What Are the Guidelines for the DASH Diet?


Quick Answer

The DASH diet recommends four to five servings per day of fruits and vegetables, seven to eight servings of grains, and two to three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products, notes WebMD. The diet allows one to two servings a day of meat, fish and poultry.

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Full Answer

DASH guidelines include two to three daily servings of fats and oil and four to five weekly servings of nuts, seeds and dry beans. Sweet are limited to less than five servings per week. The goal of the DASH plan, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is to limit foods high in sodium, sugar, cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats, explains WebMD. Studies show that individuals who adopt the DASH diet experience lower blood pressure within two weeks. The DASH-Sodium diet restricts patients to 1,500 milligrams a day of sodium, approximately 2/3 teaspoon.

The DASH diet sets the number of servings from each food group based on caloric needs. DASH single-serving sizes include 1/2 cup of cooked whole grain or pasta, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of raw vegetables or fruit, 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or fruit, and 1 teaspoon of oil. A serving of milk is 8 ounces, and cooked meat and tofu single servings contain 3 ounces.

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