Indian Diet Plan for High Blood Pressure: Foods to Eat & Avoid

“You are what you eat”, this saying is especially true when you have chronic lifestyle disorders like hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes. Over the years, doctors, nutritionists, and researchers have studied various diets to determine how they affect blood pressure. So how does an Indian diet plan for high blood pressure fit into a healthy lifestyle? Which Indian foods should you eat and avoid to keep your BP in check? Let’s find out! Contents:
  • High Blood Pressure and the Role of Diet
  • What is the DASH Diet for Hypertension?
  • How Often Should You Eat With Hypertension?
  • Indian Hypertension Diet Chart
  • Additional Diet Tips for Blood Pressure Control
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Table of Contents

High Blood Pressure and the Role of Diet

The food you eat plays a vital role in maintaining your health and keeping your body functioning as it should. Having a balanced and nutritious diet is important to prevent or manage many health conditions and lifestyle disorders like hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) .  A balanced diet consists of macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, and fats, as well as micronutrients like minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other trace components. Consuming too much or too little of any one nutrient can negatively affect your body.  Your blood pressure is similarly dependent on the foods you consume on a daily basis, particularly the following:
  • Sodium
When you have too much sodium in your body, your kidneys retain more water to maintain electrolyte balance. This results in increased blood volume, which leads to increased pressure on the walls of your arteries. Thus, high sodium intake results in elevated blood pressure levels.
  • Fats
Consuming fats like oil, butter, cheese, cream, ghee, etc., raises the cholesterol levels in your blood. High blood pressure can cause minute tears and damage to the inner walls of your arteries, and the excess cholesterol in your food accumulates in these tears. This results in the buildup of plaque, which clogs your arteries and makes them stiff and narrow, further raising your blood pressure levels.
  • Excess sugar
Similar to high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels can cause inflammation and damage to the inner lining of your blood vessels, increasing your chances of developing plaque. Thus, too much sugar in your diet can result in clogged arteries and high blood pressure.

Foods You Should Eat

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which are essential for maintaining normal blood pressure levels. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are also high in satiating macronutrients like fibre and protein while having little to no saturated or trans fats that are harmful to your health.
  • Foods rich in potassium
Potassium can help eliminate excess sodium from your body. Thus it is important to include potassium-rich foods in your diet.
  • Foods rich in fibre
Studies have shown that adding fibre to your diet can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High cholesterol can lead to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, which can make them clogged, stiff, and narrow, leading to elevated blood pressure levels. 
  • Foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants like polyphenols, omega-3-fatty acids, flavonoids, catechins, etc., have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals and the effects of inflammation caused by conditions like hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes. Thus, antioxidants can lower your blood pressure.
  • Low-fat dairy products
Milk is a rich source of bioactive peptides (derived from the digestion of milk proteins) like Valine-Proline-Proline (VPP), Isoleucine-Proline-Proline (IPP), casein, and lactalbumin that have anti-hypertensive properties. Dairy products are also rich in essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which help regulate blood pressure levels. However, whole milk products are high in fats, which can increase your cholesterol levels. Hence, opt for low-fat or non-fat milk products to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down. For a more extensive list of foods that you should include in your diet, click here.

Foods You Should Avoid

  • Overly salty foods
Cut down on salty foods like chips, namkeen, and condiments with high amounts of sodium, which can raise your blood pressure further. Limit the amount of salt you use in your regular cooking, and try switching to salts that have a lower sodium content, like Himalayan salt.
  • Caffeine
Caffeinated drinks like coffee, sports drinks, sodas, etc., spike your blood pressure as caffeine constricts your blood vessels. Limit your consumption of coffee to one cup a day or switch to drinks with lower caffeine content, like tea. 
  • Saturated and trans fats
Foods that have a high fat content, like fast food, deep-fried food, dairy products like cream, butter, etc., can clog your arteries and make them narrower, which can make your hypertension worse. Switch to healthy sources of unsaturated fats like nuts and seeds to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
  • Added sugars
Store-bought desserts, baked goods, sweets, candies, etc., have high amounts of added sugars, which can damage your blood vessels in the  long run. Cut down on your intake of these products to once or twice a week and replace them with sources of natural sugar like fruits in your daily diet. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your daily intake of sugar to a total of 24 g for women and 36 g for men.
  • Alcohol
Long term consumption of alcohol or binge drinking can cause several ill effects on your health, elevated blood pressure levels being one of them. 

