To follow the plan, one must decide their calorie level and then divide the suggested servings of each food group throughout the day. This requires meal planning ahead of time. The NHLBI guide provides many tips on how to incorporate DASH foods and to lower sodium intake; a one-day sample menu following a 2300 mg sodium restriction and a 1500 mg sodium restriction; and one week’s worth of recipes. The NHLBI also publishes an online database of “heart healthy” recipes.
Use a 9-inch plate. Put nonstarchy vegetables on half of the plate; a meat or other protein on one-fourth of the plate; and a grain or other starch on the last one-fourth. Starches include starchy vegetables such as corn and peas. You also may eat a small bowl of fruit or a piece of fruit, and drink a small glass of milk as included in your meal plan.
Blood glucose is affected most by carbohydrates. And insulin dosing is typically based on food intake, especially carbohydrates. Knowing what foods contain carbohydrates and the amount of carbohydrates in a meal is helpful for blood glucose control. You should aim to include carbohydrates in each meal. Carbohydrate sources like vegetables, fruits and whole grains (high fiber) are preferred over carbohydrate sources with added fats, sugars and salt.

According to Mike Russell, MD: "If you weigh 180 pounds and your goal weight is 130 pounds, losing 20 pounds in one week—the right way—teeters on the brink of impossible. If you’re more like a Biggest Loser contestant, weighing 380 pounds, then losing 20 pounds in one week is plausible (especially considering a large amount of water weight you would lose during the first week)."
Four NHLBI-funded studies tested the health benefits of the DASH diet by comparing the DASH diet with the typical American diet or by comparing different variations of the DASH diet. Another NHLBI-funded study, the PREMIER clinical trial, measured the health benefits of following the DASH diet and increasing physical activity. The results of these studies showed that the DASH diet lowers blood pressure and LDL cholesterol in the blood and shaped the NHLBI’s DASH eating plan recommendations, which includes following a DASH diet with reduced sodium intake.
Tomatoes are sweet, juicy, meaty, and your best source of the antioxidant lycopene, which may help lower your risk of stroke and various cancers. This recipe is simple: just scoop out the pulp and seeds from a half tomato and fill with a delicious stuffing of crumbled goat cheese, kalamata olives, garlic croutons, and some fresh herbs. At 200 calories per tomato, you'll want to make this dish again and again.
The Mediterranean diet might help you lose weight. While some people fear that eating a diet like the Mediterranean diet that is relatively rich in fats (think olive oil, olives, avocado and some cheese) will keep them fat, more and more research is suggesting the opposite is true. Of course, it depends on which aspects you adopt and how it compares to your current diet. If, for instance, you build a "calorie deficit" into your plan – eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max or burning off extra by exercising – you should shed some pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you.

The DASH eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure in just 14 days, even without lowering sodium intake. Best response came in people whose blood pressure was only moderately high, including those with prehypertension. For people with more severe hypertension, who may not be able to eliminate medication, the DASH diet can help improve response to medication, and help lower blood pressure. The DASH diet can help lower cholesterol, and with weight loss and exercise, can reduce insulin resistance and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Mediterranean diet is a generic term based on the typical eating habits in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Elements include dairy products, fish and poultry being more common than red meat; fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds; use of olive oil; wine consumed in low to moderate amounts. These diets have similarities to the American Heart Association's dietary recommendations, except a relatively high percentage of calories in Mediterranean-style diets come from fat.
The 4 days off in the Military Diet (days four to seven) offer a little more flexibility, as individuals can choose their own foods, as long as their daily calorie intake is between 1300 and 1500 calories. During these four days, the plan encourages dieters to eat lean proteins, vegetables, and limited carbohydrates. In addition, one cup of caffeinated coffee or tea is recommended with all breakfasts and lunches.

^ Jump up to: a b Franz MJ, Bantle JP, Beebe CA, Brunzell JD, Chiasson JL, Garg A, Holzmeister LA, Hoogwerf B, Mayer-Davis E, Mooradian AD, Purnell JQ, Wheeler M (January 2002). "Evidence-Based Nutrition Principles and Recommendations for the Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes and Related Complications--2002". Diabetes Care. 25 (1): 148–198. doi:10.2337/diacare.25.1.148. PMID 11772915.
Research suggests that the benefits of following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may be many: improved weight loss, better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels and reduced risk of depression, to name a few. Eating like a Mediterranean has also been associated with reduced levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
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