Best Dash Diet Books

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best DASH diet books

Last Updated November 2019

Health is a priority, which is why so many people decide to embark on a new wellness path to keep their body strong and functioning optimally. In addition to lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments support improvement in your overall health and wellness. The DASH diet has grown in popularity due to its heart-healthy recipes that anyone can enjoy, which is why you should consider picking up your own DASH diet book.

The DASH diet revolves around making nutritional adjustments that help lower high blood pressure (hypertension) by reducing the amount of sodium in your everyday diet. DASH diet books focus on building recipes around recommended servings of each food group with a high focus on moderation. Because those in the DASH diet community believe the dietary change can be sustainable over the long term, there are plenty of books with practical information and easily followed recipes with simple ingredients.

If you’re ready to try a healthy new eating regimen, take a look at our buying guide and recommendations for DASH diet books. We invite you to read on and discover new recipes and lifestyle changes that can help you feel energized.

Talk to other people in your home about the DASH diet. You can choose recipes everyone can enjoy together instead of trying to make separate meals for everyone.

Key considerations

What is the DASH diet?

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and the diet is geared toward those who want to lower blood pressure through dietary changes instead of medication. In addition to lowering sodium intake, DASH aims to refocus your diet around wholesome foods rich in nutrients. As a result, the books have approved food lists as well as recommended daily servings to guide you toward well-rounded, nutrient-dense meals.

Who follows the DASH diet?

The DASH diet is used by those who are at risk for hypertension. It’s also recommended for those who suffer from osteoporosis, cancer, cardiac conditions, and obesity. In fact, the DASH diet is also embraced by athletes who want to optimize their internal functions to promote better training sessions. The average person seeking weight-loss solutions can also enjoy the DASH diet because they get to enjoy many of their beloved foods in moderation and can discover new, heart-healthy recipes.

What’s in a DASH diet book?

DASH diet books usually contain the same three components: overview, recipes, and helpful cooking and shopping tips for DASH dieters.

Overview: The overview generally explains how the DASH diet works, which is important to read, especially if you’re new to DASH. It’s one thing to dive into the recipes, but it’s more important to understand the science behind them and how the diet affects your body.

Recipes: The recipes are usually arranged by meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack) or by level of difficulty.

Tips: As far as the helpful hints and tips go, they’re either integrated into the recipes or included in a dedicated section in the book.

Book types

Introductory: These books are geared toward those who are encountering the DASH diet for the first time and are written in an educational, accessible way. They contain simple recipes with common ingredients to help you get accustomed to the plan. These books often contain jump-start plans, which contain meal guides for one week to one month’s worth of DASH recipes.

Dedicated: These DASH books are ideal for the cook with a favorite cuisine or preferred kitchen appliance. These books have DASH recipes that revolve around Mediterranean, gluten-free, or Asian-style cooking, to name just a few. If you’re a slow-cooker or pressure-cooker aficionado, there are DASH diet cookbooks geared toward your preferred method of cooking. There are also books with quick recipes for time-conscious cooks, which are ideal for busy professionals. 

Theory: Some DASH diet books have fewer recipes because they focus on providing a comprehensive overview of the diet. In fact, these books treat the DASH diet as a lifestyle change and go beyond the realm of food to explain how to incorporate healthy DASH-inspired behaviors into your everyday life. The information can be approachable and conceptual or more detailed, focusing on the chemistry behind nutrition and food science.

Jam-packed with recipes

If you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to the DASH diet, this is the book to put on your shelf. It’s written for the average person who’s new to cooking and the DASH diet, and it’s incredibly easy to follow. With 99 recipes and a long list of DASH-approved foods, it’s simple to dive into the diet right away. The meals include everyday ingredients, so your grocery bill can stay the same. In fact, if you enjoy meal and grocery planning, you’ll appreciate the 28-day DASH diet plan, which also includes recommended exercise levels and a helpful menu planner.

Features

Online support

In addition to the information contained in your DASH diet book, some come with special access to online communities. These platforms provide supplemental information, new recipes, and/or forums where you can connect with fellow DASH dieters. Some of these offer a free trial, after which you’ll need to pay for a subscription, though there are some that provide unlimited access.

Photography

Some DASH diet books include a broad collection of food photographs, which some people find helpful so they can see what the recipes should look like. These books also include pictures of food preparation and cooking techniques, both of which are ideal for novice cooks who are also looking for a way to get more comfortable around the kitchen and level up their skill set. Given the high cost of production and photo editing, this tends to drive up the price of a book, so if you only need the recipes and can live without the images, you can get away with a less expensive book.

EXPERT TIP

Talk to your doctor before beginning the DASH diet. It’s a major dietary and lifestyle change, so it’s a good idea to get medical clearance and address any potential health concerns before you begin.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Stock up on DASH diet-approved herbs and spices like basil, oregano, and paprika. Always check the ingredients on the bottles, because some spices may include salt or fillers that aren’t approved.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Don’t be afraid to inquire about health-conscious menu choices at restaurants. While it’s unlikely they’ll have a DASH menu, they may have a separate one that has low-sodium or low-fat dishes.