What is the DASH Diet for Hypertension?

The DASH or “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” diet is a healthy and balanced diet plan endorsed by the AHA to treat or prevent hypertension. It includes high amounts of nutrients that lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and fibre. The DASH diet also recommends cutting down on foods that may negatively affect your blood pressure and overall health, like excess sodium, added sugars, and saturated or trans fats.  The DASH diet recommends including the following food groups in your daily diet to improve your blood pressure levels and heart health.
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meats, poultry, and fish
  • Low-fat or non-fat dairy products
  • Nuts, seeds, dry beans, and peas
The DASH diet also recommends limiting your consumption of the following foods:
  • Sodium (limit consumption to 2300 mg, which amounts to 6 g of table salt per day)
  • Fats and oils
  • Sweets
You can read more about the DASH diet and the recommended serving sizes of each food group here.

How Often Should You Eat With Hypertension?

Based on your appetite and required calorie intake (dependent on your BMI, muscle mass, activity levels, etc.) you can consume about 3 to 5 meals a day to maintain normal blood pressure levels. Hunger can cause your blood pressure levels to fluctuate, and also cause irregular heartbeat. You can avoid this by having smaller meals at regular intervals or snacking between major meals. 

Indian Hypertension Diet Chart

The following is a sample Indian diet chart for hypertension patients. Make sure you prepare the dishes mentioned with as little fat (oil, butter, ghee, cheese, etc.) and salt as possible. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before formulating a personalized meal plan for yourself.

Read more  Hypertension Causes, Types, Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment

1. Indian Breakfast For Hypertension

  • Stuffed cabbage and dal (lentil) paratha made with bajra (pearl millet) flour is filled with the goodness of lentils, whole grains, and high potassium from cabbage.
  • Oats upma, made with oat bran and vegetables like carrots, broccoli, beans, etc. will give you a nutritious breakfast. The soluble fibre in oats keeps you full for a long time while also lowering your cholesterol levels.
  • Ragi (finger millet) and spinach idli, made by substituting sooji (semolina) with ragi when making the batter and adding ground spinach to the batter just before steaming the idlis.
  • Berry and banana smoothie bowl, made by blending frozen berries of your choice and bananas with low-fat milk or yoghurt and oats, topped with dry fruits, and seeds of your choice.
  • A boiled potato or sweet potato with hard-boiled eggs and a slice of whole-wheat toast.

2. Indian Lunch For Hypertension

  • One bowl of dahi bhindi (okra) with two bajra rotis.
  • One bowl of brown rice and sambar, rasam, or dal made with green leafy vegetables.
  • One bowl of dalia (broken wheat) pulao with rajma (kidney beans) curry.
  • One portion of grilled or poached skinless chicken with boiled brown rice.
You can start your meal with a bowl of salad made with roasted chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, and any other vegetables of your choice.

3. Indian Dinner For Hypertension

  • One bowl of vegetable curry (pumpkin, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, etc.) with green peas pulao.
  • One bowl of chicken gravy with two whole wheat rotis.
  • Steamed or grilled fatty fish like salmon, tuna, cod, etc. with one bowl of boiled brown rice and stir-fried vegetables
  • One bowl of chole (chickpeas) or soyabean nuggets curry with two bajra or jowar (sorghum) rotis.
You can start your meal with a bowl of beetroot, tomato, pumpkin, or carrot soup.

4. Indian Snacks For Hypertension

  • One bowl of sprouted moong (mung bean or green gram) chaat.
  • One bowl of boiled sweet corn with a pinch of pepper or garam masala.
  • One bowl of low-fat yoghurt with berries, bananas, apples, etc.
  • A square of dark chocolate, weighing about 25 to 30 g.
  • One mid-size seasonal fruit that is high in potassium, such as bananas, apricots, oranges, pomegranates, grapefruit, a cup of berries, a slice of watermelon, etc.

