Tips on Making the Switch to the DASH Eating Plan

  • Change gradually. Add a vegetable or fruit serving at lunch and dinner.
  • Use only half the butter or margarine you do now.
  • If you have trouble digesting dairy products, try lactase enzyme pills or drops—they're available at drugstores and groceries. Or buy lactose-free milk or milk with lactase enzyme added to it.
  • Get added nutrients such as the B vitamins by choosing whole grain foods, including whole wheat bread or whole grain cereals.
  • Spread out the servings. Have two servings of fruits and/or vegetables at each meal, or add fruits as snacks.
  • Treat meat as one part of the meal, instead of the focus. Try casseroles, pasta and stir-fry dishes. Have two or more meatless meals a week.
  • Use fruits or low-fat foods as desserts and snacks.

Reproduced from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Additional Sources:

CDC. "Vital Signs: Food Categories Contributing the Most to Sodium Consumption — United States, 2007–2008" Available at Accessed on: February 10, 2012.

FDA. "Code of Federal Regulations Title 21." Available at Accessed on February 15, 2012.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 01 May 2009

Last Modified: 13 Jul 2013