What a day’s worth on food on a healthy diet looks like

The diets used in the DASH and OmniHeart studies trim blood pressure and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Here’s an example of what those diets look like. Our day’s worth of food is a hybrid of the two OmniHeart diets—one higher in protein and one higher in unsaturated fat—that also lowered triglycerides.

Click here for a chart that shows you how many servings to aim for—and what a typical serving consists of—if you eat roughly 2,000 calories a day. (Those servings are listed in the chart below each sample meal.)

We used the “Wild Card” serving for protein, but you can use it for more oil or carbs if you prefer. And we added a few extra servings of fruits and vegetables. Extra salad greens can’t hurt!


Fruit2 servings1 banana, 1 melon wedge
Low-fat Dairy1 serving1 cup milk
Grains2 servings1 cup bran cereal

Lunch & afternoon snack

Fish & Poultry1 serving4 oz. chicken
Vegetables6 servings4 cups greens, 1 cup raw veggies
Oils & Fats1 serving1 Tbs. oil (in 2 Tbs. salad dressing)
Fruit2 servings1 orange, 1/4 cup dried fruit
Legumes & Nuts1 serving1/4 cup almonds
Grains2 servings2 oz. baguette

Dinner & evening snack

Fish & Poultry1 serving4 oz. salmon (“Wild Card”)
Vegetables3 servings1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup carrots
Legumes & Nuts1 serving1/2 cup bean salad
Oils & Fats1 serving1/2 Tbs. oil (in bean salad), 1/2 Tbs. oil (in broccoli & carrots)
Low-fat Dairy1 serving1 cup plain yogurt
Fruit1 serving1/2 cup berries
Desserts & Sweets2 servings2 small cookies

Photos: Paige Einstein/CSPI (breakfast), Stephen Schmidt/CSPI (lunch & dinner).

The information in this post first appeared in the March 2015 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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4 Replies to “What a day’s worth on food on a healthy diet looks like”

  1. without calorie counts I cannot adjust to meet my need for many fewer calories, which makes this practically useless for me

  2. This is pretty generic and basic food. It shouldn’t be difficult to look up the calories. But it’s not just calories that count. You can a 200 calorie piece of cake or 200 calories in basic fruit (ie, not cooked into anything-just a piece of fruit). Which do you think you’d be better off eating?

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