5. Indian Drinks For Hypertension

  • Pomegranate juice, made by blending the seeds without any added sugar.
  • Fresh coconut water, without any added sugar.
  • Beetroot juice, made by blending a beetroot with some water and mint or ginger for taste.
  • A cup of black tea, green tea, or hibiscus tea, made without milk or sugar.
  • Juice of citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits or lemon water.
  • A glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. 

Additional Diet Tips for Blood Pressure Control

  • Having a meal plan for high blood pressure and planning your meals in advance can help you make healthy diet choices that improve your blood pressure and heart health.
  • Try to record your food intake in a journal or an app on a daily basis. This can help you track your fibre, potassium, sodium, and fat intake.
  • Instead of salt, use more spices like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, etc. along with fresh or dried herbs to make your food more flavourful. This will help you keep your salt intake within the recommended range of 6 g a day.
  • Instead of deep-frying food in fats like oil, butter, or ghee, use cooking techniques like grilling, roasting, air-frying, sauteing, etc. to prepare your food. This will help cut down on your saturated fat intake and keep your cholesterol levels in check.
  • Eat fresh fruit or dark chocolate for dessert instead of sweets or baked goods that are high in added sugars. This will help you avoid inflammation caused by high blood sugar levels.
  • Snack on homemade snacks like popcorn or makhana (fox nuts) instead of store-bought chips or namkeen. This will lower your intake of saturated and trans fats, thus lowering your blood cholesterol levels.

— Update: 05-01-2023 — found an additional article Indian Diet Plan for High Blood Pressure ( Indian DASH Diet) from the website for the keyword indian diet for hypertension.

High blood pressure is a very common health issue in India. Blame it to the changed lifestyle or pollution or competitive world, most Indians get affected by the stress. This Indian diet plan for high blood pressure will help you manage your hypertension. This Indian diet plan for high blood pressure will also help you in delaying or preventing the related health issue and cardiac ailments.

Indian diet for hypertension

If your blood pressure usually gets a reading of 140/90 for more than two weeks, then you probably suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Most of the time, a person having high blood pressure doesn’t experience any symptoms. In fact, many patients may not experience any symptoms at all for years. Very rarely a few patients feel dizzy, have headaches and also get nose-bleeds. Chronic hypertension puts a lot of stress on the blood vessels and muscles of the heart. Hypertension if left untreated, can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Causes of High Blood Pressure:

There are many factors that can lead to high blood pressure, most of which are indicative of an unhealthy lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the causes of high blood pressure:

  • Eating salt in excess:

If you consume salt in excess, your blood pressure is most likely to be on the higher side. This is because excessive consumption of salt leads to sodium imbalance in the body. This is followed by fluid retention. This puts pressure on the arteries of the heart and makes the blood pressure rise.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Lack of Physical Exercise:

 An inactive lifestyle also contributes to a high blood pressure .Lack of physical activity can make you gain weight and you might become obese over time.

  • Lack of Roughage in the Diet:

If your diet lacks roughage such as fruits and vegetables, your blood pressure is more likely to rise. This is because fruits and vegetables contain various vitamins and minerals. Nutrients like potassium help to control blood pressure levels.

  • Obesity:

People who are obese or overweight are more prone to get hypertension. The excess weight around their bodies requires more effort for the blood to get circulated. This puts undue pressure on the heart.

Indian diet for hypertension

Image : Copyright: ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo

  • Diabetes:

Diabetes can increase the risk of high blood pressure since it narrows down the arteries and causes blood pressure to rise.

  • Drinking Alcohol in excess:

Drinking alcohol in excess raises the blood pressure levels and heavy drinkers suffer more than the others.

  • Eating too many fats:

Consuming lots of fatty and fried foods increases blood cholesterol levels and makes the blood pressure to rise.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Too much sugar:

Most people are of the opinion that consuming excess salt causes blood pressure to rise. Well, the consumption of excess sugar can also cause high blood pressure. Sugar raises your heart rate and leads to insulin resistance, which can cause a lot of damage.

  • Heredity:

Many times, high blood pressure is hereditary and runs in families. If some members of your close family suffer from hypertension, you are most likely to inherit it.

