An Easy to Follow Heart Healthy Diet

A nutritionist tells us her typical daily food intake.

heart health image via shutterstock

heart health image via shutterstock

We always hear the phrase “heart healthy diet,” especially during February’s Heart Health Month, but what exactly does that mean? Besides the usual advice such as eating more vegetables and fruits, cutting out red meat, and choosing whole grains, Anne Danahy, a nutritionist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, wants to offer more practical counseling to her patients.

With all of the inaccurate health information out there on heart disease, it is important to have a sensible guide on how to follow a “heart healthy diet” without the regular mumbo-jumbo. Following American Heart Association guidelines to cut your risk of heart disease can be easy when you have a practicable example of a day’s worth of meals. So here’s is Danahy’s suggestion for a one-day meal plan:

Breakfast:  “Enjoy a bowl of Cheerios with half of a banana and 1 percent milk paired with a glass of orange juice,” Danahy says. “Use the other half the banana on a slice of whole wheat bread and peanut butter for a mid-morning snack.”

Lunch: “Try two cups of mixed vegetable salad with chicken or tuna,” she says. “Add a bunch of grapes and a yogurt for a complete meal.”

Snack: “When you get hungry in the afternoon, have 10 baby carrots, half a red pepper, and a sliced mini cucumber with a few crackers and hummus,” Danahy says.

Dinner:  “Pair grilled chicken or fish with a baked potato, carrots and green beans,” Danahy says.

Dessert: “Enjoy one cup of fresh berries drizzled with chocolate syrup,” she says.