Summer Fruit and Vegetable Box

Dash Diet Eating Plan

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (Dash) is a balanced and flexible eating plan which is based on research studies by Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Heart, and Lung.

The studies have shown that Dash improves levels of blood lipids and high blood pressure. This can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Dash needs no special foods and it has easy-to-follow recipes.

Eating plan

The Dash emphasizes fruits, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and vegetables. This diet also includes fish, beans, nuts, vegetable oils, seeds, poultry, and whole grains. The diet limits, red meats, sweets, beverages, and sodium.

Nutrition content

Dash diet is rich in potassium, magnesium, protein, fiber, calcium and low in saturated and trans fats. The Dash eating plan has less sodium than the typical American diet. The research has shown that an eating plan which has 2,300 mg of sodium per day can lower blood pressure.

Also, an eating plan which has only 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day can lower blood pressure even more. People who are African Americans, adults aged 50 or older or have chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure should reduce sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day.

Sample menus

Day 1

Breakfast : 1 medium orange, decaffeinated coffee, 1 small whole-wheat bagel with 2 tablespoons peanut butter without salt, and 1 cup fat-free milk.

Lunch : 1 cup fat-free milk, 12 reduced-sodium wheat crackers, and spinach salad made with 1 sliced pear, 1/3 cup slivered almonds, 1/2 cup canned mandarin orange sections, 2 tablespoons reduced-fat red wine vinaigrette, and 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves.

Dinner : 1/2 cup brown rice pilaf, 1 small sourdough roll, 1 cup fresh berries with chopped mint, 1/2 cup fresh green beans, steamed, herb-crusted baked cod, 3 ounces, 2 teaspoons trans-free margarine, and herbal iced tea.

Snack (anytime you want) : 4 vanilla wafers and 1 cup fat-free, low-calorie yogurt.

Day 2

Breakfast : 1 cup fresh mixed fruits, such as berries, banana, melons and apple, topped with 1 cup fat-free, low-calorie vanilla-flavored yogurt and 1/3 cup walnuts, 1 teaspoon trans-free margarine, 1 bran muffin, 1 cup fat-free milk, and herbal tea.

Lunch : 1/2 cup, or about 8, raw baby carrots, 1 cup fat-free milk, and curried chicken wrap made with: 2/3 cup cooked, chopped chicken, about 3 ounces, 2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 cup chopped apple, and 1 medium whole-wheat tortilla.

Dinner : 2 cups mixed salad greens, 1 whole-wheat roll, 1 nectarine, 1 teaspoon trans-free margarine, 1 tablespoon low-fat Caesar dressing, 1 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti with 1 cup marinara sauce, without salt, and sparkling water.

Snack (anytime you want) : Trail mix made with: 1 ounce, or about 22, unsalted mini twist pretzels, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, and 1/4 cup raisins.

Day 3

Breakfast : 1 slice whole-wheat toast, 1 cup old-fashioned cooked oatmeal topped with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 banana, 1 cup fat-free milk, and 1 teaspoon trans-free margarine.

Lunch : 8 Melba toast crackers, 1 cup fat-free milk, and tuna salad made with: 2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise, 1/4 cup diced celery, Served on top of 2 cups romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup drained, unsalted water-packed tuna, 3 ounces, and 15 grapes.

Dinner : 2 pineapple rings, 1 cup cooked wild rice, 1/3 cup pecans, cran-raspberry spritzer made with: 4 to 8 ounces sparkling water, 4 ounces cran-raspberry juice, and beef and vegetable kebab, made with: 1 cup of peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and onions, and 3 ounces of beef.

Snack (anytime) : 1 peach and 1 cup light yogurt.