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DASH Diet Review - 23 Things You Need to Know

In the weeks that led to this review, I figured out whether the DASH Diet actually works. We dug deep and conducted a thorough investigation into the side effects, ingredients, customer care and scientific studies. Plus, we examined plenty of user remarks and comments from all over the web. At this point, we compressed all of the facts and details to give you the important information you need.

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DASH Diet Video Review


What is the DASH Diet?

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a nutritional plan. The first DASH Diet nutrition plan is from 1998. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute backs it, a U.S. agency that is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. DASH is a high-fiber, low-fat diet that aims to sharpen memory skills.

It is a diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Also, DASH is rich in low-fat products such as beans, nuts, meat, poultry, and fish. It has a low content of sugary beverages and foods, additional fats, and red meat.

DASH is based on particular National Institute of Health (NIH) studies that assessed the results of three dietary plans. There were no vegetarian diets, though the DASH plan consists of nuts, beans, non-fat, low-fat dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

The DASH diet is patterned according to a daily calorie intake between 1600 and 3100. Our team took a closer look at research surrounding these claims to see if this kind of diet could work:

  • Metabolism: According to this study, “…dietary fiber may influence immunity by altering plasma concentrations of key bioactive substances”.
  • EClinicalMedicine: This study found that the, “…adoption of a low-fat dietary pattern, representing dietary moderation, significantly reduced risk of possible cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women”.
  • Healthcare (Basel): This research noted that, “…reducing total fat intake may theoretically lead to a considerable effect on total amount of calories consumed.”

DASH Diet Competitors

Paleo Diet
How Did It Start?

How Did The DASH Diet Start?

A DASH study was conducted, comparing two experimental diets. There was also a control diet, the third one. This third diet was low in fiber, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Also, the control diet had a protein and fat profile to ensure it was in tandem with the current American diet.

The first diet had a higher concentration of vegetables and fruits, just as the control diet. However, it had fewer sweets and snacks. The potassium and magnesium levels were as per the recommended 75% of vegetables and fruits. It had a higher concentration of protein and fiber as compared with the control diet, which is now called the DASH diet.

DASH dietary patterns were tested as opposed to single nutrients, a unique feature of DASH.

Company Details

DASH Diet Company Details

NameUS National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Address: Building 31, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892

Acting Director: Dr. Susan B. Shurin M.D.

Phone Number: (301) 592-8573

dash diet claims


DASH Diet Claims

The DASH diet is ranked as the best diet for the past six years according to U.S. News & World Report. It is not a dietary gimmick aiming to attract you to it for profit. Also, it helps improve insulin sensitivity, speeds up weight loss, and establishes new, healthy eating habits.

If you want to achieve the best results, it is important to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and real foods. The DASH diet encourages non-dairy or low-fat foods plus some nuts, seeds, and beans. Though DASH emphasizes low intake of sodium, it has a high concentration of calcium, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Poultry, fish, and lean meats are part of the plan, and vegetarians can follow the diet.

dash Diet


DASH Diet Ingredients

The DASH diet does not include specific ingredients since it is a collection of meals for a specific period. You could follow the meal pattern weekly, monthly, or annually. It all depends on the number of calories you need to reach your goals. Let us assume you want to consume 2,000 calories. You will eat:

  • ½ cup of cooked rice, cereal, or pasta
  • An ounce of whole dry grain cereal
  • Half a cup of vegetable juice
  • A cup of leafy vegetables, such as kale or spinach
  • Some cooked vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash, carrots, or broccoli
  • Fruit juice
  • Dairy products, such as yogurt or low-fat milk
  • Lean meat, chicken, or fish
  • Nut butter
  • Legumes
  • Mayonnaise (one tablespoon)
  • Soft margarine
Does It Work?

Does The DASH Diet Work?

The diet emphasizes reducing sodium intake while eating more whole foods. There is a free DASH diet PDF guide to help you understand what it contains. They recommend the DASH diet for people of all ages, even children.

