As we discussed recently, the DASH Eating Plan was designed to help reduce elevated blood pressure by eating a low fat diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy. This is an excellent eating plan, high in important nutrients calcium, potassium, magnesium, protein (especially from fish, poultry, and nuts) and fiber (from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), and it's low in sodium.
Perhaps you'd like to give the DASH diet a go, but aren't quite sure just how to incorporate the guidelines into your own daily menus. To help you get started, here is a one day sample menu plan.
Note: two versions of this plan are detailed below, one for a 1,600-calorie diet, and one for a 2,000-calorie diet - please choose the menu closest to your energy requirements.
Remember, we don't always eat the same foods, therefore some days you may meet the requirements set out by the DASH plan, while at others times you may not. This is fine, as long as the average over several days is close to the recommendations. The following is intended as a guide only.
Sample DASH Eating Plan: 1,600-calories
Breakfast - Mediterranean-Inspired Scrambled Eggs
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato, diced
Handful fresh basil, shredded
Vegetable cooking spray
2 sliced wholegrain bread, toasted
2 teaspoons olive oil spread
1 cup mixed soft fruits
1 cup low fat milk
Method: Mix the egg whites, with the chopped green onion, tomato and fresh basil. Lightly spray a nonstick pan with the cooking spray. Pour in the egg mixture and cook over medium heat until done. Serve on top of toasted bread, with milk and fruit on the side.
Nutrition info: 61.5g carbohydrate, 431.7 calories, 13.1g fat, 24.5g protein, and 17.6g dietary fiber.
1 cup of low fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
Nutritional info: 15.4g carbohydrate, 166.1 calories, 8.2g fat, 11.6g protein, 0.2g and dietary fiber.
Lunch - Spinach Leaf Salad with Baked Potato
1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
½ cup mixed raw vegetables (such as broccoli florets, red peppers, cucumber and raw beets)
2 tablespoons reduced fat dressing
½ cup bean salad
½ medium potato, baked
1 ½ ounces reduced fat cheese
Nutritional info: 61.4g carbohydrate, 410.8 calories, 12.8g fat, 17.1g protein, and 11.4g dietary fiber.
1 medium peach
Nutritional info: 9.3g carbohydrate, 38.2 calories, 0.2g fat, 0.9g protein, and 1.5g dietary fiber.
Evening Meal - Baked Salmon with Couscous and Vegetables
3 ounces salmon, baked
½ cup lightly steamed asparagus
½ cup lightly steamed carrots
1 cup couscous
Nutritional info: 67.1g carbohydrate, 454.4 calories, 7.6g fat, 30.3g protein, 9.2g and dietary fiber.
1 ½ ounces fruit and nut mix
Nutritional info: 25g carbohydrate, 140 calories, 4g fat, 3g protein, and 2g dietary fiber
Total Days Nutritional Intake: calories 1641.2, total fat 46g, saturated fat 12.2g, cholesterol 112.9mg, sodium 2059.5mg, total carbohydrate 239.7g, dietary fiber 41.9g, sugars 95.7g, and protein 87.5g.