Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Preventing Hypertension Ideal Diet

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension

The recent modification to the recommended dietary program for hypertension is based on the clinical research made by the National Blood, Heart and Lung Institute. The team had investigated the effects of blood pressure to whole dietary program called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

The research found that high blood pressure can be reduced (without controlled sodium intake or weight loss scheme) through eating based on dietary plan. This dietary plan includes low in saturated fat, cholesterol, total fat and rich in veggies, fruits and dairy products with low-fat contents.

The DASH dietary plan focuses on meals around the vegetables and fruits instead of poultry meats. Also, it is high in fiber which allows about 2 – 3 times the amounts of magnesium, calcium, and potassium that most Americans can consume.

It also includes an extra food groups that contain dried peas, beans, seeds, and nuts from which 4 – 5 servings per week is highly suggested.

The DASH dietary plan is used to treat and prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). It is based on the daily 2,000 calories intake. The illustration below will help everyone to establish their dietary plan menus. It also serves as guidelines for purchasing foods. Keep in mind that the amount of daily servings in the food group will vary from the list, depending on the individual’s caloric needs. 

Grains and grain products

Daily Servings: 7 to 8 

Serving Sizes: 1 ounce (28 grams) dry cereals, 1 slice of bread, and half cup of pasta, cereal, or cooked rice. 

Examples: unsalted pretzels, popcorn, whole wheat bread, pita bread, English muffin, cereals, bagel, oatmeal, crackers, and grits. 

Importance to DASH: Significant sources of fiber and energy. 


Daily servings: 4 to 5 

Serving Sizes: half cup of cooked veggies, 1 cup of raw leafy veggies, and 6 ounces (177 ml) of vegetable juice. 

Examples: Strawberries, apricots, prunes, bananas, pineapples, dates, peaches, grapes, melons, and orange juice. 

Importance to DASH: Significant source of magnesium, fiber, and potassium. 


Daily Servings: 4 to 5 

Serving Sizes: half cup of cooked veggies, 1 cup of raw leafy veggies, and 6 ounces (177 ml) of vegetable juice. 

Examples: Green beans, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, kale, carrots, collards, green peas, broccoli, and squash. 

Importance to DASH: Rich sources of fiber, potassium, and magnesium. 

Meat, fish, and poultry

Daily Servings: 2 or less 

Serving Sizes: 3 ounces (85 grams) of meat, fish, and poultry 

Examples: lean meat, poultry, and fish 

Importance to DASH: major sources of protein and calcium 

Fat-free or low-fat dairy products

Daily Servings: 1 cup of yogurt, 8 ounces (237 ml) of milk, and 1 and half ounces (43 grams) of cheese. 

Examples: low-fat or fat free (1%) of milk, low-fat or fat-free cheese, low-fat or fat-free buttermilk, and frozen yogurt. 

Importance of DASH: fat-free or low-fat dairy foods. 


Daily Servings: 5 per week 

Serving Sizes: 8 ounces (237 ml) of lemonade, 1 tablespoon of jam or jelly, half ounce of jelly beans, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. 

Examples: Ice, sugar, sorbet, jelly, fruit punch, jam, hard candy, fruit-flavored gelatin, and jelly beans. 

Importance of DASH: Rich sources of fiber, magnesium, energy, potassium, and protein (sweets should have low content of fats). 

Fats and oils

Daily Servings: 2 to 3 

Serving Sizes: 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. 1 teaspoon of soft margarine, 2 tablespoons of light salad dressing, and 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayo. 

Examples: Vegetable oil (safflower, olive, corn, and canola oil), soft margarine, light salad dressing, and low-fat mayo. 

Importance of DASH: Allows 27% of caloric fat which are included or added in the foods. 

Nuts, dry beans, and seeds

Daily Servings: 4 to 5 per week 

Serving Size: half cup of cooked dry beans, 1/3 cup or 1 and half ounces (43 grams) of nuts, half cup of cooked dry beans, and 2 tablespoon or half ounce (14 grams) of seeds. 

Examples: Peas, almonds, lentils, mixed nuts, kidney beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. 

Importance to DASH: Rich sources of magnesium and protein - By Edterchelle Soriano