July 17, 2024

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Stay Healthy, Live Happy

7-Day No-Sugar, Low-Sodium Meal Plan for Better Heart Health

7 min read

Heart disease continues to top the charts as the leading cause of death in the United States. Since it’s so prevalent, it’s no wonder that many of us want to eat with our heart health in mind. In this heart-healthy meal plan, we map out a week of meals and snacks tailored to improve heart health by limiting sodium and saturated fat and prioritizing fiber, an important nutrient for heart health. If you hope to improve your heart health but are unsure where to start, look no further. We’ve got you (and your heart) covered. 

How We Create Meal Plans

Registered dietitians thoughtfully create EatingWell’s meal plans to be easy-to-follow and delicious. Each meal plan meets specific parameters depending on the health condition and/or lifestyle goal it is targeting and is analyzed for accuracy using the nutrition database, ESHA Food Processor. As nutritional needs differ from person to person, we encourage you to use these plans as inspiration and adjust as you see fit.

Why This Meal Plan Is Great for You

When looking to improve heart health, there are three nutrients that you should prioritize: fiber, sodium and saturated fat. In this meal plan, we capped the sodium at no more than 1,500mg per day in accordance with the American Heart Association’s recommendations. Regularly eating a high amount of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease. We also limited saturated fat to no more than 12 grams per day, which is approximately 7% of the total calories, well within the recommended max of 10% of total calories set by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Excessive saturated fat intake can increase LDL cholesterol, clog arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

Lastly, each day provides at least 35 grams of fiber. Fiber has many health benefits, from helping you lose weight to stabilizing your blood sugar levels and improving heart health. Soluble fiber, like those found in whole grains, beans, lentils and many fruits and vegetables, can help lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of developing heart disease. Because weight loss can reduce the risk of heart disease, we set this plan at 1,500 calories per day, which is a level where many people will experience weight loss. We also included modifications for 2,000 calories per day for those with other calorie needs.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • ​​Is it OK to mix and match meals if there is one I do not like?

    Yes, if there’s a meal you don’t like, definitely feel free to make a swap. We have tons of heart-healthy recipes for inspiration. We aimed for daily totals of 1,500 calories, no more than 12 grams of saturated fat, at least 30 grams of fiber and no more than 1,500mg of sodium per day.


  • Can I eat the same breakfast or lunch every day?

    Yes, if it’s easier for your routine to eat the same breakfast or lunch every day, go for it. Each breakfast is between 360 and 375 calories while each lunch is between 354 and 496 calories. The higher end of that calorie range is due to dinner leftovers being served as lunch on days 6 and 7. If you prefer to save leftovers for another meal, then changing lunch on days 6 and 7 may work better for you. If you’re closely monitoring your calorie intake, you may want to select a substitution with a similar calorie range or consider making adjustments to snacks.


  • How much sodium should I eat?

    The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to 2,300mg per day. The American Heart Association also endorses a maximum of 2,300mg of sodium per day, with an ideal goal of no more than 1,500mg of sodium per day, especially for people at risk of heart disease.

Added Sugars and Heart Health

While occasional sweet bites won’t derail your heart health and can be part of a heart-healthy diet, many of us eat significantly more added sugars than we realize. In fact, the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day, well above the American Heart Association’s recommended daily max of 9 teaspoons for men and 6 for women. Research links an added sugar intake of 20% or more of total daily calories with an increased risk of stroke and adverse coronary events. Because added sugars don’t positively support heart health, we opted to skip them in this meal plan to save room for more nutrient-dense foods. 

Heart-Healthy Foods to Focus On

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and avocado oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Herbs and spices
  • Lean protein, such as turkey and chicken
  • Fish

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals

  1. Make Copycat Starbucks Spinach & Mushroom Egg Bites to have for breakfast throughout the week.
  2. Prepare 20-Minute White Bean Soup to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  3. Make Carrot Cake Energy Bites to have as a snack throughout the week.

Day 1

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Breakfast (361 calories) 

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (dry), prepared with water
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds

A.M. Snack (144 calories)

Lunch (354 calories)

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (450 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,516 calories, 69g fat, 10g saturated fat, 65g protein, 179g carbohydrate, 43g fiber, 1,121mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 cup nonfat plain kefir to breakfast, add one (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds to A.M. snack, add 1/2 cup blueberries to P.M. snack and add 1 serving Traditional Greek Salad to dinner.

Day 2

Jamie Vespa

Breakfast (375 calories)

A.M. Snack (199 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

Lunch (358 calories)

P.M. Snack (144 calories)

Dinner (424 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,500 calories, 62g fat, 12g saturated fat, 87g protein, 164g carbohydrate, 42g fiber, 1,310mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Substitute 1 serving Spinach, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie for the Berry & Flax Smoothie at breakfast, add ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and add 1 serving No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies as an evening snack.

Day 3

Courtesy Photo


Breakfast (361 calories) 

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (dry), prepared with water
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds

A.M. Snack (192 calories)

Lunch (347 calories)

P.M. Snack (110 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Dinner (489 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,499 calories, 58g fat, 10g saturated fat, 71g protein, 195g carbohydrate, 43g fiber, 1,144mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add one (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt to A.M. snack, increase to ½ cup blueberries and add ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and add 1 serving No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies as an evening snack.

Day 4

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley


Breakfast (311 calories)

A.M. Snack (199 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

Lunch (362 calories)

P.M. Snack (192 calories)

Dinner (427 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,490 calories, 54g fat, 12g saturated fat, 73g protein, 197g carbohydrate, 45g fiber, 1,287mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch, 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and add 1 medium apple as an evening snack.

Day 5

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless


Breakfast (361 calories) 

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (dry), prepared with water
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds

A.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Lunch (347 calories)

P.M. Snack (110 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Dinner (496 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve two servings One-Pot White Bean, Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo with Lemon & Feta to have for lunch on days 6 & 7

Daily Totals: 1,520 calories, 65g fat, 8g saturated fat, 77g protein, 177g carbohydrate, 43g fiber, 952mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Spinach, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie to breakfast and add 1 serving No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies as an evening snack.

Day 6

Breakfast (375 calories)

A.M. Snack (199 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container nonfat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

Lunch (496 calories)

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

Dinner (388 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,518 calories, 70g fat, 10g saturated fat, 82g protein, 155g carbohydrate, 35g fiber, 1,385mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Substitute 1 serving Spinach, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie for the Berry & Flax Smoothie at breakfast, add ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and add 1 serving No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies as an evening snack.

Day 7

Greg DuPree


Breakfast (361 calories) 

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (dry), prepared with water
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds

A.M. Snack (59 calories)

Lunch (496 calories)

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

Dinner (512 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,489 calories, 69g fat, 11g saturated fat, 67g protein, 163g carbohydrate, 40g fiber, 1,396mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit chia seeds at breakfast and change lunch to 1 serving Cucumber Salad Sandwich.

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