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The Dash Eating Plan



The DASH eating plan shown below is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may require less calories.  The number of daily servings in a food group may vary from those listed depending on your caloric needs.

Remember that if you are trying to control your high blood pressure, you should consume no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day.

Dash Eating Plan

Food Group Daily
Servings
Examples of Food and Serving Size (each item is one serving)
Grains & grain products 7-8 1 slice bread
1 cup ready-to-eat cereal*
one-half cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
Vegetables 4-5 1 cup raw leafy vegetable
one-half cup cooked vegetable
6 ounces vegetable juice
Fruits 4-5 1 medium fruit
one-quarter cup dried fruit
one-half cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
6 ounces fruit juice
Low fat or fat free dairy foods 2-3 8 ounces milk
1 cup yogurt
1 one-half ounces cheese
Lean meats, poultry, and
fish
2 or less 3 ounces cooked lean meats, skinless poultry, or fish
Nuts, seeds, and dry beans 4-5 per week 1/3 cup or 1 one-half ounces nuts
1 tablespoon or one-half ounce seeds
one-half cup cooked dry beans
Fats & oils** 2-3 1 teaspoon soft margarine
1 tablespoon lowfat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light salad dressing
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Sweets 5 per week 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon jelly or jam
one-half ounce jelly beans
8 ounces lemonade

* Serving sizes vary between 1/2 cup -1 1/4 cups. Check the product's nutrition label.

** Fat content changes serving counts for fats and oils: For example, 1 tablespoon of regular salad dressing equals 1 serving; 1 tablespoon of a lowfat dressing equals one-half serving; 1 tablespoon of a fat free dressing equals 0 servings.

How to Lower Calories on the DASH Eating Plan

The DASH eating plan was not designed to promote weight loss. But it is rich in lower calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables. You can make it lower in calories by replacing higher-calorie foods with more fruits and vegetables--and that also will make it easier for you to reach your DASH diet goals. Here are some examples:

To increase fruits--

  • Eat a medium apple instead of four shortbread cookies. YouŽll save 80 calories.
  • Eat 1/4 cup of dried apricots instead of a 2-ounce bag of pork rinds. YouŽll save 230 calories.

To increase vegetables--

  • Have a hamburger thatŽs 3 ounces instead of 6 ounces. Add a 1/2 cup serving of carrots and a 1/2 cup serving of spinach. YouŽll save more than 200 calories.
  • Instead of 5 ounces of chicken, have a stir fry with 2 ounces of chicken and 1 1/2 cups of raw vegetables. Use a small amount of vegetable oil. YouŽll save 50 calories.

To increase lowfat or fat free dairy products--

  • Have a 1/2 cup serving of lowfat frozen yogurt instead of a 1 1/2- ounce milk chocolate bar. YouŽll save about 110 calories.

And donŽt forget these calorie-saving tips:

  • Use lowfat or fat free condiments, such as fat free salad dressings.
  • Eat smaller portions--cut back gradually.
  • Choose lowfat or fat free dairy products to reduce total fat intake.
  • Use food labels to compare fat content in packaged foods. Items marked lowfat or fat free are not always lower in calories than their regular versions.
  • Limit foods with lots of added sugar, such as pies, flavored yogurts, candy bars, ice cream, sherbet, regular soft drinks, and fruit drinks.
  • Eat fruits canned in their own juice.
  • Add fruit to plain yogurt.
  • Snack on fruit, vegetable sticks, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn, or bread sticks.
  • Drink water or club soda.

Click here for more tips on eating healthy

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