A Day's Worth of Food


In the OmniHeart study, two diets—one higher in unsaturated fat and one higher in protein—cut heart disease risk the most. Here’s a hybrid of the two diets with an environmental twist: no meat, poultry, or fish. (We used tofu instead.) The diet supplies roughly 2,100 calories (which may look skimpy if you typically eat more). It’s low in saturated fat, added sugar, and salt but high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Grains are limited because most of the carbs come from fruits and vegetables.


You get whole fruit instead of juice and intact whole grains in the oatmeal (with a cup of added fat-free milk—shown here in a glass—and a sprinkling of pecans and dried apricots and cranberries). Unsweetened coffee or tea (not shown) is unlimited.

Lunch and Afternoon Snack

A generous serving of greens plus apple slices, grapes, just an ounce of cheese, just 2 tablespoons of walnuts, and vinaigrette make a filling main-dish salad. Snack on hummus and peppers (or other veggies) if you want an afternoon snack or an appetizer before dinner.

Dinner and Evening Snack

Stir-fried veggies and tofu over brown rice with a side of edamame makes a quick and easy dinner. Dessert is two petite cookies. A cup of protein-rich, fat-free plain Greek yogurt garnished with blueberries, sliced banana, and just ¼ cup of granola makes a perfect snack. If your yogurt (or breakfast cereal) is sweetened with sugar, that’s your “Wild Card” (see below).


Below are the OmniHeart study’s targets for a day’s worth of food.1 The nutrient targets for a 2,100-calorie diet are:

  • sat fat: 14 g
  • protein: 105 g
  • fiber: at least 30 g
  • potassium: 4,700 mg
  • magnesium: 500 mg
  • calcium: 1,200 mg
  • sodium: no more than 2,300 mg.

Our day’s worth of food (shown above) roughly matches those targets. (1)-JAMA 294: 2455, 2005.

Vegetables and Fruit

11 servings per day
What’s 1 serving?

½ cup cooked vegetables
½ cup raw vegetables
1 cup salad greens
1 piece fruit
½ cup fresh fruit
¼ cup dried fruit



4 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 slice bread
½ cup cereal, pasta, or rice


Low-Fat Dairy

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 cup milk or yogurt
1½ oz. cheese


Legumes and Nuts

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

¼ cup nuts
½ cup cooked beans
4 oz. tofu


Poultry, Fish, and Meat

1 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

¼ lb. cooked


Oils and Fats

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. margarine or mayo


Desserts and Sweets

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 small cookie
1 tsp. sugar


Wild Card

1 serving per day of
Poultry, Fish, & Meat
or Desserts & Sweets
or Oils & Fats
or Grains