The DASH Diet (cont.)
Erica Oberg, ND, MPH
Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is the DASH diet?
- What is the recommended daily allowance of sodium?
- How does the DASH diet lower blood pressure and promote weight loss?
- What foods are allowed in the DASH diet eating plan?
- What foods and drinks should be avoided while following a DASH diet?
- What is a sample DASH diet sample menu?
- What are some DASH diet recipes?
- How can I make the DASH diet tastier?
- What heart-healthy lifestyle interventions are part of the DASH diet?
- Physical activity and high blood pressure
- Stress management and high blood pressure
- Sleep and high blood pressure
- Alcohol use and high blood pressure
- Smoking and high blood pressure
- Weight management and high blood pressure
- Where can I find more information about low sodium foods, diet plans, and low sodium shopping lists?
- Salt FAQs
What foods are allowed in the DASH diet eating plan?
People often ask what foods are on the DASH diet eating plan. The good news is that it includes a wide variety of foods, and many options. The DASH diet is simple. Eat more fruit, and especially vegetables, and eat fewer foods high in salt (sodium). For example:
- Eat a salad with protein for lunch instead of a burger and fries.
- Choose low-fat dairy products such as Greek yogurt instead of fruity, sweetened yogurt.
- Choose snacks such as fruit, raw veggie sticks, bean-based spreads like hummus or black bean dip, and raw unsalted nuts.
Whole grains are encouraged, such as brown rice or quinoa along with lean proteins such as chicken, lean pork, and fish.
What foods and drinks should be avoided while following a DASH diet?
Foods and drinks to avoid when following the DASH diet include high sugar, high fat snacks, and foods high in salt such as:
- Salted nuts
- Sugary beverages
- Meat dishes
- Prepackaged pasta and rice dishes (excluding macaroni and cheese because it is a separate category)
- Salad dressings
- Cold cuts and cured meats
- Breads and rolls
- Sauces and gravies
Using a salt substitute made with potassium not only works as a substitute in cooking and on the table, but the additional potassium can help lower blood pressure. People who are on blood pressure medications that increase potassium should ask their doctors to help them monitor the blood level of potassium (K) while they are making changes.
What about red meat and heart disease?
While not specifically recommended, grass-fed beef and buffalo would fit within these parameters. Grass-fed beef has a very different composition than conventional grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is high in omega-3s and is more similar to fish, nutritionally. Grain-fed red meat is high in omega 6s and saturated fat, both of which are promote inflammation and contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Red meat that is not grass-fed is not allowed.
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