The DASH eating plan to control high blood pressure

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1 The DASH eating plan to control high blood pressure What does DASH stand for? DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (high blood pressure). The DASH eating plan is similar to other healthy eating plans. It is LOW in cholesterol, saturated fats, and total fat. It is HIGH in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, low-fat and non-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes (dried beans or peas), fish, and lean poultry. The foods on the DASH eating plan are also high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Not getting enough of these nutrients from the food in your diet can contribute to high blood pressure. Even DASH was developed to help people prevent complications from high blood pressure, nearly everyone can benefit from following the guidelines recommended by DASH. What does a daily DASH eating plan look like? The following table offers general information to help you plan your meals using DASH guidelines: Food group Whole grains and grain products 6 to 8 1 slice of bread 1 oz dry cereal (approx ¾ cup) rice, pasta, or cereal Major source of energy and fiber page 1 of 5

2 Food group Vegetables Minimum of 4 to 5 Fruit Low-fat or non-fat dairy products Nuts, seeds, and legumes (dry beans or peas Fish, poultry and lean meat 4 to 5 2 to 3 4 to 5 per week 2 or less 1 cup raw leafy vegetable vegetable ½ cup vegetable juice 1 medium fruit ¼ cup dried fruit ½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit ½ cup fruit juice (limit to one serving ) 8 oz milk 1 cup yogurt 1 ½ oz cheese ⅓ cup or 1 ½ oz nuts 2 Tbsp or ½ oz seeds legumes, such as lentils and dry beans or peas 3 oz cooked fish, poultry or meat Rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber Good source of potassium, magnesium, and fiber Important source of calcium and protein Major source of energy, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber Rich in protein and magnesium page 2 of 5

3 Food group 2 to 3 Fats and oils 1 tsp olive, canola, or vegetable oil 2 Tbsp light salad dressing 1 tsp soft margarine 1 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise Many oils, such as olive, canola, and peanut oils are heart healthy. Use them in moderation; they are not low calorie. Try to limit to 27% of total calories, including fat added to prepared food. Sweets 5 or less per week 1 Tbsp sugar 1 Tbsp jelly or jam ½ cup fruit sherbet or sorbet 1 cup lemonade Eat sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth, but eat in moderation. Choose treats that are low in fat. Some tips to help you meet your DASH goals: Include something from each food group at every meal to help you meet your DASH goals. Make the most of your snacks by choosing fruits or vegetables, non-fat or low-fat dairy, nuts or whole-grains. Here are some ideas that might help: Breakfast: Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal, such as bran flakes or oatmeal. Add non-fat milk and top with blueberries or raisins. Choose 100% whole grain bread for toast and spread it with thin layer of peanut butter. Stir a handful of crunchy low-fat granola into creamy non-fat yogurt. page 3 of 5

4 Lunch: Choose whole grains for bread and crackers. Slice skinless turkey or chicken breast, or mix water-packed tuna, with non-fat or low-fat mayonnaise and Dijon mustard for sandwiches Try fruit, such as a melon wedge, topped with non-fat Greek yogurt. Spread hummus on whole-wheat pita bread. Top with fresh spinach and tomato slices. Snacks: Slice an apple and sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon. Munch on snap peas and carrot and celery sticks dipped in low-fat ranch dressing. Sip low-sodium vegetable juice over ice with a slice of lime for an afternoon pick-me-up. Make a snack mix of whole-grain cereal, toasted nuts, and raisins. Dinner: Roast or broil chicken or turkey breast. Remove the skin before eating. Serve fish once or twice a week. Bake, steam, grill, or broil; avoid frying. Choose wild rice or whole-wheat pasta instead of white rice and white pasta. Roast colorful bell peppers, onions, or asparagus in a little canola oil. Toss a salad of fresh lettuce, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and serve with low-fat dressing. Desserts and treats: Slice up fruit, like pineapple or melon, and store in the refrigerator to have handy for snacks and dessert. Enjoy a bowl of non-fat frozen dessert, such as fruit sorbet, topped with fresh blueberries. Try angel food cake with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt and sliced strawberries. page 4 of 5

5 Dining out: Choose menu items that are high in nutrients and low in fat, such as a baked potato and broiled chicken breast. Instead of ordering an entrée, have a lighter meal by ordering an appetizer and a salad with low-fat dressing. Watch out for high-fat salad toppings such as croutons and bacon bits. Avoid buffets and all-you-can-eat style restaurants. Skip dessert. If you do want a sweet treat after dinner, share it with friends. What other steps can I take to control my blood pressure? Don't use tobacco. If you do use tobacco products quit. Be physically active. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. If you are taking medication to lower your blood pressure, be sure to take it as directed. The information presented in this pamphlet was adapted from material from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Rev. date DA page 5 of Group Health Cooperative PHER

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