DASH Diet Food List – Overview
A DASH diet, unlike many others, does not follow strict adherence. It is non-restrictive and flexible.
However, you must maintain a well-balanced diet and restrict some foods that negatively affect your health.
The diet is famously known as the DASH diet plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and as the name suggests, it’s mainly targeted towards controlling hypertension (high blood pressure) issues.
The DASH diet also helps lose weight, improving cardiovascular health and general well-being.
The DASH diet mainly recommends minimizing salt intake and eating foods rich in all the nutrients the body needs to lower blood pressure and achieve other health benefits.
Therefore, you must have a DASH diet food list each time you visit the grocery store.
Whether you are using the DASH diet for the first time or are already on it, you can tailor it to cater to all your dietary requirements. Before you go shopping, you should:
- First, prepare yourself and be ready to abide by the list of food items you buy. Then, compile your list or download the one we have drawn for you.
- Note the ingredients for the week’s breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.
- Go shopping when there isn’t a large crowd. Also, do not forget to feed before shopping, so the array of foods, some with high-sodium and high-fat levels, appeal to you.
- Say focus only on what you need for your DASH diet
- If possible, buy only fresh produce
- Do not forget to read the labels so you do not buy what you do not need
Now you are good to go. So, what food items should be on your list?
Lean Meat Proteins
Protein proteins are an essential part of a DASH diet because they help keep blood pressure low and help with other health benefits, including weight loss.
Weight can also affect your blood pressure, so you should eat lean meat products. The items to include on your list are as follows:
- Skinless chicken
- Pork tenderloin
- Lean ground beef
- Lower sodium canned meat and fish
- Sirloin beef cuts
What you should avoid
- Fatty meats
- And any other processed (deli) meat product
We all need vegetables in our diets irrespective of health conditions. They are high in fiber low in calories and fats.
Veggies are beneficial when lowering blood pressure and moderating body weight.
Besides fueling your body with all the essential Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber, they act as a good source of energy in the whole process. The DASH diet plan advises people with hypertension to eat around four to five vegetable servings.
The most recommended veggies for a DASH diet are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
- Lima beans
- Sweet potatoes
Fruits, just vegetables, are a great source of fiber. They are also rich in vitamins and other minerals. Moreover, they contain flavonoids, which are excellent health-boosting compounds.
Including fruits in your DASH diet helps lower blood pressure, keep heart disease at bay, reduce the risk of diabetes, and improve overall health.
You do not limit the types of fruits to put down on your list, but the following are excellent for fighting hypertension. You can also buy your fruits fresh, frozen, or canned.
What to avoid
- Any canned fruits with added sugar
Low-fat dairy products
Low-fat dairy products contain fewer calories than whole dairy products.
They are good for maintaining lower blood pressure, helping fight off weight loss, and heart health problems and improving other bodily functions.
Some of the low-fat dairy products to include in your list are
- Low-fat milk
- Sour cream
- Low-fat cheese
- Low fat cream
- Low-fat yogurt
Dairy products to limit
- Whole milk
- Ice cream
- Any other whole milk dairy products
Grains are another rich source of fiber and other nutrients. Eating them leaves you feeling full, thus preventing snacking in between meals.
They are great for weight loss, lowering high blood pressure, and minimizing the risks of heart diseases, certain cancers, diabetes, and other health issues.
Unlike many other diets, a DASH diet allows you to eat whole grains. However, remember to check the labels for sodium content.
Your DASH diet list should have the following grains:
- Whole-grain cereal
- Whole wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Whole-grain bagels
- Whole-grain crackers
- Whole-grain tortillas
- Whole grain pitas
Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Legumes contain plant-based low protein and are rich in nutrients such as folic acid, magnesium, and iron.
They are also filling, help with weight loss, lower blood pressure, and have many other health benefits.
On the other hand, nuts and seeds also benefit people with hypertension as they contain nutrients that help maintain lower blood pressure.
They are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Besides that, they also help burn energy and regulate food intake.
Nuts, seeds, and legumes should be on your DASH diet list. Remember to pick low-salt food items.
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Kidney beans
- Split peas
- Clack beans
Condiments, Spices, and Herbs
Even if you are hypertensive, you can still add flavor to your food with condiments, spices, and herbs.
Furthermore, many herbs and spices have extremely potent healing powers.
Your list should have the following condiments, spices, and herbs.
- Celery seeds
- Chinese cat’s claw
- Low sodium ketchup
One of the best things about the DASH diet is that you do not have to give up sweets. However, you still have to take them in moderation. Your list should have the following sweets.
- Maple syrup
Fats and oils
Last, do not forget the fats and oils that provide the body with immense health benefits.
However, choose unsaturated fats and oils and use them in moderation. Your DASH diet food list should have the following fats and oils.
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Low-fat mayonnaise
Adhering to a DASH diet is very easy because it does have many restrictions. The only significant restriction is sodium.
Before you put anything on the basket, read the label so you do not end up paying for a food item that will affect your health.
All the above ingredients are readily available, and you can make delectable dash diet recipes from them.
Printable DASH Diet Food List (PDF)
|Food Categories||DASH Diet Food List||Foods to Avoid on a DASH Diet|
|Lean Meat Proteins||Eggs||Processed meats- sausage, bacon, and ham|
|Skinless chicken||Canned soups|
|Pork tenderloin||Dried soup mixes|
|Lean ground beef||Catsup|
|Lower sodium canned meat and fish||Soy sauce|
|Sirloin beef cuts|
|Kale||Frozen and boxed mixes for potatoes, rice, and pasta|
|Cucumbers||Pickled or marinated food in brine|
|Green beans||Red meats|
|Butter and margarine|
|Low-Fat Dairy||Cheeses||Whole milk dairy products|
|Whole wheat bread|
|Whole grain pitas|
|Nuts, Seeds & Legumes||Almonds|
|Condiments, Spices, and Herbs||Basil|
|Chinese cat’s claw|
|Low sodium ketchup|
|Fats and Oils||Olive oil|