What is a Dash Diet Food List?

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet Food List is an approach to dietary management that emphasizes heart-healthy lifestyle eating to control blood pressure (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2021). It is a flexible diet that does not require special foods or impose strict restrictions. However, it prioritizes a well-balanced diet of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, low-fat dairy products, and low-salt consumption (Mayo Clinic, 2023). These types of food tend to be high in vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, magnesium, and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol (Vorwick et al., 2022). 

Research has demonstrated overconsumption of inflammatory, highly processed goods such as candy, sodium, and soda contribute to high blood pressure, a major contributor to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and kidney disease (Doherty, 2023). Many medical bodies now propose well-balanced diets, nutritional lifestyle interventions, and primary strategies for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to mitigate risk factors for chronic illnesses. 

The DASH diet is similar to other well-balanced diets, such as the Mediterranean, which focuses on whole, anti-inflammatory foods. However, it does not place exclusions on products such as oils and dairy. Alternatively, it provides recommendations for different food and beverage groups, using individual daily calorie targets to inform these recommendations. 

As a result, it is a flexible, comprehensive way for health professionals and patients to manage their diet without compromising tastes, needs, or preferences (Doherty, 2023). Being a lifestyle change, the DASH diet also considers that making these long-term changes can be challenging, and so encourages individuals to gradually make small changes when building habits (WebMD, 2023). 

Printable DASH Diet Food List

Download this DASH Diet Food List to help clients manage their heart-healthy lifestyle.

How Does It Work?

Carepatron’s DASH Diet Food List can help support a patient’s journey to lowering blood pressure and improving overall health while supporting their needs and preferences. 

Step 1: Obtain the DASH Diet Food List

You can access a Printable DASH Diet Food List here or download the PDF copy as a reference. This can be used as a guide to the DASH diet, which can help identify the foods contributing to high blood pressure and help you make informed dietary choices. This is essential to helping patients reduce lower blood pressure and improve heart health. 

Step 2: Client Consultation

You can begin collaborating with your patient after becoming familiar with the foods that may contribute to low and high blood pressure. You can take this time to take relevant measurements, such as age, weight, sex, activity levels, blood pressure, and patient notes. These can inform your patient's calorie needs and discuss whether patients are trying to adjust or maintain their weight, which may guide the diet approach.

Step 4: Customizing Dietary Plans 

As a practitioner, you can personalize dietary plans according to the patient’s health needs, considering their blood pressure, well-being, and lifestyle. This may involve selecting heart-healthy food and beverage items to add to grocery lists and planning meal and snack options. This holistic, collaborative process is essential to empowering you to guide patients toward optimal health. 

Step 5: Implementing a Food Journal

Patients may be encouraged to keep a food journal or diary. This can help them track any changes they experience, progress, or concerns they can bring in regular health check-ups. This can help you as a practitioner provide guidance and support to address their concerns or adjust the plan to continue meeting patient needs. Additionally, patients may be further empowered to continue on this journey as they see their progress, which may help them overcome barriers or challenges in the future.

Step 6: Ongoing Monitoring and Support 

It is essential to continuously monitor your patient’s progress and provide guidance and support throughout their journey to the DASH diet lifestyle and managing blood pressure. Scheduling regular follow-up appointments to track their progress and making adjustments to the plan when necessary is crucial to achieving long-term heart health and enhancing overall well-being. 

DASH Diet Food List Example (Sample)

We have constructed a sample DASH Diet Food List to show you how the DASH diet diet works. The sample covers a range of food and beverage options that reduce blood pressure and support dietary management to improve heart health and overall well-being. This resource provides a comprehensive guide to heart-healthy foods and beverages, which can be used to guide future dietary plans and construct grocery lists and meal options to suit your patient's individual needs and health concerns. 

Please note that this is a general example, and it should not substitute personalized advice. 

 You can access the sample here or download the PDF copy as a reference. 

Download the Free Dash Diet Food List Example

DASH Diet Food List Example (Sample)

When Would You Use This List?

The DASH Diet Food List is primarily an intervention for patients with or at risk of high blood pressure. Still, it can also be adjusted for patients seeking to implement dietary management strategies to improve their heart health and overall well-being. This makes it useful for individuals seeking guidance for dietary management and individuals at risk of developing chronic illnesses or experiencing chronic illness symptoms. However, it is not recommended for individuals experiencing sudden liver function loss (decompensated cirrhosis). 

