The DASH diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat

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DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension and was developed in the early 1990s when the National Institutes of Health was researching ways to lower blood pressure.

Since then, studies have found that the DASH diet can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease in people over time.

Here’s what you need to know about the DASH diet.

How to follow the DASH diet

The DASH diet focuses on nutrient-rich foods that are low in sodium, like many fruits and vegetables.

“For too long we focused just on cutting down on sodium,” said Lisa Sasson, a registered dietitian and clinical professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University. “We now know that including more of the other minerals that are in plant-based foods is very helpful and beneficial.”

The NIH offers a helpful guide for following the DASH eating plan, with recommended serving sizes based on your daily calories and examples of the best foods to eat. It mainly recommends:

Fruits

Vegetables

Whole grains

Fat-free or low-fat dairy

Lean meats

Nuts, seeds, and legumes

Limited sweets, fats, and oils

So if you’re following a diet of 2,000 daily calories, a day on DASH might look like this:

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