The DASH Diet: A Guide to Getting Started

The DASH Diet: A Guide to Getting Started

Publish Date July 12, 2022
Author Elizabeth Calvalege, RDN, LD

The DASH Diet: A Guide to Getting Started

The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, better known as the DASH diet, is supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and has been ranked one of the top diets annually by US News & World Report. Let’s learn a little more about this eating pattern and why it’s so beneficial. Plus, we’re sharing some DASH diet recipes at the bottom of this page to help get you started.

The DASH Diet

The DASH diet focuses on daily nutritional goals and prioritizes foods rich in magnesium, potassium, protein, calcium and fiber. This eating plan is designed to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as lower cholesterol levels, aid in weight management and improve overall health. That’s why the DASH diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy, seeds, beans and nuts.

Since sodium intake directly influences blood pressure, salt and sodium are limited. In addition to being a low sodium diet, the DASH eating plan also limits trans-fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.

DASH Diet Tips for Success

When it comes to your diet, gradual changes can lead to lasting sustainability and success. To get started, try embracing a few of these simple shifts in your routine:

  1. Go wild with veggies: Add an extra serving of veggies to one meal every day. When choosing vegetables, opt for lots of color and variety. For added convenience, keep canned options on-hand.
  2. Fill up on fruit: When you’re craving a snack or something to satisfy your sweet tooth, reach for naturally sweet fruit. Canned and frozen options are great to keep on-hand due to their long lifespan.
  3. Watch the fat: When shopping dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cottage cheese, opt for a version with a lower fat content than you typically purchase.
  4. Go whole: Ensure that at least half of your grains are “whole grains” for added fiber benefits.
  5. Be mindful of meat: Start viewing meat as a single element of dinner rather than the focus. If you want to increase the volume of a meal, opt for more vegetables.
  6. Look for lower sodium: Read the nutrition label, especially in foods typically high in sodium. To quickly identify low sodium foods, look for the terms “no salt added” or “unsalted” on the packaging.

For additional support, schedule an appointment with a Kroger Health registered dietitian. Our registered dietitians will help you identify nutritional targets and form a DASH diet meal plan that works for you.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing health care recommendations. Please see a health care provider.

Food GroupServings Per Day*Service Size
Whole grains


1 slice bread



½ cup cut-up vegetables



½ cup fresh, canned or frozen fruit

Low‑fat dairy


1 cup milk

Lean meat, poultry and fish

6 oz. or less

½ chicken breast

Fats and oils


2 tablespoons salad dressing

Nuts, seeds or beans

4-5 per week

½ cup cooked beans

Dietitian-Approved Recipes

Read more about the DASH diet here.