Skip to main content

Dash Eating Plan

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is the DASH Eating Plan?

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan is designed to help prevent or lower high blood pressure. It can also help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and decrease your risk for heart disease. The plan is low in sodium, sugar, unhealthy fats, and total fat. It is high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. These nutrients are added when you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. With the DASH eating plan, you need to eat a certain number of servings from each food group. This will help you get enough of certain nutrients and limit others. The amount of servings you should eat depends on how many calories you need. Your dietitian can help you create meal plans with the right number of servings for each food group.

What do I need to know about sodium?

Your dietitian will tell you how much sodium is safe for you to have each day. People with high blood pressure should have no more than 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium in a day. A teaspoon (tsp) of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. This may seem like a difficult goal, but small changes to the foods you eat can make a big difference. Your healthcare provider or dietitian can help you create a meal plan that follows your sodium limit.

What do I need to know about fats?

Healthy fats include unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Unhealthy fats include saturated fats and trans fats.

What do I need to know about carbohydrates (carbs)?

All carbs break down into sugar. Complex carbs contain more fiber than simple carbs. This means complex carbs go into the bloodstream more slowly and cause less of a blood sugar spike. Try to include more complex carbs and fewer simple carbs.

What do I need to know about vegetables and fruits?

Vegetables and fruits can be fresh, frozen, or canned. If possible, try to choose low-sodium canned options.

What do I need to know about protein foods?

What other guidelines should I follow?

Where can I find more information?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Learn more about Dash Eating Plan

Care guides

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.