DASH diet: An eating plan designed to lower the blood pressure. DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH "combination diet" has been shown to decrease the blood pressure and so helps prevent and control high blood pressure. The DASH "combination diet" is rich in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods, and low in saturated and total fat. It also is low in cholesterol, high in dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and moderately high in protein. The DASH diet took the No. 1 spot in best overall diet in the U.S. News and World Report's Best Diets 2012.
The DASH eating plan is recommended by the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) which states: "Use the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan as a guide. DASH encourages you to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products, and to limit saturated fat and salt. The DASH eating plan can help you lose weight and maintain a healthier body. In fact, according to the report, sticking to the DASH eating plan can be as effective as some medications in lowering your blood pressure."