Staff  | BestReviews

DASH diet book prices

DASH diet books cost between $8 and $30, depending on the level of detail and photography.

Inexpensive: If you want a budget-friendly option priced between $8 and $15, pick up a beginner book. These are often called “essential” books because they include only the information you need for DASH diet cooking. Photos are limited in these books, so expect mostly basic text in this range.

Mid-range: If you’re willing to spend between $15 and $22, you can snag a DASH diet book with a broad range of recipes. There are also subject-specific books at this price, such as cooking with seafood or senior-friendly recipes. These books also have a reasonable amount of photography, though the photographs don’t dominate the content.

Expensive: If you’re going all out and ready to spend top dollar, expect to pay closer to $30 for a quality DASH diet book. These contain a great deal of photography and include plenty of recipes in addition to nutrition facts, cooking recommendations, and alternate recipes with substitutions for people with gluten or other food allergies.

Fuss-free slow-cooker recipe collection

If you’re a big fan of the convenience and flavor of slow-cooked food, you’ll love the simplicity of this DASH diet cookbook. To get you up to speed on DASH before you dive into cooking, there’s a “DASH Diet 101” overview that ensures you’re on board to follow the procedures and formulas. There are dozens of straightforward and easy to follow recipes to enjoy, most of which are considered fuss-free with 10 or fewer ingredients and 15 minutes or less of prep. You’ll be able to memorize them after only a few goes. Best of all, this is a budget-friendly book.

Tips

  • Try more than one cookbook. To get a broad collection of recipes, purchase more than one DASH diet cookbook. Between them, you’ll be able to identify which ones work best in your diet.
  • Invite others to help in the kitchen. To encourage healthy eating throughout your household, invite other members of the home to participate in meal preparation. Being hands-on allows people to see moderate portion sizes with their own eyes and, in turn, promotes accountability for their eating habits.
  • Replace stale spices. To have the freshest, most effective spices in your recipes, replace them periodically. Whole spices should be replaced every four years, while ground spices should be replaced every two to three years.
  • Use a food scale. Cooking is a science, which is why accuracy matters. A food scale is far more accurate than measuring cups.

Other products we considered

If you’re new to cooking and the DASH diet, the DASH Diet Cookbook for Beginners by Liam Sandler is ideal. Written by a nutritionist and dietician, you’ll see the scientific side of the diet while you learn how to follow the plan. The book is very practical because the recipes use affordable everyday ingredients, which you’ll appreciate if you’re short on time and cash. To help you get more comfortable experimenting, each recipe contains life hacks and tips to improve your skills. Best of all, it’s a well-rounded cookbook with a fairly even number of snack, side, and entree recipes.

For those who love Mediterranean-style cuisine, the DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution by Marla Rockridge and Axe Heller is an essential cookbook. Enjoy your favorite dishes the healthy way and learn to spice them up without using heavy oil, dressing, or salt. The book is written from an integrated perspective — the cuisine and diet complement one another — so the recipes come across as more genuine than simply “diet food.” It also includes a 14-day jump-start meal plan to help you dive into the DASH diet and save money with grocery shopping and meal planning.

Following a DASH diet is a great reason to begin an herb and vegetable garden. You’ll have plenty of fresh ingredients in your backyard, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you were involved in all aspects of the recipe.

FAQ

Q. Will I lose weight if I change to the DASH diet plan?
A.
You could, but remember that weight loss involves several variables, including exercise, lifestyle changes, and careful meal planning. With that said, the DASH diet could help you achieve your weight-loss and fitness goals sooner because you’ll focus on clean eating that in turn makes you feel better. You’ll also have a heightened awareness of food and portion control, so it’s easier to pair healthy eating with a sustainable fitness regimen.

Q. I’m allergic to fish, seafood, and shellfish. Does that mean I can’t follow the DASH diet?
A.
Absolutely not, especially since there are thousands of recipes out there with other forms of protein like poultry and meat for you to enjoy. Don’t fret over the fish recipes — you can substitute chicken or meat for the fish in most cases. In fact, certain DASH diet books explain how to properly substitute chicken or meat in a recipe by changing ingredient amounts or making other small adjustments.

Q. Do DASH diet books explain how to follow the diet away from home?A. Yes. DASH diet books focus on explaining the theory behind their formula, which is something you can use to make better food choices at restaurants. While you can’t micromanage the chef, the book can empower you to make necessary substitutions in the meals you order. It’s as simple as asking the kitchen to hold the salt, use low-fat milk, or switch fries for vegetables. With that said, the DASH diet advocates moderation and enjoying life, so the books also explain why it’s okay to stray off the diet and enjoy treats occasionally.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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