The DASH diet was originally intended to manage high blood pressure, and as such its meal plans focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. Several different menus are available at dashdiet.org, including the original diet, a weight-loss version and a vegetarian plan.
Sample meal plans for the weight-loss version of the DASH diet include three meals and three snacks everyday in each stage. For the first phase, lean proteins are heavily featured, and there are few carbohydrates. During maintenance, more carbohydrate-rich fruits and vegetables are introduced. The DASH website sells several books with versions of the diet to suit consumers' preferences.
Much of the focus of the DASH diet is on ensuring that those following it have plenty to eat of the right foods. Because dieters eat six times a day, users have even commented that it can feel like they are eating too much food. This, along with the high nutrient content of the meals, is intended to help users break cravings and unhealthy eating patterns after years of a poor diet.
The plans can easily be tweaked to suit the user's lifestyle, but the menus as planned are nutritionally balanced and low in salt, sugars and hydrogenated fats.