With *so* many different healthy eating plans out there, it’s clear that there isn’t just one way to live your best, nutrient-rich life. But when it comes to the way of eating that doctors and dietitians recommend the most, there are two main contenders: the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.
You’re likely very familiar with the Med diet (it made a big comeback this year), but what about its less famous cousin, DASH? DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and like the Mediterranean diet, is a heart-healthy eating plan that emphasizes healthy monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, and avocado. Other requirements: consuming six to eight servings of whole grains per day, four to five servings of fruits and veggies, fewer than six servings of animal protein, two to three servings of low- or non-fat dairy products, and keeping sugar and sodium intake to a minimum. (Again, veeeeery reminiscent of the Med diet.)
Another reason health experts are such a fan of the DASH diet is that it isn’t restrictive and is actually pretty easy to stick with. Need proof? Check out the recipes rounded up here, for every meal of the day. Not only are they all DASH diet-compliant, they’ll have your mouth watering.
Scroll down for eight healthy DASH diet recipes.
Serving of whole grains? Check. Healthy fats and protein? Check. Fruit? Yep. In just five ingredients, this mason jar breakfast recipe has all the requirements needed for a DASH diet-approved a.m. meal. It also only takes five minutes of active prep time, making it a major time-saving win, too.
This breakfast is similar to a yogurt parfait, only way more fun to eat. Made on whole wheat pita flatbreads (there’s your serving of whole grains), the base is cream cheese (though Greek yogurt works too), and it’s topped with antioxidant- and fiber-rich berries, with a touch of honey for natural sweetness.
One fun way to switch up your salad game is sticking all your greens, avocado, and veggies through a skewer. You can even eat it right off the stick—no fork required.
This recipe is full of ingredients well-known to be good for heart health, including black beans, olive oil, and avocado. Brown rice serves as the bowl’s base, getting in the serving of healthy grains, and it’s topped with a serving of shredded cheese, getting the eating plan’s serving of dairy.
If you’re looking for a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth—but won’t spike blood sugar—this colorful fruit salad is it. Incorporating grapefruit and lime juice add tanginess that rounds out the tartness from the berries. Plus, it’s full of antioxidants that work to lower blood pressure.
Since the DASH diet is often followed as a way to lower blood pressure, keeping sodium to a minimum is a must. This recipe does just that, while using plenty of other spices to ensure it’s anything but bland. The herbs that are used, including garlic and onion powder, actually make the rest of the healthy ingredients even more nutrient-dense.
This classic comfort food is loaded with protein-rich lentils and veggies particularly high in antioxidants, like tomatoes and carrots. It only takes about 30 minutes to make and the leftovers keep for about a week—perfect for getting you through a busy work week.
One dessert hack DASH diet devotees live by: using black beans or chickpeas for a base instead of processed flour. In order to keep your brownies from tasting like hummus, combine them with almond flour, nut butter, and a few smart sweeteners. Because the chickpeas and nut butter are loaded with protein, this dessert doubles as a post-workout snack, too.