  • Smoking:

Excessive smoking damages the arteries and raises your blood pressure levels. It hardens the walls of the arteries and makes the blood form clots.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Aging:

As you age, the flexibility of the blood vessels is decreased and this puts more pressure on the heart leading to high blood pressure.

Indian Diet Plan for High Blood Pressure ( DASH Diet):

Here is a sample chart of the Indian diet plan for high blood pressure. This Indian diet plan for high blood pressure provides you around 1500 calories and can be followed if you are looking for managing your weight as well as hypertension.

Sample Menu of Dash diet; Indian diet plan for high blood pressure:

                                              EARLY MORNING
Roasted Flax seeds  / Sunflower seeds1 tsp—–——
Tea (without sugar)1cup354
Total calories-91Protein – 4
Stuffed Carrot/spinach paratha (whole wheat flour)2 small2707
Curd (Avoid  adding salt, you can add jeera powder)1 cup / 50 gms301.5
Total calories-300Protein-8.5
2 Egg White Omelet with capsicum(2 egg white )1507
Brown Bread Slice / 1 Roti2 no. / 1 no.1003
Total calories-250Protein-10
                                              MID MORNING
Apple / Banana / Guava / Grapefruit / Orange1 med (50- 60 gms)40
Green Tea (No Sugar)—-—-——
Vegetable brown rice pulao / Vegetable Oats Upama1 soup bowl (50 gms uncooked)2503
Cucumber, carrot, beetroot and onion raita1 bowl753.5
Mix veg salad1 bowl302
Total calories-355Proteins-8.5
Chappati / Phulka (little or no fat )3 medium-size2559
Capsicum / ladyfinger / parval / torai / Bottle gourd  veg1 med bowl701.5
Dal/drumstick sambar1 med bowl1306
Salad1 med bowl302
Total calories – 485Proteins – 18.5
10 minutes, walk post-lunch + 1 cup warm water with lemon / Green tea (no sugar)
Green tea / Tea / Coffee (without sugar) / beetroot juice1 cup354
Puffed Rice (unsalted ) / 2 wheat rusks  / watermelon1 bowl1003
Total calories-280Protein-7
whole wheat flour chapati / phulka3 medium-sized2559
Mix veg / drumstick  / palak vegetable1 med bowl701.5
Curd / kadhi / dal1 small bowl301.5
Total calories-435Proteins-14.5
10 minutes, walk post-lunch + 1 cup warm water with lemon / Green tea (no sugar)
Cow’s Milk (no sugar)1 cup752
Soaked almonds4 no.203

Read more  Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs: A Holistic Approach


The above mentioned Indian Diet plan for high blood pressure is a sample plan of what kind of food one must eat in order to control high blood pressure.  The foods included in the chart will help you control your blood pressure to a great extent.

Indian Foods that Help to control High Blood Pressure:

Here are the details of how some of these foods that are included in the sample Indian diet plan for high blood pressure, helps.

  • Flax seeds:

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Sunflower seeds:

Sunflower seeds are nutrient-packed and they help in lowering high blood pressure. They also, protect against heart diseases.

  • Watermelon:

Watermelons helps in lowering the elevated blood pressure with an amino acid called L-citrulline. It is packed with lycopene and fiber and hence, helps in promoting heart health.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Beetroot:

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Spinach:

Spinach is super rich in minerals, especially potassium and helps in maintaining blood pressure near normal.

  • Whole grains (brown rice / whole wheat flour / Oats ):

whole-grain has multiple health benefits . and maintaining blood pressure near normal is just 1 of them.

Indian diet for hypertension

I hope you have now understood the importance of including these foods in your Indian diet plan for high blood pressure.

Dietary Changes to Maintain Normal Blood Pressure:

In order to maintain normal blood pressure levels, various dietary modifications will have to be made. However, one can easily avoid medication of high blood pressure by taking some precautions while eating:

  • Eat a low sodium diet:

Eating a low sodium diet doesn’t mean simply adding less salt to your meals; it also indicates consuming less processed foods. This is because processed foods, canned foods, and fast foods contain a high amount of sodium which affects the blood pressure adversely.

  • Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet:

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables since they are rich in potassium and this mineral helps to lower the blood pressure. Fresh fruits are also rich in sodium, magnesium, calcium, and anti-oxidants and together these help to control the blood pressure levels. Some useful fruits are apricots, bananas, avocados, melons, oranges, lemons, prunes, grapefruit, dates, and raisins.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Limit your alcohol intake:

Most people know that moderate amounts of alcohol can help to lower your blood pressure levels but people interpret this act the way they like. They drink alcohol in excess and this affects the blood pressure adversely. Limit your alcohol intake to a maximum of 2 per day to keep your blood pressure under control.

  • Reduce your caffeine intake:

Although caffeine raises your blood pressure levels very slowly, it does have a negative effect when consumed regularly. Also, the amount of caffeine you drink also makes a huge difference. One should not drink more than 200 mg per day. You may take in one shot or divide it into 2-3 small shots.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Stop smoking:

The nicotine that is emitted from cigarette smoke is really dangerous, not only for your lungs but also for your heart. If you are smoke, you are not only endangering yourself but also all those around you. Quit smoking as soon as you can.

  • Eat only whole grains:

Eating whole grains is as effective as anti-hypertensive medicines since they contain lots of potassium and thus help to control blood pressure. They also contain many other nutritious elements such as fiber, selenium, magnesium, folate, and iron. One should eat at least 85 Gms of whole grains such as oats, wheat, brown rice, popcorn, quinoa, and breakfast cereals.

  • Avoid fats:

Excess of cholesterol and bad fats clogs the arteries. Limit your intake of fat and consume only good fats. Choose foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Try steaming, baking, grilling and boiling over frying foods. Food can easily be cooked with a very small amount of fat. It might not taste as good initially but this is what is good for your heart. Replace full-fat yogurt with low-fat yogurt.

  • Eat lean meats:

Avoid red meats. Consume chicken and fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Bake, roast and grill the poultry but avoid frying. Salmon, tuna, and herring are heart-healthy varieties of fish.

Indian diet for hypertension

  • Limit your intake of sugar :

Consume only natural sources of sugar such as fruits, raisins, dates and maple syrup. Avoid aerated beverages and packed juices since these contain a lot of sugar. Avoid unnecessary snacking and don’t eat huge portions. Try not to consume foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. This includes ketchup, crackers, and soft drinks.

You may be interested in reading –

  • How to lower Blood pressure naturally 
  • Apple cider vinegar for kidney stones
  • Indian diet plan for diabetes
  • How to lower triglycerides levels in the blood

Lifestyle changes to Maintain Blood pressure:

Apart from the above dietary changes from your Indian diet plan for high blood pressure, you also need to inculcate certain lifestyle modifications to keep your blood pressure within the normal range

  • Exercise daily :

Regular physical exercise can go a long way in bringing your blood pressure levels down. It improves blood circulation and also lifts your mood.

  • Watch your weight:

Keep a close eye on your weight and make it a point to maintain it within limits. Lose all that extra weight around your waist and prevent yourself from becoming overweight.

  • Monitor your blood pressure:

You may buy a blood pressure monitor and check your blood pressure regularly to keep track of any irregularities.

  • Keep stress at bay:

Try to keep stress at bay so that tension and anxiety do not affect your health in any way.


This Indian diet plan for high blood pressure will help you in maintaining your blood pressure near normal. d you can slowly get rid of your medicines as well. In extreme cases, patients might still have to consult a medical practitioner. Some medications along with dietary modifications will help to keep blood pressure under control.  Please feel free to leave your doubts and queries in the comment section. We would love to be of help to you.

— Update: 05-01-2023 — found an additional article Dash Diet – Diet Foods, Benefits, & Weight Loss from the website for the keyword indian diet for hypertension.

If you are suffering from hypertension, chances are you’ve already heard of the DASH diet. However, if you happen to be among a group of people who haven’t and would like to know what it is, we recommend that you read this article thoroughly. 

Table of Contents

  • What is the Dash Diet?
  • Who is the Dash Diet recommended for?
  • Do’s and Don’ts in a Dash Diet
  • Dash Diet plan
  • Is dash diet good for weight loss?
  • Health Benefits of the Dash Diet
  • Summary

What is the Dash Diet?