The diet also emphasizes no smoking, lower alcohol intake, and regular exercise.

The DASH diet also stresses a limited intake of tropical oils, sweetened foods, highly saturated fats, and reduced consumption of fatty dairy products.

dash diet benefits

Benefits & Results

DASH Diet Benefits And Results

If you combine the DASH diet with a sodium reduction diet, you will achieve more significant results. A clinical trial shows that you can lose weight if you strictly follow the dietary guidelines of this diet.

Also, ensure you exercise more to achieve better and faster results. The value of DASH diet is in aerobic exercise, cognitive behavioral intervention, and caloric reaction.

Restrictions & Preferences

DASH Diet Restrictions & Preferences

  • Need supplements? No.
  • Vegetarians/vegans: Yes, it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It gives you the freedom to ensure you get the nutrients without meat and dairy.
  • Gluten-Free: Yes, similarly, you’re free to choose gluten-free foods that follow the diet’s guidelines.
  • Low-Sodium: Yes, the diet thoroughly guides people trying to stay under 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
  • Kosher: Yes.
  • Halal: Yes.


Weight Loss

The DASH Diet And Weight Loss

Other than the health benefits that the diet offers, it also supports healthily losing weight. The DASH diet for losing weight includes a lot of veggies and fruits, a snack and some proteins for each meal, focusing on the foods you need to lose weight and evading cravings as much as possible, exercising regularly, and avoiding overloading.

The DASH diet plan is best for people who are wary of losing weight through other ways. In a few weeks or months, you will have allegedly achieved your desired weight without experiencing any damage to your body.

An average woman needs about 2,000 calories a day to maintain her current weight and at least 500 calories less per day to lose weight.

A single pound of fat is around 3,500 calories. To lose one pound per week, you’d need to cut around 500 calories from your food every day.

However, though you may be checking on your weight, you are obliged to take at least a portion of each of the foods that make up the DASH diet menu.


How To Use The DASH Diet

The DASH menu emphasizes avoiding dairy products while eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, according to Diabetes Spectrum.

Calorie Breakdown

If you want to achieve 2100 calories, the DASH program recommends that fats should provide 27%, carbs 55%, and proteins the remaining 18%.

If you are to consume any saturated fats, they should account for less than 6% of your total calorie intake, and cholesterol should be 150 mg or below. The DASH diet menu eating plan suggests that you should consume over 30 g of fiber per day.

Minerals & Vitamins

Though the DASH diet does not have specific guidelines on minerals and vitamins, it highlights the limitations and recommendations for magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. The intake of sodium should be limited to 2300 mg per day, calcium to 500 mg, calcium to 1250 mg, and potassium to 4700 per day.


A DASH dieter who consumes a diet that has 2100 calories should consume at least seven servings of grain products per day, and some servings from whole grain sources. The DASH dieter should get most of the calories from complex proteins to ensure that they reduce their fat intake.

Fruit & Vegetables

There should be four to five servings of vegetables and fruits each. They can substitute carbohydrate sources as well as being abundant sources of minerals and vitamins that you can’t get from other sources of the diet.


The DASH dieter should not consume high-fat dairy products. They should restrict fat-free or low-fat dairy products to two to three servings per day. Though dairy products can be good sources of proteins, minerals, and vitamins, they are not recommended since they have high concentrations of cholesterol and fat.


Meat in the diet meal plan should be from lean proteins. Though animal products have a high concentration of proteins, they can have high levels of sodium, cholesterol, and fat.

Seeds, Legumes, & Nuts

Legumes, seeds, and nuts are unsaturated minerals and vitamins that contain no cholesterol and have much lean protein. You should consume four to five servings of legumes, seeds, and nuts per week. Avoid salted legumes, nuts, and seeds since they have high sodium.

