Comparison of Food Recommendations for the Mediterranean, Vegetarian, and DASH Eating Patterns

FoodsMediterranean (2)Vegetarian (2)DASH (12)
Vegetables2 1/2 c-eq/day2 1/2 c-eq/day4–5 servings/day
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables
1/2 cup vegetable juice
Fruit2 c-eq/day2 c-eq/day4–5 servings/day
1 medium fruit
1/4 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
1/2 cup fruit juice
Grains6 oz-eq/day (whole grains ≥ 3 oz-eq/day)6 1/2 oz-eq/day (whole grains ≥ 3 1/2 oz-eq/day)6–8 servings/day
1 slice bread
1 oz dry cereal
1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
Dairy2 c-eq/day3 c-eq/day2–3 servings/day (specifies low-fat dairy)
1 cup milk or yogurt
1 1/2 oz cheese
Nuts, seeds, and legumes5 oz-eq/week nuts, seeds, and soy; 1 1/2 c-eq/ week (legumes)3 c-eq/week legumes; 14 oz-eq/week (seeds, nuts, and soy)4–5 servings/week
1/3 cup or 1 1/2 oz nuts
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp or 1/2 oz seeds
1/2 cup cooked legumes (dried beans or peas)
Fats and oils27 g (2 Tbsp)/day; extra-virgin olive oil preferred as principle source of fat27 g (2 Tbsp)/day2–3 servings/day
1 tsp soft margarine
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp salad dressing
Meats, poultry, eggs, and fish6 1/2 oz-eq/day; fish/seafood 15 oz-eq/week; meat, poultry, and eggs 26 oz-eq/week3 1/2 oz-eq/day; eggs 3 oz-eq/week6 oz-eq/day
1 oz cooked meats, poultry, or fish
1 egg
Sweets and added sugars<13% of calories (260 calories) from sugars, solid fats, added refined starches, and alcohol<15% of calories (290 calories) from sugars, solid fats, added refined starches, and alcohol≤5 servings/week
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp jelly or jam
1/2 cup sorbet or gelatin dessert
1 cup sugar-sweetened beverage
SodiumLess added salt; use of herbs and spices encouraged<2,300 mg or <1,500 mg for those with high blood pressure
AlcoholMainly wine during meals<2 drinks/day for men <1 drink/day for women
OtherNot to exceed calorie needsNot to exceed calorie needsNot to exceed calorie needs
Water6–8 cups daily
  • Based on 2,000 calories/day. c-eq, cup equivalent; oz-eq, ounce equivalent.