As the name suggests, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was developed in an attempt to lower dangerous levels of blood pressure in the population without the administration of clinical medication.

It was proven to be effective in battling the disease for those who were vulnerable to the condition of hypertension. However, the DASH diet not only helps people with hypertension, but also serves to control many other illnesses such as – stroke, heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, diabetes, and kidney stones.

The DASH diet need not be implemented only by people suffering from hypertension. Anyone looking to keep their weight in check and maintain good health can adopt this routine. The dash diet primarily consists of the goodness of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and low-fat/non-fat dairy products.

Who is the Dash Diet Recommended For?

The DASH diet can be followed by anyone for significant health gains. Studies carried out to probe the advantages of the DASH diet have found that it can go a long way in preventing high blood pressure in children as well as adults. Moreover, its health benefits range from reducing cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, improving bone health, lowering the risk of gout, inflammation and even cancer.

Read more  Screening For Hypertension Annually Compared With Current Practice

So, while the dash diet can be followed by your entire family, individuals at risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases profit most from following this dietary routine.

Do’s and Don’ts in a Dash Diet Foods

Like any diet plan, the dash diet also prescribes foods that should be added and avoided. In the below section we will discuss the foods to add and avoid in detail. Read on to find out. 

Foods to add in your Dash Diet

Indian diet for hypertension

The dash diet’s objective is to make you lower your sodium intake and consume nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which will lower your blood pressure.

It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy product consumption along with moderate amounts of nuts, fish, poultry, and whole grains made permissible.

In a dash diet, you can eat sweets, fats, and red meat as well but in controlled portions.  The eating plan in the discussion is low in trans fat, total fat, and saturated fat.

Ideal Serving Size

1. You can eat 6-8 servings of grains a day. So, you may choose from bread, pasta, cereal, or rice. Try eating whole grains instead of refined grains as they have more nutrient-rich contents and fibre value. 
2. An intake of four to five servings of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and leafy greens is ideal when you are following the dash diet. 
3. You can eat up to 4-5 servings of fruits as part of this diet too. 
4. When it comes to dairy products, eat milk/yoghurt/cheese or other dairy products, but limited to a total of 2-3 servings a day. 
5. You may have as many as six courses of lean meat, poultry, or fish, as long as the portion size does not exceed one meal. 
6. Nuts, seeds, and legumes can be consumed four to five times per week. 
7. Limit the consumption of fats and oils to 2-3 servings per day. Choose monounsaturated fats over unhealthy trans fats.
8. If you wish, you can still eat sweets while following the dash diet. Simply include less than five servings of sweets in a week into your eating plan. 

Foods to Avoid in Dash Diet

The eatables to stay away from when on a dash diet include high-fat snacks, high-sugar items, and food preparations with high salt content.

High-sodium, high-sugar, and fat-dense food products have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure and put you at risk of developing high cholesterol and heart diseases. Some unhealthy food items to avoid while on this diet are –

  • Candies
  • Cookies
  • Chips
  • Salted nuts
  • Sugary beverages
  • Sodas
  • Snacks
  • Pastries
  • Cheese
  • Meat dishes
  • Prepackaged rice and pasta dishes
  • Soups
  • Pizza
  • Salad dressings
  • Cold cuts/cured meat
  • Sandwiches
  • Sauces and gravies
  • Bread/rolls

Do You Have to Leave Out Salt from your Diet?

Yes, it can be difficult at first for anybody conditioned to consume salt to leave it out from their diet altogether. We understand this. However, you don’t need to go cold-turkey on salt – how about using a substitute?

Salt substitutes made with potassium are readily available in the market and can be introduced into your diet. By using a healthier alternative instead of the real thing in your diet, you lessen the threat of a range of health complaints.

You can opt for options like using spices and herbs, lemon juice, vinegar, and even salt-alternatives like Kosher salt, pink salt, sea salt, and low-sodium salts. Also, a potassium-based salt substitute will work effectively as a cooking ingredient, replacing salt and also maintaining your blood pressure level. 

