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

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

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, canned in juice
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 1,556
Total fat 42 g
Saturated fat 11 g
Monounsaturated fat 12 g
Cholesterol 109 mg
Sodium 1,595 mg
Carbohydrate 229 g
Fiber 26 g
Protein 81 g

Day 2 menu

Breakfast
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, topped with 3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup calcium-fortified orange juice

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
Chicken stir-fry with eggplant and basil
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

Day 2 nutrient analysis
Calories 1,496
Total fat 24 g
Saturated fat 7 g
Monounsaturated fat 9 g
Cholesterol 103 mg
Sodium 1,638 mg
Carbohydrate 230 g
Fiber 28 g
Protein 80 g

On both days, if you're thirsty, drink water as a calorie-free way to supplement your diet.

Last Updated: 2012-04-13
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