DASH Diet for Hypertension
Daily Nutrient Goals Used in the DASH Studies
- Total Fat - 27% of calories
- Sodium 2,300 mg (1500 mg will lower bp even more)
- Saturated fat 6% of calories
- Potassium 4,700 mg Protein 18% of calories
- Calcium 1,250 mg
- Carbohydrate 55% of calories
- Magnesium 500 mg
- Cholesterol 150 mg
- Fiber 30 g
How to Adopt the DASH Eating Plan
- If you now eat one or two vegetables a day, add a serving at lunch and another at dinner.
- Gradually increase your use of fat-free milk and milk products (such as nonfat yogurt) to three servings a day.
- Read the Nutrition Facts label on margarines and salad dressings to choose those lowest in saturated fat and trans fat.
- Limit lean meats to 6 ounces a day—all that's needed. Have only 3 ounces at a meal, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
- If you now eat large portions of meats, cut them back gradually—by a half or a third at each meal.
- Include two or more vegetarian-style (meatless) meals each week.
- Increase servings of vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and cooked dry beans in meals.
- Try these snacks ideas: unsalted rice cakes; nuts mixed with raisins; graham crackers; fat-free and low-fat yogurt and frozen yogurt; popcorn with no salt or butter added; raw vegetables.
- Use fresh, frozen, or low-sodium canned vegetables and fruits.
Tips To Reduce Salt and Sodium
- Choose low- or reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added versions of foods and condiments when available.
- Choose fresh, frozen, or canned (low-sodium or no-salt-added) vegetables.
- Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned, smoked, or processed types.
- Choose breakfast cereals that are lower in sodium.
- Limit cured foods (such as bacon and ham); foods packed in brine (such as pickles, pickled vegetables, olives, and sauerkraut); and condiments (such as mustard, horseradish, ketchup, and barbecue sauce). Limit even lower sodium versions of soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Treat these condiments sparingly as you do table salt.
- Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereals without salt. Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.
- Choose “convenience” foods that are lower in sodium. Cut back on frozen dinners, mixed dishes such as pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings—these often have a lot of sodium.
- Rinse canned foods, such as tuna and canned beans, to remove some of the sodium.
- Use spices instead of salt. In cooking and at the table, flavor foods with herbs, spices, lemon, lime, vinegar, or salt-free seasoning blends. Start by cutting salt in half.
Avoiding Salt When Eating Out
Ask how foods are prepared. Ask that they be prepared without added salt, MSG, or salt-containing ingredients. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate requests.
- Know the terms that indicate high sodium content: pickled, cured, smoked, soy sauce, broth.
- Move the salt shaker away.
- Limit condiments, such as mustard, ketchup, pickles, and sauces with salt-containing ingredients.
- Choose fruit or vegetables, instead of salty snack foods.