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    • cal11-July-2022 adminKshama Shrivastava

      DASH Diet Plan for Blood Pressure Management

    • In case you are planning on visiting your doctor for hypertension, you may find the DASH diet as a recommendation on your prescription.

      Doctors and dietitians often suggest this diet to individuals seeking dietary management for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. 

      Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension(DASH) is a diet plan with restricted meals high in sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat.

      The DASH diet is loaded with food containing potassium, calcium, and magnesium to keep your high blood pressure at bay. 

      The two significant factors that can cause heart disease and stroke are spiked blood pressure and a rise in LDL cholesterol levels.

      The DASH diet has shown excellent results in reducing blood pressure within two weeks. This diet lowers the low-density lipoprotein, also known as the bad cholesterol, level in your blood. 

      Table of Contents

      1. Does a DASH Diet Mean Cutting Sodium off Your Diet?

      2. Foods to Focus on in The DASH Diet

      3. Where To Start?

      4. Breakdown of Nutritions in a DASH Diet 

      5. Tips to Follow While On A DASH Diet

      6. Side-Effects 

      7. FAQ

      Does a DASH Diet Mean Cutting Sodium off Your Diet?

      The DASH diet requires you to lower the amount of sodium in your diet.

      According to a survey, a diet consists of 3,400 (mg) of sodium per day, which is way more than the ideal amount in the DASH diet. 

      DASH diet offers two types of low sodium diets. 

      One diet limits your sodium intake to 2,300 (mg), approximately the amount of sodium in 1 teaspoon salt. The other diet allows 1,500 (mg) in a day. 

      Food to Focus on in The DASH Diet

      It’s better to focus on the inclusions than the exclusions of elements when going on a DASH diet. It will make it much easier to focus on the benefits of this diet. 

      A DASH diet is a jampack diet full of minerals that gives your heart all its health benefits. It is a diet rich in lean meat, fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy products, poultry and low salt. It is specifically curated to treat high blood pressure. 

      A simple way is to incorporate food in your diet that is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fibre, and protein.

      Where To Start?

      The DASH diet requires cutting back on food. It can be confusing where to start and what to eliminate. 

      You can quickly get used to the DASH diet with some baby steps. For starters, restrict your daily consumption of sodium to 1 teaspoon. After your body has adjusted to the diet, holding on to ⅔ teaspoon of sodium will be easier. 

      Breakdown of Nutrition in a DASH Diet

      The DASH diet plan provides a daily and weekly analysis of your nutritional needs. The number of servings from each food group depends on your daily calorie intake.

      Map out the categories of your DASH diet. It will make it easy for you to follow the diet with the proper nutrition from every food group-


      Food Group




      6 to 8 

      servings daily.

      Each serving would include
      One slice of bread, 1-ounce dry cereal, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta.


      4 to 5 

      servings a day.

      Each serving would include
      1 cup leached leafy vegetable, 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables, or 1/2 cup vegetable juice


      4 to 5 

      servings a day.

      Each serving would include 1 medium fruit, 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, or 1/2 cup fruit juice.

      Fat-free or low-fat dairy products

      2 to 3 

      servings a day.

      Each serving would include
      1 cup milk or yoghurt, 1 1/2 ounces cheese,

      Lean meats, poultry, and fish,

      and six 1-ounce servings or fewer daily.

      Each serving would include
      1 ounce of cooked lean meat or egg

      Nuts, seeds and legumes

      4 to 5 

      servings a week.

      Each serving would consist of:
      1/3 cup of nuts, two tablespoons of homemade peanut butter(without salt), 2 tablespoons of seeds, or 1/2 cup of cooked legumes (dried beans or peas).

      Fats and oils

      2 to 3 

      servings a day.

      Each serving would include 2 tablespoons of olive oil as a salad dressing,

      Sweets and added sugars,

      servings or fewer a week.

      Each serving would consist of:
      1 tablespoon sugar, 

      1/2 cup sorbet, 

      and 1 cup lemonade

      Tips to Follow While On A DASH Diet

      • Keep a check on sodium and ensure you don’t exceed the limit
      • Make your lunch and dinner colourful by adding vegetables.
      • Add the freshness of fruits to your daily diet.
      • Cut off your daily serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing, and use low-fat or fat-free condiments.
      • Instead of full-fat or cream, switch to low-fat or skim-dairy products.
      • Restrict daily meals to 6 ounces a day and try to have vegetarian food.
      • Add more and more vegetables and dry beans to your diet.
      • Switch to healthy munching like unsalted pretzels, nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yoghurt, frozen yoghurt, unsalted, plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
      • Pick the low sodium packaged products.

      Side Effects

      There are, as such, no fatal side effects of this diet, but as your body takes time to adjust to a diet low in sodium, you may initially experience some mood swings, frequent hunger, craving for salt and sugar and bloating.


      Q1. What is a DASH diet?

      A1. A Dash diet is advised for people trying to control hypertension. It is a planned diet with low sodium content.

      Q2. What should be eaten in a DASH diet?

      A2. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, etc. are some foods to eat when on a dash diet. Avoid food with high sodium content.

      Q3. What are the food items to avoid on a dash diet?

      A3. Some things to avoid on a dash diet are red meats, high-sodium foods, added sugar, high fat, etc.

      Q4. Can a DASH diet help people with diabetes?

      A4. Other than controlling high blood pressure, dash diets are also known to boost insulin resistance.

      Q5. Can a DASH diet help obese patients in reducing weight?

      A.5. DASH diet aids in water retention and weight management and helps obese people to reduce weight.

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