DASH Eating Plan: Servings per Day According to Food Group and Total Energy Intake

Food GroupNo. of ServingsServing SizeExamples and NotesSignificance of Each Food Group to the DASH Eating Plan
1200 cal1400 cal1600 cal1800 cal2000 cal2600 cal
Grainsa4–5/d5–6/d6/d6/d6–8/d10–11/d1 slice bread; 1 oz dry cerealb; ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cerealbWhole-wheat bread and rolls, whole-wheat pasta, English muffin, pita bread, bagel, cereals, grits, oatmeal, brown rice, unsalted pretzels and popcornMajor sources of energy and fiber
Vegetables3–4/d3–4/d3–4/d4–5/d4–5/d5–6/d1 cup raw leafy vegetable; ½ cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetable; ½ cup vegetable juiceBroccoli, carrots, collards, green beans, green peas, kale, lima beans, potatoes, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoesRich sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber
Fruits3–4/d4/d4/d4–5/d4–5/d5–6/d1 medium fruit; ¼ cup dried fruit; ½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit; ½ cup fruit juiceApples, apricots, bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, raisins, strawberries, tangerinesImportant sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber
Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products2–3/d2–3/d2–3/d2–3/d2–3/d3/d1 cup milk or yogurt; 1½ oz cheeseFat-free milk or buttermilk, fat-free, low-fat, or reduced-fat cheese, fat-free/low-fat regular or frozen yogurtMajor sources of calcium and protein
Lean meats, poultry, and fish≤3/d≤3–4/d≤3–4/d≤6/d≤6/d≤6/d1 oz cooked meats, poultry, or fish; 1 eggcSelect only lean; trim away visible fats; broil, roast, or poach; remove skin from poultryRich sources of protein and magnesium
Nuts, seeds, and legumes3/wk3/wk3–4/wk4/wk4–5/wk1/d⅓ cup or 1½ oz nuts; 2 tbsp peanut butter; 2 tbsp or ½ oz seeds; ½ cup cooked legumes (dry beans and peas)Almonds, filberts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, kidney beans, lentils, split peasRich sources of energy, magnesium, protein, and fiber
Fats and oilsd1/d1/d2/d2–3/d2–3/d3/d1 tsp soft margarine; 1 tsp vegetable oil; 1 tbsp mayonnaise; 2 tbsp salad dressingSoft margarine, vegetable oil (such as canola, corn, olive, or safflower), low-fat mayonnaise, light salad dressingThe DASH study had 27% of calories as fat, including fat in or added to foods
Sweets and added sugars≤3/wk≤3/wk≤3/wk≤5/wk≤5/wk≤2/d1 tbsp sugar; 1 tbsp jelly or jam; ½ cup sorbet, gelatin; 1 cup lemonadeFruit-flavored gelatin, fruit punch, hard candy, jelly, maple syrup, sorbet and ices, sugarSweets should be low in fat
  • Table 5-2 provides estimated energy requirements according to age, gender, and activity level for use with this table. The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency advise women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and shellfish and eat fish and shellfish that are low in mercury. For more information, call the FDA's food information line toll free at 1-888-SAFEFOOD or visit∼dms/admehg3.html.

  • a Whole grains are recommended for most grain servings as a good source of fiber and nutrients.

  • b Serving sizes vary between a ½ and 1¼ cups, depending on cereal type. Check the product's nutrition-facts label.

  • c Because eggs are high in cholesterol, limit egg yolk intake to no more than 4 per week; 2 egg whites have the same protein content as 1 oz of meat.

  • d Fat content changes serving amount for fats and oils. For example, 1 tbsp of regular salad dressing = 1 serving; 1 tbsp of low-fat dressing = ½ serving; 1 tbsp fat-free dressing = 0 servings.