DASH Diet Eating Plan: Helpful Hints
- Make one or two small changes at a time
- Add a serving of vegetables to your lunch and one to your dinner
- Add a serving of fruit to one meal or as a snack
- Switch to whole-grain bread and cereal
- If you’re used to large portion sizes, cut back slowly
- Experiment with new healthy recipes
- Choose low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
- Drink water or club soda with a lime or lemon wedge instead of sugary drinks
- If you want something sweet, reach for fresh fruit or fruits canned in juice or water not syrup
If the DASH diet plan includes more whole grains, vegetables and fruits than you’re used to eating, increase your intake of these foods slowly over the course of several weeks to reduce your risk for bloating or diarrhea sometimes associated with increased dietary fiber.
If you are lactose intolerant or have trouble digesting dairy products, try lactose-free or reduced lactose options or take lactase enzyme pills with these foods. If you’re allergic to nuts, add seeds or legumes (beans, peas) to your eating plan.
Give yourself a chance to adjust to the changes you’re making to your diet and make them part of your daily routine. The DASH eating plan and other lifestyle changes are part of a lifetime plan for good health, so if you stray from the diet or other healthy changes you’ve made, don't give up. Get back on track.