Doctors, however, do not recommend the higher intake of potassium chloride owing to its negative health impact, if taken in large amounts. Such individuals may react adversely to potassium chloride in their diet. They can, however, benefit from consuming foods naturally rich in potassium instead, such as beans, yogurt, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach and so on. 

As for alcohol and cigarettes, both increase blood pressure. While smoking is not at all advisable when on a dash diet, you may still enjoy a maximum of one alcoholic beverage a day. Drinking in a small, controlled portion should not negatively impact the benefits you take away from following this eating plan.

You may find it challenging to halt smoking entirely if you happen to be a regular smoker. Avail external help, such as medications or attending support groups, to help you quit.

Dash Diet Plan

Now, the DASH diet plan doesn’t specifically list what to eat in the diet. Instead, it specifies the serving sizes that you should adhere to. The serving sizes for each food group have already been discussed above. Here, we provide you with a sample one-day eating plan fashioned after the dash diet. 

Pre- Breakfast– 1 Glass of methi water

Breakfast– Dal paratha (without oil) with groundnut chutney and a glass of buttermilk OR grilled paneer vegetable sandwich with a glass of skimmed milk

Mid-morning snack – 1 Medium apple with a cup of curd. 

Lunch– 1 Cup boiled brown rice, 1 cup moong dal, 1 cup mixed vegetable, and 1 cup cucumber tomato salad. 

Evening snack– 1 Cup Moong sprouts with a glass of coconut water 

Dinner– 1 Bowl of oats upma with vegetables and paneer with a green salad and on the side OR 2 chapati, 1 cup palak paneer, and carrot raita

The dash diet plan should approximately follow the nutrient content of this one-day eating plan. You may choose to alter your choice of vegetarian options with animal-based options like fish, chicken, and eggs. You could similarly bring in a variety of fruits, such as peaches, pineapple, and pears, to play with the flavors of your dietary routine.

The nutrient intake should continue to be more or less the same throughout. You may also choose to switch from one meat type to another and include pork, beef, and bacon into your dash diet but in controlled portions. 

Is Dash Diet Good for Weight Loss?

Many health and fitness enthusiasts are curious – is the dash diet suitable for weight loss? The answer is yes. While primarily designed for individuals vulnerable to high blood pressure, the dash diet is a healthy eating plan that promotes the consumption of whole foods and the reduction of sugar and unhealthy fats in your intake. Naturally, it helps reduce and/or maintain weight.

Unlike other fad diets, it doesn’t stipulate food group exclusions or extreme calorie cutbacks. As a result, it is easier to follow and stick to.

The dash diet promotes manageable dietary changes that are quite flexible, and the diet plan is founded on credible nutritional advice.
While you could also choose to get on a more targeted weight loss diet plan, the dash diet plan will help you lose that unwanted chubbiness while managing heart health and any adverse symptoms of blood pressure!

Health Benefits of the Dash Diet

In this section, we learn about the health benefits of the dash diet. The dash diet is famous for providing people with an array of proven merits. So what are these? Let’s find out.

  • As already discussed, the dash diet has been designed and functions as a natural counter to hypertension. 
  • The dash diet also improves your bone strength. It can help prevent osteoporosis and maintain your overall bone strength. This trait is a result of the increased calcium intake recommended as part of the diet. 
  • The dash diet reduces the levels of uric acid in your body, especially if you happen to suffer from hyperuricemia. You are at a lowered risk of diseases, such as gout, if you follow this eating plan.
  • Additionally, the dash diet prevents metabolic disorders. You are required to intake balanced nutrition as part of your dash diet and reduce fat consumption. 
  • You also tend to eat more complex carbohydrates than simple sugars in this diet. Naturally, the bad cholesterol in your body goes down. 
  • The high intake of fruits and vegetables in the dash diet has also been related to a lowered risk of cancer.


The dash diet was originally formulated to bring down blood pressure levels in the human population. It was found to be just as effective as the first line of medication administered to people at high risk of hypertension.

As it promotes the consumption of whole foods and encourages you to cut down high-sugar, high-starch and high-fat, opting this diet is a healthy way to receive adequate nutrition and maintain the well-being.


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About the Author: Tung Chi