This plan recommends:

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.”

You can visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website at https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan for much more information.

The International Food Information Council also has a wonderful website with reliable information regarding the DASH diet. https://foodinsight.org/what-is-the-dash-diet/



who should consider following the D.A.S.H. Diet?

As you can see, the D.A.S.H. diet is very similar to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It is recommended to help people reduce their blood pressure. Read more about high blood pressure and hypertension in the text in Chapter 11.18. This plan of eating would be an excellent choice for you if you have relatives that have been diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.  Also, many people are diagnosed with hypertension in their twenties and would benefit from this diet.   Even if you don’t have a family history of chronic diseases, choosing this pattern of eating is associated with increased health and well-being.


Try it Yourself

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute developed a week of menus for the DASH diet.  You can find more ideas and recipes for getting started at their website:  https://healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/



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