Heart-Healthy Meal Ideas (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Heart-healthy meal ideas by a Mexican-American registered dietitian.

Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States for a while now. Black and Hispanic communities are more likely to suffer the dangers of heart disease related to healthcare, food and education accesibility.

Several risk factors contribute to the development of heart disease, both modifiable and non-modifiable. Non-modifiable risk factors include age, gender, and family history of heart disease. However, modifiable risk factors play a significant role and offer opportunities for prevention. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, diabetes, diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol consumption.

As a registered dietitian, I focus on nutrition and preventative measures. I love helping my clients balance their meals with all the right nutrients AND flavors. The key to successfully eating healthy meals is enjoying them. I love sharing delicious recipes to help you meet your health goals and I hope you enjoy my heart-healthy meal plan.

Heart-healthy meal ideas for a full day

Balanced Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – I know you’ve heard that before! Besides nutritional value, research shows that eating breakfast supports hormone health, blood sugar control, and energy levels throughout the day.

Don’t have time? It takes 5 minutes to make a few days’ worth of these delicious overnight oats!

Easy Overnight Oats

easy vegan breakfast recipe of overnight oats in a bowl.

These overnight oats have all the nutrition you need to start your day. They are packed with fiber which will keep you full until lunchtime and aid in digestion. Eating fiber, specifically soluble fiber, can lower cholesterol levels (LDL).  Soluble fiber traps cholesterol and prevents your body from reabsorbing it into your bloodstream. Don’t forget to add toppings such as seeds, nuts, and berries. berries will also provide extra fiber and loads of antioxidants!

Plant-based Huevos Rancheros

vegan huevos rancheros in a mexican dish.

If you have a little more time and are craving something savory and with lots of Mexican flavors, you have to make this one! Adding more plant-based protein is important for heart health and this recipe has two plant proteins: tofu and beans. This is one of my favorite heart-healthy meal ideas for those just starting to explore plant protein.

Heart healthy meal ideas for lunch

Lunch can be the most rushed meal of the day for us busy people so I’m sharing some quick but heart-healthy meal ideas that are absolutely delicious!

Black Bean Avocado Salad

black bean avocado salad heart healthy meal ideas

This recipe can be ready in under 10 minutes! Perfect for making large batches and meal prepping to make sure you have a nourishing lunch. This dish has lots of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. It’s also so flavorful you’ll forget that you’re having a heart-healthy meal!

Homemade Beans (Frijoles de la olla)

frijoles de la olla in a mexican bowl for heart healthy meal ideas.

Homemade beans are incredibly delicious and one of the most nutrient-dense foods. They are packed with fiber, protein, iron, calcium, and much more. Making a large pot of beans makes lunchtime so much easier! Monday: freshly made beans with pico de Gallo, grilled mushrooms, and a few corn tortillas. Tuesday: burritos with beans, cheese, salsa, avocado, and choice of veggies. Wednesday: add them to a nourishing soup like Poblano Bean Soup or Charro Beans.

Chickpea “tuna” salad

vegan tuna salad on a mexican plate.

This plant-based chickpea tuna salad is packed with nutrients, flavor, and has the perfect texture from combining mashed chickpeas, shredded jackfruit, and meaty hearts of palm. This meal is anti-inflammatory and great for heart health. Make it ahead of time so it’s ready to grab and go the next day!

Heart-healthy Dinners

Jackfruit Carnitas

heart healthy meal ideas jackfruit carnitas tacos on a mexican plate.

These crispy vegan jackfruit tacos are so close to the real thing, they’ll blow your mind! They are flavorful, super easy to make, and versatile. You can also make this jackfruit recipe for burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and more! One of the best, most flavorful jackfruit recipes. Make sure to add beans or your choice of protein since jackfruit is technically a vegetable.

Enchiladas Verdes

heart-healthy meal ideas enchiladas verdes in a mexican dish.

Savory plant-based enchiladas verdes in a creamy, delicious sauce made of tomatillos, peppers, silken tofu, and garlic. Hearty filling of mashed chickpeas, mushrooms, (OR SHREDDED TOFU!), and spices. You’ll want to make these more than once for sure!

Portobello Mushroom Tacos

portobello mushroom tacos

Portobello mushrooms are meaty, deliciously tender, and savory! Reduce your red meat intake and add more mushrooms. Craving a carne asada-style plate? I made these portobello mushrooms using a carne asada marinade that takes these portobellos to the next level. I hope you LOVE THEM.

Something Sweet

Plant-based Flan

vegan flan on a mexican dish.

There is nothing wrong with having a sweet craving after dinner. The key is eat it mindfully and in moderation. I like to make healthier versions of desserts like this delicious plant-based flan. Flan is one of my favorite Mexican desserts. I recommend using soy milk for extra protein, and it makes it more satisfying and blood-sugar-friendly.

heart-healthy meal ideas with pico de gallo ingredients on a cutting board.

Heart-healthy meals consist of more plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidant-rich foods, and a variety of grains. Making a meal heart-healthy does not mean it must lack flavor. My best tip to you is to ask yourself which foods you love most. For me, that’s Mexican cuisine. You can make any cuisine heart-healthy if you add more vegetables, choose more plant-based proteins and fiber-rich foods, and limit saturated fats and sodium. These are just some of my favorite heart-healthy meal ideas so make sure to check out more delicious recipes on my blog.

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