Sample Menu for the DASH Eating Plan

Health Professional

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-caloriereakfast - 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.

Snack: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.

Snack: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
1 apple

Nutritional info: 67.1g carbohydrate, 454.4 calories, 7.6g fat, 30.3g protein, 9.2g and dietary fiber.

Snack:

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.

Sample DASH Eating Plan: 2,000-caloriereakfast - 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.

Nutritional info: 61.5g carbohydrate, 431.7 calories, 13.1g fat, 24.5g protein, 17.6g and dietary fiber.

Snack:

1 cup of low fat plain yogurt
1 ½ ounces fruit and nut mix

Nutritional info: 39g carbohydrate, 250 calories, 6.5g fat, 12g protein, and 2g 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
1 medium potato, baked
1 ½ ounces reduced fat cheese

Nutritional info: 79.9g carbohydrate, 494.7 calories, 13g fat, 19.4g protein, and 13.4g dietary fiber.

Snack1 medium peach 1 medium banana** Nutritional info:** 36.3g carbohydrate, 143.2 calories, 0.6g fat, 2.2g protein, and 4.5g dietary fiber.

Evening Meal -Baked Salmon with Couscous and Vegetables

3 ounces salmon, baked

½ cup lightly steamed asparagus

½ cup lightly steamed carrots

½ cup peas
1 cup couscous
1 apple

Nutritional info: 80.4g carbohydrate, 525.8 calories, 7.8g fat, 34.9g protein, and 14.9g dietary fiber.

Snack
1 slice of 100% whole grain bread
1 teaspoon olive oil spread
1 teaspoon jam

Nutritional info: 19g carbohydrate, 140.3 calories, 7.1g fat, 4.1g protein, and 4g dietary fiber.

Total Days Nutritional Intake: calories 1985.7, total fat 48.2g, saturated fat 13.3g, cholesterol 119mg, sodium 2170.3mg, total carbohydrate 316.1g, dietary fiber 56.5g, sugars 117.9g, and protein 97g.

For more information check out "Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH" from NHLBI.

Do you struggle with healthy eating or weight loss? Get your free ebook on how to break bad habits by visiting the award winning Dietriffic.com. Authored by registered dietitian, Melanie Thomassian.