By Alicia Fogarty MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, Carolinas HealthCare System

According to guidelines set forth by the TLC Diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) – both top-rated diet plans by U.S. News & World Report – there are definite goals when planning heart-healthy meals. Here’s a sampling of a week’s worth of meals, designed around a typical 2,000-calorie-a-day plan.

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Day 1

Breakfast/AM
  • 1 whole grain English muffin
  • 1 small apple
  • 8 ounces fat free milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter on English muffin
Snack
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 5 low fat whole wheat wafers
  • ½ cup sliced cucumbers
Lunch
  • 1 whole grain flatbread or whole grain wrap
  • 1 ounce lean turkey, 1 ounce of 2 percent provolone cheese
  • Lettuce, tomato
  • 1 banana
  • 6 ounces of 0-percent flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons light salad dressing

 

Snack
  • 3 cups light popcorn
  • 1 orange
Dinner
  • 3 ounces baked salmon
  • 1 cup corn/ beans with acorn squash (low sodium ingredients)
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • Small salad
  • 2 tablespoons light salad dressing
  • 1 cup skim milk

 

Snack
  • ½ cup light ice cream
  • 1 cup mixed berries on top
  • 3 graham squares

 

Day 2

Breakfast/AM
  • 1 cup cooked oats
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Cinnamon and vanilla to taste
  • 6 ounces fat free Greek yogurt
  • ½ c OJ
Snack
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Lunch
  • 1 lean microwave meal of choice between 300 – 400 calories
  • 1 apple
  • Baby carrots, grape tomatoes, sugar snap
  • 8 ounces skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon light salad dressing
Snack
  • 8 whole wheat wafers
  • 1 ounce of 2 percent cheese
Dinner
  • 2 small whole grain tortillas
  • ½ cup black beans or fat free refried beans – low sodium
  • 2 ounces grilled chicken and ½ cup sliced green and red peppers
  • ½ cup of lettuce, tomato, salsa
  • ½  ounce light cheese
Snack
  • ½ cup low fat pudding
  • 1 cup raspberries

 

Day 3

Breakfast/AM
  • 2 slices whole grain toast
  • 2 scrambled egg whites
  • 1 ounce of  2 percent cheese
  • ½ grapefruit
  • 1 cup skim milk
Snack
  • Whole grain granola bar ~100 calories
  • Tangerine
Lunch
  • Large salad – mixed vegetables, 1 ounce lean meat, 1 ounce of 2 percent cheese, ½ cup chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoon light salad dressing, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup low sodium, low fat soup
  • 5 whole grain crackers
  • 17 grapes
Snack
  • Fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon craisins
Dinner
  • 3, 1 ounce >90 percent lean beef meatballs – low sodium
  • 1 cup cooked whole grain pasta
  • 1 cup tomato sauce with mushrooms, zucchini, and plum tomatoes –
    low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
Snack
  • 1 cup mixed melon
  • ½ cup fat free cottage cheese

 

Day 4

Breakfast/AM
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
  • 6 ounces Greek vanilla fat free yogurt
  • ¼ cup low fat granola
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 6 sliced almonds
Snack
  • Banana or large apple
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
Lunch
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • White-meat chicken salad – 2 ounces grilled chicken with 1 tablespoon of light mayo
  • Lettuce, tomato
  • 1 cup low sodium veggie soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • Baby carrots
Snack
  • 1 ounce part skim string cheese
  • 17 grapes
  • 5 whole grain crackers
Dinner
  • 3 ounce roast turkey
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 whole grain roll
  • 1 cup broiled fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup baked apples with cinnamon
Snack
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 4 walnuts
  • ½ cup skim milk

 

Day 5

Breakfast/AM
  • 2 whole grain waffles or pancakes
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 1 ounce light turkey sausage
  • 1 cup skim milk
Snack
  • ½  cup no sugar added peaches
  • ½ cup fat free cottage cheese
Lunch
  • 1 cup edamame, pasta, and feta salad
  • 6 ounces flavored Greek yogurt
  • ½  cup pineapple
  • Carrot sticks
Snack
  • ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich – natural peanut butter and all fruit jelly, whole grain bread
  • 1 cup milk
Dinner

Dinner out at a casual restaurant

  • Order grilled, baked, or broiled chicken or fish, no added fat, limit to
    3 ounces
  • Side options – brown rice, baked potato, baked sweet potato
  • Consider two vegetable options, not fried or with added fat
  • Keep portion sizes controlled, consider bringing leftovers home if portions are large
  • Ask for dressings and sauces on the side
  • Ask for bread to be held or brought with the meal to help control
    portion sizes
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions or ask for substitutions
Snack
  • 3 cups air popped or light microwave, no added salt
  • 12 cherries

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