“For the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report ranked the National Institutes of Health-developed DASH Diet “best overall” diet among nearly 40 it reviewed. The announcement came just as new research suggests that combining DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, with a low-sodium diet has the potential to lower blood pressure as well as or better than many anti-hypertension medications. With its focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins, DASH, tied this year for “best overall” diet and was ranked No. 1 in the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories. According to the World Health Organization, hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is the most common chronic condition worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, affects 1 billion people, and accounts for 1 in 8 deaths each year….”
DASH is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life.
The DASH eating plan requires no special foods and instead provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. This plan recommends:
- Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
- Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
- Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.
Based on these recommendations, the following table shows examples of daily and weekly servings that meet DASH eating plan targets for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.
Daily and Weekly DASH Eating Plan Goals for a 2,000-Calorie-a-Day Diet
|Food Group||Daily Servings|
|Meats, poultry, and fish||6 or less|
|Low-fat or fat-free dairy products||2–3|