Side Effects

Potential DASH Diet Side Effects

Unlike some other dietary methods that could have adverse side effects or eliminate essential nutrients, there are no known adverse side effects of the DASH diet. The DASH diet is recommended for your entire life since it is very sustainable. It does not aim to be an elimination diet or a complex system of number and charts.

Though there are several challenges in starting a new diet depending on your previous eating habits, there are many benefits of the DASH diet that make it easy to work out.

Other than positively impacting your heart, you could also lose weight if you use the DASH diet. If you strictly follow it and add more physical activity on a daily basis, you will experience a significant reduction of weight.

It is a classic combination of good exercise and healthy foods that positively affect the overall health of a person.


DASH Diet Warnings

Do you know that a typical American only consumes two or three servings of vegetables and fruits per day? If you eat like an average American, the DASH diet could initially be challenging to you. You will be required to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits from two to eight servings each day.


DASH Diet Lawsuits

As of writing this, there are no known lawsuits against the DASH diet.


DASH Diet Alternatives

Heated milk, cheese, or yogurt

The three products can be effective in weight loss.

How do they work?

The alternatives contain a type of lactose that does not cause issues in lactose intolerant people.

Are they effective?

They are 100% effective since they are naturally in animals. Heating the milk reduces the effect of the reactive agents in raw milk.

Side effects

There are no side effects with any of these.

dash diet grocery list

Shopping List

DASH Diet Grocery Shopping List

According to Europe PMC Funders Group, the DASH diet foods include:

  • Soy milk
  • Banana
  • Splenda
  • Banana
  • Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Shelled roasted pistachios
  • Ribs celery
  • Salmon fillets
  • Cloves garlic, minced and peeled
  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
Sample Menu

DASH Diet Sample Menu


  • Apple
  • Plain Greek yogurt & honey
  • Whole grain toast.


Veggie-hummus sandwich:

  • whole-grain bread
  • hummus
  • avocado
  • salad greens
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • sliced carrot


Salmon with herbs, lemon, caponata, & farro

  •  farro
  • eggplant
  • red bell pepper
  • summer squash
  • small onion
  • cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • capers
  • red wine vinegar
  • honey
  • salmon
  • lemon zest
  • Italian seasoning

DASH Diet Guidelines

The DASH diet guidelines indicate that you should consume whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and a diet low in saturated fat and sodium. Also, aim to add more dietary fiber daily.

Ensure that you eat pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. Legumes such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and lentils are also critical.

Diet Plan

DASH Diet Plan

The DASH diet should be a daily routine. If you are committed to the course, the results will be gradual, so you don’t need to hurry. There is a weekly, monthly, and annual DASH diet plan that you can follow.


DASH Diet Proportions

The DASH diet incorporates a measure of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Achieve your health and calorie goals using the DASH diet by following the proportions in percentages as earlier mentioned, according to Diabetes Spectrum.

dash diet meal ideas

Low-Sodium Diets

Weight Loss And Low Sodium Diets

The benefit of low sodium diets is not only for patients with heart issues, but it also helps to reduce weight. The DASH diet is one such low sodium diet.

AHA Recommendations On Sodium Levels

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), an adult should have one tablespoon of salt daily. People who desire to lower dietary sodium should try the DASH diet program.


DASH Diet Reviews

The diet has been beneficial to many people. Most of them have returned to a normal life as a result of faithfully following the DASH diet guidelines.

DASH Diet vs. Paleo

DASH focuses on decreasing sodium levels, so it tells its dieters to keep away from sugary drinks, red meat, and fatty foods. Paleo, on the other hand, also demands that users avoid legumes and grains.

Paleo also restricts dieters to some fruits (mostly berries), while DASH allows its dieters a broad variety of them.

DASH Diet vs. Weight Watchers

The two diets are very similar in that they emphasize eating fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and high-fiber, whole-grain foods.

DASH Diet vs. Atkins

The Atkins diet puts more of a focus on a low-carb regimen rather than low-fat.

DASH Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet

People on DASH have a broad list of foods, but the Mediterranean Diet’s list changes depending on the country’s cuisine you go for. It encourages the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices, so DASH has a lot of overlap.

