A to Z Health Guide

The DASH Diet

Today’s leading health organizations are heartily endorsing the DASH Diet for the informed health-conscious diner. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet has been recommended by the National Kidney Foundation and approved by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, The American Heart Association, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and also forms the basis for the USDA MyPyramid.

Studies on the DASH have demonstrated that the DASH diet helps decrease blood pressure, lowers the risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer, and reduces the risk of kidney stone formation.

The DASH Diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It is low in salt and sodium, added sugars and sweets, fat and red meats.

Learn more about the DASH Diet

Get tips to tackle the DASH Diet 

Check out a sample 3-day DASH Diet Meal Plan, including recipes 

The DASH diet is a recognized treatment for hypertension, heart disease, and kidney disease. The DASH diet can slow the progression of both heart disease and kidney disease. If you already have chronic kidney disease, you should speak with your doctor and dietitian before starting any new diets as you may have special restrictions to consider. The DASH diet should not be used by people on dialysis. Individuals on dialysis have special dietary needs that should be discussed with a registered dietitian.

Here’s the detailed DASH diet for a 2,000 calorie diet:

Food Group Daily Servings Serving Size
Grains1 6–8 1 Slice bread
1 oz dry cereal2
½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
Vegetables 4–5

1 cup raw leafy vegetable
½ cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetable
½ cup vegetable juice

Fruits 4–5

1 medium fruit
¼ cup dried fruit
½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
½ cup fruit juice

Fat–free or low–fat milk and milk products 2–3

1 oz milk or yogurt
1 ½ oz cheese

Lean meats, poultry, and fish 6 or less

1 oz cooked meats, poultry, or fish
1 egg

Nuts, seeds, and legumes 4–5 per week

1/3 cup or 1 ½ oz nuts
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp or ½ oz seeds
½ cup cooked legumes (dry beans and peas)

Fats and oils 2–3

1 tsp soft margarine
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp salad dressing

Sweets and added sugars 5 or less per week

1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp jelly or jam
½ cup sorbet, gelatin
1 cup lemonade

1. Whole grains are recommended for most grain servings as a good source of fiber and nutrients.
2. Serving sizes vary between ½ cup and 1 ¼ cups, depending on cereal type. Check the product's Nutrition Facts label.


Date Reviewed: 
February 2, 2017

The information shared on our websites is information developed solely from internal experts on the subject matter, including medical advisory boards, who have developed guidelines for our patient content. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. No one associated with the National Kidney Foundation will answer medical questions via e-mail. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.