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The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is intended to lower blood pressure, or hypertension. The DASH diet recipes center around reduced-sodium meals with balanced serving sizes of all of the food groups. It was developed by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

In addition to reducing sodium in meals, the DASH diet emphasizes nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure. Unlike most fad diets, the DASH plan focuses on lifelong changes in what you eat. While this approach is admirable, the primary purpose of the DASH diet is not weight loss and it doesn’t address the core of most dieter’s weaknesses.

In reality, diets that work for long-term weight loss often include the guidance of a trained physician, such as those who help clients at The Center for Medical Weight Loss, where holistic programs include one-on-one counseling to help break food addictions.

DASH meal plan for special dietary concerns

The DASH diet was developed for people with risk factors that may compromise cardiovascular health, such as hypertension. Lowering one’s blood pressure can help prevent stroke, heart disease, and heart failure. The DASH diet may also help patients lower their cholesterol levels and reduce their risk for kidney stones and certain types of cancer.

Dieters with an underlying medical condition are strongly urged to follow a physician-approved meal plan.

Typical DASH diet menu

The DASH diet recipes were developed with specific serving sizes in mind. On a typical 2,000-calorie per day diet plan, a dieter can expect to eat:

  • 7-8 servings of grains
  • 4-5 servings of fruits
  • 4-5 servings of vegetables
  • 2-3 servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products
  • 2 or fewer servings of poultry, fish, and lean meats
  • 4-5 servings per week of nuts, seeds, and legumes
  • Limited portions of fats and sweets

A typical meal plan for this diet might look like this:


  • Oatmeal with applesauce
  • Whole wheat English muffin with jam
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Pineapple juice


  • Chicken Waldorf salad with roll
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Nonfat milk


  • Low-fat string cheese
  • Kiwi


  • Chicken breast
  • Baked potato
  • Asparagus
  • Salad with vinaigrette
  • Apple crisp with frozen yogurt

Are DASH diet recipes effective for lasting results?

According to a study from the Boston University Medical Center, participants were able to significantly lower their blood pressure over the course of eight weeks. Following the DASH diet can help patients treat hypertension, however it was not designed specifically for weight loss and it offers little guidance or structured support.

If you’re serious about getting healthy and want real results, The Center for Medical Weight Loss has produced thousands of successful weight loss success stories over the years. The individually tailored plans developed by the Center’s health experts take into consideration food preferences, medical conditions, and lifestyle to create a recipe for weight loss sucess. To find a center close to you, enter your information in the box to the right. Special offers are available for first-time visitors at select locations.