What Users Are Saying

What Users Are Saying

“I’ve lost 7lbs so far on this diet and I enjoy how simple it is. I have high cholesterol so no Keto for me. It’s based on stuff I already knew about dieting and it’s working. Lean meat, low sodium, low sugar, low fat, lots of vegetables and water, etc. The recipes are also simple which I like and my acid reflux is better. I would definitely recommend.”

“Doesn’t work for everyone – It sounded great I got all the food I needed I followed it for a week and I gained 2 pounds and I do not believe I even cheated! So I’m just going back to my normal way of eating, sensible choices and serving sizes and exercise daily.”

“Diet works. Down 8 in 2 weeks! I hate bread now!! This is a good thing!! – Love it.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line – Does DASH Diet Work?

So, should you give the DASH Diet meal plan a shot? Well, we like that this eating plan can help with some heart related issues. On the other hand, this approach is not specifically for fat loss or weight reduction. Also, we’re concerned about some of the dietary restrictions of this plan.

If you’d like to shed some unwanted pounds of fat, then we suggest you go with a diet program or product that real science backs, is conducive to your lifestyle and weight-loss goals and is easy to follow or use anywhere.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. This program is an excellent support system with personalized coaching, custom meal plans, an active virtual community and more. We can’t pinpoint any negative user comments, and customer feedback posted online shows people see great results.

The makers of Noom are so confident in their product they’re offering a free trial offer, which is very encouraging.

Learn More About Noom »
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Why does the DASH diet work?

The DASH diet makes weight loss effortless thanks to its incorporation of healthy foods. This plan is loaded with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy. It is also plentiful in beans, nuts, fish, poultry and other lean meats. Along with weight loss, the DASH diet helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

What do you eat on the DASH diet?

Each style of the DASH diet incorporates a large amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low fat dairy as well as legumes, poultry and fish. Both styles promote the addition of small-portioned seeds and nuts during the week. In the DASH diet, small amounts of sweets, red meats and fats are permitted.

What is the meaning of DASH diet?

DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is considered a ‘combination diet.’ These diets are based on the theory that when certain food groups are combined the rate of weight loss can be accelerated. With DASH, this combination includes vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy and foods low in saturated and total fats. This helps DASH not only promote weight loss, but also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

What is the DASH diet all about?

Unlike fad diets, DASH is a lifestyle change meant to encourage healthy eating habits that will assist in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. DASH promotes a reduction of sodium intake and an increase in nutrient-rich foods, especially those that contain magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Is the DASH diet good for lowering cholesterol?

Along with blood pressure, DASH also promotes lower levels of cholesterol. Keeping both these figures in check helps to maintain a healthy heart. Foods promoted in the DASH diet can do just that. Vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy are increased while sweets, cholesterol and fats are decreased.

What is the DASH diet plan?

DASH promotes lower blood pressure by highlighting foods that are low in sodium and that are high in nutrients that can help to ease hypertension such as calcium, potassium and magnesium.

What is the DASH eating plan?

DASH is a lifestyle change filled with recipes involving whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy as well as nuts, poultry and fish. The increased amount of foods rich in nutrients and healthy-fats combined with the decrease of sugars, bad fats and sodium helps to reduce both hypertension and cholesterol.

1 DASH Diet Reviews

  • It Works!
    Julie (Verified Purchase)

    I went on a DASH diet for 4 weeks for hypertension and within that time my BP went from 155/105 to 117/81. An added bonus was I lost 3 kg. I currently not strictly on the diet but will carry elements from it for the rest of my life eg no added salt or sugar (i loved salt!! It was extremely hard
    For the first week as my head was screaming for sugar and salt as well as fried food and butter. After that i stopped craving and i actually look forward to eating myfruits and nuts,always loved veggies and now eat lean meats with tasty herbs instead of salt. Fresh not processed is also a key the diet.

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