The DASH diet is the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension.

What you eat affects your chances of developing hypertension or high blood pressure. Research has shown that following a healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure.

Average adult sodium intake per day is between 3,300 to 4,200 milligrams of sodium per day. Studies have shown that the DASH menu containing 2,300 milligrams of sodium or salt can lower blood pressure.

The DASH diet used along with other lifestyle changes can help you prevent and control blood pressure. If your blood pressure is not too high, you may be able to control it entirely by changing your eating habits, losing weight if you are overweight, getting regular physical activity, and cutting down on alcohol. The DASH eating plan also has other benefits, such as lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which, along with lowering blood pressure, can reduce your risk for getting heart disease.

Those who already have high blood pressure or pre-hypertension may benefit especially from following the DASH diet and reducing their sodium intake.

For specific information about the DASH diet click the links below:

The full description and booklet

Getting started

How to make healthier meals

Serving recommendations

Heart healthy recipes

Heart healthy Latino recipes

Heart healthy African American recipes