Scenarios where this resource may be useful include: 

Lowering Blood Pressure

For individuals experiencing high blood pressure, the DASH diet is an efficient primary prevention strategy that can alleviate symptoms and reduce the risks of developing associated chronic illnesses. In this way, patients and healthcare professionals can work together to make a lifestyle plan that addresses these health concerns and meets the needs and preferences of the patient. 

Personal Health and Wellbeing Journey

This resource is particularly beneficial for individuals looking to make some long-term habits. Being flexible, the resource can be applied to various individuals and families with different needs and preferences. Rather than being an all-or-nothing dietary plan, the DASH diet can help individuals gradually change their diet, building long-term habits that support mental and physical well-being. 

Meal Planning

A list of recommended foods and beverages can remove the complexities individuals may face surrounding food decisions. It may also inspire individuals to try new recipes and make life-long habits in the best interest of their health and well-being. 

Grocery Shopping

This list can be used as a reference to guide grocery lists, providing recommendations and examples of foods and beverages, which may save time and remove complexities when shopping. 

Educational Resource

 Information regarding the DASH diet can be used to devise resources such as food preparation classes, videos, posters, and presentations that communicate practical ways to improve nutrition and its many benefits. 

What do the Results Mean?

Adhering to the DASH diet may have varied results amongst individuals depending on several influencing factors. This may include lifestyle, age, gender, genetics, previous medical histories, and adherence to the diet. Here are some common experiences and what they may mean for an individual:  

Lower Blood Pressure

The emphasis on consuming whole foods encourages individuals to consume whole foods. These can reduce the risks of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), which can damage arteries and decrease blood and oxygen flow to the heart. Thus reducing risks of developing heart disease and other harmful chronic illnesses (Doherty, 2023; WebMD, 2023).

Reduce Cholesterol

The diet encourages the consumption of unsaturated fats, such as avocados and olive oil, which help remove the harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a type of cholesterol that contributes to atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty molecules that thickens arteries and restricts blood flow (atherosclerosis), and other harmful chronic illness symptoms (Doherty, 2023). 

Reduced Risk of Chronic Illnesses

In lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, this diet may mitigate risks of developing chronic illness symptoms and delay the onset of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis (Doherty, 2023; Satrazemis, 2019). 

Improve Sleep Duration

The DASH diet has been associated with having a beneficial effect on sleep status, improving night sleep duration and sleep apnea symptoms amongst women with type 2 diabetes (Daneshzad et al., 2022). 

Enhanced Mental Health 

Individuals adhering to the DASH diet have been observed to experience improvements in mood, as well as depression and anxious symptoms. Furthermore, adhering to this diet can mitigate the risks and effects of chronic illnesses, which are associated with mental health challenges (Daneshzad et al., 2022). 

Weight Loss

The basis of the diet comes from developing healthy eating habits and prioritizing portion control and whole foods, which may reduce calorie intake and body weight (Satrazemis, 2019). 

You can begin empowering patients on their well-being journeys by accessing the Free DASH Diet Food List, which provides comprehensive information and recommendations for dietary management. 

Research & Evidence

The DASH diet was originally established in the 1900s, following funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), where research observed an association between particular dietary approaches and lowered blood pressure (Satrazemis, 2019). With these findings, the NIH recommended the DASH diet as a primary prevention strategy for controlling blood pressure and reducing risks for hypertension. These findings have been replicated across many studies, where some studies have observed lower blood pressure following two weeks on the DASH diet, furthering it as an intervention to prevent harmful chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke (Doherty, 2023; WebMD, 2023). 

The success of the DASH diet may be founded on its ability to consider an individual’s requirements while still being flexible to meet their needs and taste preferences. While it does not require calorie counting, it uses an individual’s calorie target to recommend servings of different food groups that can be used to build meal plans (Frey, 2022). This helps it accommodate for age, gender, and activity levels that may influence the energy and nutrients an individual requires for daily activity and body functions. As a result, it provides guidance and self-determination that empowers individuals to take charge of their health for long-term well-being. 

