Your 3-Day Heart-Healthy Meal Plan: 1,800 Calories
A three-day meal plan can jumpstart your heart-healthy diet. This 1,800-calorie plan is best for men interested in maintaining their weight.
Perhaps diabetes or hypertension have raised your risk of heart disease. Or you simply want to eat in a more heart-healthy way. A three-day meal plan can help you get started. This 1,800-calorie plan is best for men who want to maintain their weight, says Julia Zumpano, RD, LD. (Discover the six benefits of seeing a heart dietitian below.)
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Breakfast: ½ cup plain instant oatmeal, 1 cup low-fat milk, ½ banana, ¼ cup chopped walnuts.
Lunch: 2 slices whole wheat bread, 4 oz. low-sodium turkey meat, 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese, ½ medium tomato, 1 Tbsp. yellow mustard, ¼ cup shredded lettuce; 6 baby carrots; 6 oz. plain, fat-free Greek yogurt with ¾ cup blueberries.
Dinner: 6 ounces baked chicken breast, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup steamed broccoli, 2 Tbsp. margarine.
Snack: 1 low-fat string cheese stick, 2 clementines.
Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 whole wheat English muffin, 1 slice part-skim milk cheese, 2 oz. ham or turkey sausage; 1 cup fruit.
Lunch: 1 large whole wheat pita, 4 oz. canned light tuna in water, 1 Tbsp. light mayo, 2 slices tomato, ¼ cup lettuce; 1 cup low-fat milk; 1 medium apple; 2 cups spinach, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.
Dinner: (Salad) 6 oz. salmon, 2-1/2 cups raw baby spinach, ½ cup blueberries, ¼ cup sliced almonds, ¼ cup feta cheese, 2 Tbsp. lite balsamic vinaigrette.
Snack: 15 small whole wheat crackers, 3 Tbsp. hummus.
Breakfast: (Omelet) 1 egg or ¼ cup egg substitute, ½ cup spinach, 1 Tbsp. chopped onion, 1 Tbsp. chopped red pepper; 1 slice toast with 1 tsp. olive oil; 1 cup 1% milk; 1 orange.
Lunch: 4 ounces low-sodium ham, 1 slice part-skim milk cheese, 2 slices whole wheat bread, 2 tsp. mayo, 3 spinach leaves, 2 slices tomato; 6 baby carrots; 1 small pear.
Dinner: 2 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, ½ cup marinara sauce, 3 meatballs (lean beef or turkey), ¼ cup Parmesan cheese; 1 cup lettuce, 2 Tbsp. reduced fat salad dressing; ½ cup unsweetened applesauce.
Snack: 6 oz. light strawberry-flavored Greek yogurt, 28 pretzel sticks.
When you have high blood pressure, diabetes or excess weight, your doctor may refer you to a heart dietitian.
“Our goal is to reduce your cardiac risk,” explains Ms. Zumpano. “We try to get you started and educate you so that you’re empowered to make ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ food choices.”
When you see a heart dietitian, you will learn how to:
1.Distinguish nutrient-dense foods from empty-calorie foods.
2. Choose healthy versus unhealthy fats.
3. Tell healthy carbs from unhealthy carbs.
4. Eat at home more often.
5. Get a handle on your snacking.
6. Reduce the salt in your diet.
“We can show you how to make changes in the way you eat so that you can follow a heart-healthy diet and not even have to think about it,” says Ms. Zumpano.