Sample menus for the DASH diet
Interested in following the DASH eating plan but not sure how? Here are sample menus to get you started.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan to lower or control high blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes foods that are lower in sodium as well as foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium — nutrients that help lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet features menus with plenty of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, as well as whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. It offers limited portions of red meats, sweets and sugary beverages.
Maybe you want to try the DASH diet but aren't quite sure how to incorporate DASH into your own daily menus. To help you get started, here are three days of menus that conform to the DASH plan. Use these menus as a basis for your own healthy meal planning.
Remember that on some days, you may eat a few more or a few less servings than recommended for a particular food group. That's generally OK, as long as the average of several days or a week is close to the recommendations. The exception is sodium. Try to stay within the daily limit for sodium as much as possible. Also note that the values for nutritional information may vary according to specific brands of ingredients you use or changes you make in meal preparation.
Day 1 menu
- 1 store-bought (commercial) whole-wheat bagel with 2 tablespoons peanut butter (no salt added)
- 1 medium orange
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- Decaffeinated coffee
Spinach salad made with:
- 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 sliced pear
- 1/2 cup canned mandarin orange sections
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette
12 reduced-sodium wheat crackers
1 cup fat-free milk
- Herb-crusted baked cod, 3 ounces cooked (about 4 ounces raw)
- 1/2 cup brown rice pilaf with vegetables
- 1/2 cup fresh green beans, steamed
- 1 small sourdough roll
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup fresh berries with chopped mint
- Herbal iced tea
- 1 cup fat-free, low-calorie yogurt
- 4 vanilla wafers
|Day 1 nutritional analysis
April 10, 2015
|Day 1 DASH servings
|Grains and grain products:
|Dairy foods (low-fat or fat-free):
|Meats, poultry and fish:
|Nuts, seeds and dry beans:
|Fats and oils:
See more In-depth
- What is the DASH eating plan? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash. Accessed Feb. 10, 2015.
- Saneei P, et al. Influence of Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. 2014;24:1253.
- Your guide to lowering your blood pressure with DASH: A week with the DASH eating plan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-dash-week-dash-html. Accessed Feb. 10, 2015.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 10, 2015.
- Nutritionist Pro diet analysis (computer program). Stafford, Texas: Axxya Systems; 2008. http://www.nutritionistpro.com/dietanalysis.php. Accessed Feb. 10, 2015.