PROTECT YOUR HEART: HEART-HEALTHY MENU IDEAS

One way to stay healthy is by eating heart-healthy meals. Use these menus at home or when you’re eating out. They are healthy for you and your whole family.

About the menus

These menus include plenty of heart-healthy foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy foods, and certain nuts and oils. The meals and snacks are low in saturated fat and high in fiber. Talk with your health care provider about whether you need to change these menus to meet your personal needs.

You can mix and match the menus. Choose a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks. On average, the menus for one day provide about:

  • 1,600 calories
  • 182 grams of carbohydrate (an average of about 45 to 60 grams per meal) – 46% of total calories
  • 77 grams of protein- 19% of calories
  • 62 grams of fat- 35% of calories
  • 11 grams of saturated fat- 6% of calories
  • 205 milligrams(mg) of cholesterol
  • 1,900 mg of sodium
  • 30 grams of dietary fiber

You can cut 200 calories from the daily total by skipping the snacks. Or you can add 200 calories by eating 3 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish at lunch; 4 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish at dinner; and an extra half-serving of carbohydrate food, such as bread or rice, at 2 of your meals.

Menu Ideas 

Breakfast Menu 1 

  • 1 toasted whole-wheat English muffin
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (like peanut butter, but made from almonds)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk

Breakfast Menu 2 

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 3/4 cup blueberries

Breakfast Menu 3 

  • 1 ounce low-fat cheese
  • 1 slice toasted rye bread
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 small tangerines

Lunch Menu 1 

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 ounces sliced turkey breast
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 small tangerines

Lunch Menu 2 

  • Salad with 1 cup fresh spinach, plus tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 ounce low-fat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat or fat-free salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit mixture

Dinner Menu 1 

  • 3 ounces salmon
  • 1/2 cup zucchini squash
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking/seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon trans fat-free light margarine
  • 1/21/2

Dinner Menu 2

  • 3 ounces roast pork loin
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup fresh spinach salad and 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat or fat-free salad dressing
  • 5 vanilla wafers
  • 1 1/4 cups watermelon cubes

Snacks

  • 1 cup carrot sticks and 1 ounce low-fat ranch dressing
  • 1 sliced apple and 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 6 whole-grain crackers and 1 ounce low-fat cheese
  • 6 ounces (2/3 cup) low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt
  • 3/4 cup high-fiber cereal and 1/2 cup fat-free milk

Where to find recipes online

Take a look at the American Diabetes Associations’s Recipes for Healthy Living at WWW.diabetes.org/recipes

Each month, find new:

  • Meal Plans
  • Quick and budget-friendly recipes
  • Healthy eating tips
  • Shopping lists

You can also find recipes in the Association’s Diabetes Forecast Magazine at WWW.diabetesforecast.org

Websites 

You’ll find more healthy menu ideas and recipes at the following websites:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture offers a tracker,recipes and meal planning advice at WWW.myplate.gov.
  • The National Heart, Lunch, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, provides information about the DASH eating plan, a healthy diet for lowering blood pressure. Search “DASH” at nhlbi.nih.gov.

American Diabetes Association books 

Find cookbooks and books about meal planning at www.shopdiabetes.org. Titles include: the Family Classics Diabetes Cookbook, The Healthy Home Cookbook, Month of Meals series, The Ultimate Diabetes Meal Planner, Diabetes & Heart Healthy Meals for Two, and Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy. 

SOURCES: 2009 AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION WWW.DIABETES.ORG