Menus for heart-healthy eating: Cut the fat and salt

Heart-healthy eating can be easy if you have a strong start. Use these menus to kick off your heart-healthy diet.

Do you want to adopt a heart-healthy diet, but aren’t sure where to start? One way to begin is to create a daily meal plan that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and limits high-fat foods (such as red meat, cheese and baked goods) and high-sodium foods (such as canned or processed foods).

Below are two days’ worth of heart-healthy menus. Use them as examples of heart-healthy eating.


Day 1 menu
Breakfast
1 cup cooked oatmeal, sprinkle with
1 tablespoon cinnamon and chopped walnuts
1 banana
1 cup skim milk
Lunch
1 cup low-fat (1 percent or lower) plain yogurt with
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1/2 cup peach halves
5 Melba toast crackers
1 cup raw broccoli and cauliflower
2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, plain or vegetable flavor
(as a spread for crackers or vegetable dip)
Sparkling water
Dinner
Grilled turkey burger (4 ounces) with a whole-grain bun
1/2 cup green beans with toasted almonds
2 cups mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons low-fat salad dressing
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 cup skim milk
1 small orange
Snack
1 cup skim milk
9 animal crackers
Day 1 nutrient analysis
Calories 1,637
Protein 85 g
Carbohydrate 245 g
Total fat 43 g
Saturated fat 9 g
Mono-
unsaturated fat
14 g
Cholesterol 101 mg
Sodium 1,545 mg
Fiber 30 g
Potassium 4,290 mg
Calcium 1,887 mg
Day 2 menu
Breakfast
2 whole-wheat pancakes, 4-inch diameter,
topped with 3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup calcium-fortified orange juice
1 cup skim milk
Lunch
1 whole-wheat pita stuffed with
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce,
1/2 cup sliced tomato,
1/4 cup sliced cucumber,
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese and
1 tablespoon reduced-fat ranch dressing
1 kiwi
1 cup skim milk
Dinner
Oriental chicken (5 ounces) with braised pineapple ring
1 cup brown rice with 1 tablespoon chopped dried apricots
1 cup steamed broccoli
4 ounces red wine or concord grape juice
Snack
3 graham cracker squares
1 cup fat-free frozen yogurt
On both days, if you’re thirsty, drink water as a calorie-free way to supplement your diet.
Day 2 nutrient analysis
Calories 1,757
Protein 89 g
Carbohydrate 288 g
Total fat 22 g
Saturated fat 7 g
Mono-
unsaturated fat
6 g
Cholesterol 119 mg
Sodium 1,966 mg
Fiber 29 g
Potassium 3,876 mg
Calcium 1,338 mg