A heart-healthy diet plan isn't about restricting, it's about enjoying! Let this easy-to-follow meal plan be your guide.

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pesto chicken bake

Whether you're managing heart disease or just looking for some new recipes, you'll love this easy-to-follow meal plan. Especially tailored for people just starting out with a heart-healthy diet, the recipes and snacks are straightforward and delicious. You'll see lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein (including plant-based proteins), whole grains, heart-healthy fats and plenty of herbs and spices to help deliver flavor, without the need for too much salt. Eating this combination of healthy foods helps to keep your blood pressure balanced, your cholesterol levels in a healthy range and your heart happy.

We kept this meal plan at 1,500 calories, with options to bump the calories up to 2,000, or down to 1,200, depending on your needs. And you'll find plenty of heart-healthy proteins (think salmon, chicken and beans) and fiber, to keep you feeling satisfied after meals—not starving an hour later. The sodium for each day is below 1,500 mg, per the American Heart Association guidelines, but you won't miss it with these tasty, low-sodium recipes. To keep salt in check when shopping for packaged foods, be sure to check the label and go for options lower in sodium. A good rule of thumb is to choose items where the Daily Value (DV) percent for sodium is close to 5% DV. Close to or above 20% DV is considered high, so skip those products.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals

  1. Meal-prep Lisa's Granola to enjoy throughout the week.

Day 1

Italian Penne with Tuna

Muesli is a hearty breakfast dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold! The choice is yours for this morning's breakfast.

Breakfast (407 calories)

A.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch (370 calories)

P.M. Snack (418 calories)

  • 2 oz. whole-grain crackers
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (418 calories)

  • 1 serving Italian Penne with Tuna
  • Salad: 2 cups lettuce dressed with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil and ¼ cup chickpeas

Daily Totals: 1,449 calories, 67 g protein, 194 g carbs, 36 g fiber, 53 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,208 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit 1 clementine and omit the hard-boiled egg from the A.M. snack. Decrease crackers to 1 oz. and decrease peanut butter to 2 tsp. at P.M. snack. Omit the salad from dinner.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 5 dried apricots and ½ oz. unsalted almonds to lunch. Add 1 medium banana to the P.M. snack. For dinner, increase the serving of Italian Penne to 2 cups, add ¼ avocado to the salad, increase olive oil to 2 tsp., and add 1 Tbsp. unsalted sunflower seeds.

Day 2

Asian-Style Chicken Salad Bowls

Make your own parfaits this morning for breakfast! It's easier than you think and such a nourishing start to the day!

Breakfast (246 calories)

  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ cup frozen berries, thawed
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack (169 calories)

  • 1 small pear
  • ½ oz. unsalted almonds

Lunch (405 calories)

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup low-sodium cottage cheese

Dinner (495 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,491 calories, 91 g protein, 192 g carbs, 35 g fiber, 48 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 790 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit the banana from breakfast and omit the grapes from lunch. Omit almonds from the A.M. snack and omit the spaghetti from dinner.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving of Lisa's Granola to breakfast, add an additional ½ oz. almonds to the A.M. snack, and add 2 cups air-popped popcorn to lunch. To dinner, add an additional 1 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti.

Day 3

Baked Frittata with Butternut Squash, Kale & Sage

A simple version of avocado toast starts the day! Be sure to choose a ripe avocado at the store. Or quick-ripen it in a brown bag with an apple.

Breakfast (282 calories)

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. salsa
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup pineapple (on the side)

A.M. Snack (228 calories)

Lunch (403 calories)

P.M. Snack (322 calories)

  • 2 oz. whole-grain crackers
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (279 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,514 calories, 42 g protein, 225 g carbs, 42 g fiber, 56 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,394 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit pineapple from breakfast, omit Lisa's Granola from the A.M. snack, and omit the pear from lunch.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice whole-grain bread and ¼ avocado to breakfast. Increase Lisa's Granola by ½ serving (to make 1 serving) at the A.M. snack and add ½ serving Tropical Fruit & Nuts Snack to lunch. To dinner, add 2 cups lettuce, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil.

Day 4

veggie sandwich

The edamame you'll enjoy with dinner can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. If you plan on adding it to your bowl, consider buying the shelled version for easier prep.

Breakfast (328 calories)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ cup frozen berries, thawed
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack (154 calories)

  • 2 clementines
  • ½ oz. unsalted almonds

Lunch (301 calories)

P.M. Snack (270 calories)

Dinner (395 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,448 calories, 77 g protein, 179 g carbs, 35 g fiber, 55 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 874 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit banana from breakfast. Decrease to ½ serving of Lisa's Granola and omit the milk from P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 cups air-popped popcorn to the A.M. snack and add 1 serving Tropical Fruit & Nuts Snack to lunch. To dinner, add an additional ½ cup cooked edamame and 1 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti.

Day 5

pesto chicken bake

Every try packing your sandwich full of crunchy veggies and using hummus and avocado as your creamy spreads? Well, you'll love this veggie-forward take on a healthy lunch-time salad.

Breakfast (316 calories)

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. salsa
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clementine

A.M. Snack (101 calories)

  • 1 medium pear

Lunch (301 calories)

P.M. Snack (209 calories)

  • 1 oz. whole-grain crackers
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (474 calories)

  • 1 serving Pesto Chicken Bake
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups baby spinach dressed with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Daily Totals: 1,465 calories, 59 g protein, 205 g carbs, 36 g fiber, 52 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,266 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit the clementine from breakfast and omit the Greek yogurt from the A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add an additional slice of whole-grain bread, ¼ avocado and 1 Tbsp. salsa to breakfast. Add ½ serving Lisa's Granola to the A.M. snack, add 1 cup pineapple to lunch, and add 1 Tbsp. peanut butter to the P.M. snack. To dinner, add 1 cup cherry tomatoes to the salad.

Day 6

Sheet-Pan Salmon with Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli

Kale makes for a nutritious and hearty wrap for your lunch and when chicken, apple slices, mayo and mustard are tucked inside, you get a delicious meal in no time at all.

Breakfast (182 calories)

  • ¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ cup frozen berries, thawed

A.M. Snack (190 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (370 calories)

P.M. Snack (268 calories)

Dinner (504 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,524 calories, 90 g protein, 160 g carbs, 29 g fiber, 62 g fat, 16 g saturated fat, 1,063 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit peanut butter from A.M. snack and omit the Tropical Fruit & Nuts Snack from the P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add an additional ¼ cup yogurt to breakfast. Add 2 Tbsp. packed raisins and an additional 1 Tbsp. peanut butter to the A.M. snack. Add 3 cups air-popped popcorn to lunch, 1 clementine to the P.M. snack and 1½ cups pineapple to dinner.

Day 7

chicken apple kale wraps

If you need a little extra crunch to go with lunch, we've got you covered! Air-popped popcorn is satisfying and nutritious.

Breakfast (340 calories)

A.M. Snack (205 calories)

  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • ½ oz. unsalted almonds

Lunch (463 calories)

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup low-sodium cottage cheese

Dinner (455 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,557 calories, 77 g protein, 206 g carbs, 42 g fiber, 55 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 873 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit banana from breakfast, omit almonds from A.M. snack, and omit popcorn from lunch.

To make it 2,000 calories: Make it a whole banana at breakfast and add another ½ oz. almonds to the A.M. snack. To lunch, add 1 cup pineapple and to the P.M. snack, add ½ cup cherry tomatoes and 5 dried apricots. At dinner, add 1/2 piece whole-wheat pita bread and 1/4 cup hummus for dipping.