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

Heart-healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. Use these menus to get started on a heart-healthy diet.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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 vegetables, fruits and whole grains 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.

Cinnamon-Maple-Walnut-Oatmeal-4Day 1 menu


1 cup cooked oatmeal, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana
1 cup skim milk

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

Grilled turkey burger (4 ounces) with a whole-grain bun
1/2 cup green beans with 1 tablespoon toasted almonds
2 cups mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons low-fat salad dressing
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 cup skim milk
1 small orange

1 cup skim milk
9 animal crackers

Day 1 nutrient analysis
Calories 1,557
Total fat 45 g
Saturated fat 10 g
Monounsaturated fat 15 g
Cholesterol 89 mg
Sodium 1,462 mg
Total carbohydrate 218 g
Dietary fiber 25 g
Protein 82 g


salad-sandwich-550x477Day 2 menu

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

1 whole-wheat pita stuffed with 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup sliced tomato, 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese and 1 tablespoon reduced-fat ranch dressing
1 kiwi
1 cup skim milk

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

3 graham cracker squares
1 cup fat-free frozen yogurt

Day 2 nutrient analysis
Calories 1,564
Total fat 23 g
Saturated fat 9 g
Monounsaturated fat 6 g
Cholesterol 84 mg
Sodium 1,418 mg
Total carbohydrate 262 g
Dietary fiber 24 g
Protein 67 g

On both days, if you’re thirsty, drink water as a calorie-free way to hydrate.