DASH Diet: What You Need to Know

The Dash Diet is recommended for those attempting to control and lower blood pressure.
The Dash Diet is recommended for those attempting to control and lower blood pressure.
Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Don't be scared by the name. The DASH diet is not one that tests how fast and often you can sprint, and it doesn't require you to dash away anytime you see food on a plate in front of you. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. So rather than incorporating a lot of running into your daily activity, the DASH diet advocates foods that help tame hypertension [source: Lyon].

Most likely, you know someone who suffers from high blood pressure. In fact, one-third of the United States' adult population is affected by high blood pressure. What's scarier is that elevated blood pressure can turn into a serious and dangerous problem if it's not diagnosed and treated early. Left to its own devices, it may increase your chances of stroke and heart disease [source: Lyon].

The DASH diet makes the claim that it will help you reduce your health risks and lower your blood pressure within the first two weeks of incorporating the diet into your life. When it comes to the DASH diet, there are two plans to choose from: the regular DASH diet and the DASH sodium diet. The diets are quite similar, and the only true difference is that people on the DASH sodium diet have to be more cautious of how much sodium they ingest [source: Stein].

The goal of the DASH diet is to get you to eat a variety of foods in the appropriate portions. By eating a mixture of foods, the diet will help you get the proper nutrients that your body needs [source: Mayo Clinic].

Now, the question is what kinds of foods can you eat while following the DASH diet? Click to the next page to find out what's for dinner.