Furthermore, the DASH diet takes a holistic approach to health, encouraging physical activity and prioritizing mental health to enhance overall being. As the NIH recommends, the DASH diet suggests 30 minutes of physical activity daily as another way to lower blood pressure and improve physical health (Vorwick, 2022). The combination of exercise and a well-balanced diet has been associated with alleviating depression and anxious symptoms and enhancing emotional health and sleep quality, improving mental health (Daneshzad et al., 2022).

Commonly asked questions

Why are DASH Diet Food Lists helpful?

DASH Diet Food Lists can help enhance health and well-being in several ways. Whether individuals seek an effective way to lower their blood pressure or implement a more well-balanced diet, these resources provide a user-friendly, comprehensive guide to dietary management. Providing recommendations based on your calorie needs, these lists can help identify foods and beverages to add to your daily nutrition, meal planning, and grocery list, without the complexities of restriction and calorie counting.

When are DASH Diet Food Lists used?

DASH Diet Food Lists are used across many scenarios. These may include lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, enhancing mental and physical health, and reducing the chance of chronic illness for individuals at risk. However, individuals experiencing sudden liver function loss (decompensated cirrhosis) are not recommended to use this type of diet and should consult with their healthcare provider before implementing any

How are DASH Diet Food Lists used?

DASH Diet Food Lists are recommended for daily servings of different food groups based on individual calorie targets. These daily targets can advise the types and amounts of foods and beverages to consume daily to guide your meal planning. You can consult your healthcare provider to determine your calorie target and then find the best recommendations.

Why Use Carepatron as Your Dash Diet Food List App?

Carepatron is an online platform that allows for reliable, accessible clinical documentation, which is essential for healthcare professionals and their patients to keep track of their medical documents and progress. Using our DASH Diet Food List app in your journey can help track the progress and dietary needs of individuals looking to make lifelong healthy habits. DASH Diet Food List Software also removes the complexities around communication and patient scheduling for follow-ups. It optimally saves time, confusion, and resources usually taken up by typical clinical practices. 

Being an online platform, our user-friendly interface allows for mobile access, allowing easy navigation and access to documentation by healthcare professionals and individuals on the go. Furthermore, the patient portal allows patients mobile access to the DASH Diet Food List and their medical documentation, which is beneficial for efficient decision-making around food, grocery shopping, and meal planning tasks. 

Though online, our technology complies with worldwide security requirements, so patients and healthcare professionals can be assured that any information stored within the app and software is safe and secure. 

As an effective DASH Diet Food List app and software, Carepatron integrates appointment scheduling, medical notes, and nutrient tracking for a seamless experience. Both healthcare professionals and their clients can collaborate for a holistic approach to health, integrating dietary management with physical and mental well-being, empowering individuals to make lifelong habits to enhance their overall health and well-being. For anyone seeking an accessible, reliable way to manage their approach to the DASH diet and overall health, Carepatron is the platform for you. 

Clinical Documentation Software


Daneshzad, E., Heshmati, J., Basirat, V., Keshavarz, S., Qorbani, M., Larijani, B., Bellissimo, N., & Azadbakht, L. (2022, May, 12). The Effect of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet on Sleep, Mental Health, and Hormonal Changes: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Women With Type 2 Diabetes. Front Nutr. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.775543. Retrieved from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.775543/full

Doherty, C. (2023, May, 12). What is the DASH Diet? Verywellhealth. https://www.verywellhealth.com/dash-diet-7487469

Frey, M. (2022, October, 24). Getting Started With the DASH Diet. verywellfit. https://www.verywellfit.com/dash-diet-grocery-lists-recipes-and-more-4693500

Mayo Clinic Staff (n.d.). DASH diet: Guide to recommended servings. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20050989

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2021, December, 29). DASH Eating Plan. NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/dash-eating-plan

Satrazemis, E. (2019, September, 30). DASH Diet Guidelines and Food Lists. Trifecta. https://www.trifectanutrition.com/health/dash-diet-guidelines-and-food-lists

Vorwick, L. J., Dugdale, D. C., & Conway, B. (2022, August, 15). Understanding the DASH diet. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000784.htm

WebMD (2023, April, 7). DASH Diet and High Blood Pressure. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/dash-diet

Why are DASH Diet Food Lists helpful?
Why are DASH Diet Food Lists helpful?
Written by
Priya Singh
Priya Singh

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