The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet can help you lose weight and improve other health measures.
The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and reduced-fat dairy products. It limits sodium, added sugars, meat, and saturated fats.
Lark is a weight loss coach on your phone. It helps you make small changes so your food choices are healthier and good for weight loss.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is one of the best diets. It is easy to follow, heart-healthy, and good for blood sugar. It can even help you lose weight!
The original clinical trial on the DASH diet had stunning results. They were published in New England Journal of Medicine. It took only two weeks of following the DASH diet for blood pressure to drop by 11.4 mm Hg among people with high blood pressure. Participants with normal blood pressure had theirs drop by 3.5 mm Hg on average. A meta-analysis in British Journal of Nutrition found the DASH diet can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
1 slice bread
½ cup oatmeal, cooked rice or pasta
1 ounce of cereal or pretzels
1 cup of leafy
½ cup of cut
¼ cup dried
At least 3-4 daily
At least 4-5 daily
½ cup cut or berries
1 piece fruit
1 cup milk
1.5 ounces of cheese
Lean Meats, Poultry, and Fish (limit red meat)
1 ounce cooked meat, poultry, fish
¼ cup of tofu
3 or less
6 or less
Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
1.5 ounces of nuts
2 tablespoons of peanut butter or seeds
½ cup beans, peas, lentils
3 per week
4-5 per week
Fats (Choose plant-based, non-tropical oils)
1 teaspoon of olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of salad dressing or mashed avocado
½ cup ice cream
1 tablespoon of jam
½ can of soda
No more than 3 weekly
No more than 5 weekly
Sample DASH Meal Plan for 4 Days
Here are 4 sample days for a DASH diet. Each day includes about 1,200 calories.
Sample Day 1
1 whole-grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese with ¾ cup of strawberries
Tuna Hummus Pockets
1 small whole-wheat pita, halved, spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus, stuffed with 3 ounces of canned tuna, chopped tomatoes, spinach leaves, and 1.5 ounces of low-fat cheddar cheese
Sweet Potato Rice Bowl
½ cup cubed sweet potato cooked in 1 teaspoon olive oil, ½ cup sliced onion and 1 cup of shredded kale cooked in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and tossed with garlic powder and parmesan cheese, ½ cup of low-sodium black beans, and ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice
Sample Day 2
Oatmeal made with ½ cup of oats and skim milk, ½ cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
Minestrone soup with kidney beans, whole-grain elbow or shell pasta, onion, celery, carrot, low-sodium broth, canned tomatoes, basil, cabbage, and Italian seasoning, served with parmesan cheese
Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
1 chopped bell pepper, ½ sliced onion, and ½ cup chopped sweet potato tossed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, thyme, and black pepper, roasted with 3 ounces of skinless chicken breast or thigh
1 cup of fresh fruit
Sample Day 3
Scrambled egg with spinach and mushrooms, topped with 1.5 ounces of low-fat swiss cheese, served with 2 slices of whole-grain toast
Greek salad with a mixture of ½ cup chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped cucumber or zucchini, 1.5 ounces of feta cheese, fresh basil, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, ½ cup of garbanzo beans, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, (optional) served over 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce.
3 ounces of salmon baked with lemon juice, garlic, and basil, 1 cup of green beans roasted with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and ½ cup of cooked brown rice
1 cup of fresh fruit
Sample Day 4
Cereal and Yogurt
¾ cup of shredded wheat
1 5-ounce container of plain yogurt
¾ cup of blueberries
½ ounce of sliced almonds
1 roasted or grilled portobello mushroom on a toasted whole-wheat bun with 1 teaspoon of margarine containing olive oil, plus lettuce, tomato, and a slice of low-fat cheese
10 animal crackers
Thai Shrimp Pasta Skillet
3 ounces of shrimp, cooked, tossed with 1 cup of vegetables (such as sliced carrots, snow peas, julienned bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, chopped cabbage, broccoli florets, etc.) cooked in 2 teaspoons of olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons of peanut sauce and 1 tablespoon of chopped peanuts
These tips can help you lose weight with a DASH diet.
The DASH diet includes low-fat dairy products. If you have lactose intolerance, you may still be able to have small amounts of cheese or yogurt. Dairy-free substitutes, such as soy yogurt and soy and almond milk provide calcium, too.
Choices within groups matter. Leaner, less-processed foods are usually better. Fresh fruit instead of dried fruit or fruit juice, whole-grain products instead of refined, fish over beef, and olive oil over butter are healthier and likely better for weight loss.
Many foods, such as soups and canned beans, are available in low-sodium versions.
Cooking with spices instead of salt lowers sodium while keeping flavor high.
Portion control counts. Serving sizes may be smaller than you think. For example, a serving of pasta is ‚1/3 cup. A plate of pasta can have 6 servings or more!
Of course, ask a healthcare provider before starting any new diet plan!
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