This weeklong meal plan is full of ingredients that help quell inflammation, and has zero added sugar to help you feel your best.
Advertisement
Roasted Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Broccoli

In the United States, the average adult eats 17 teaspoons (68 grams) of added sugar per day—significantly more than the American Heart Association's recommended daily max of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men. We here at EatingWell fully believe all foods can fit into a healthy diet—added sugar included. But because growing research has shown that regular intake of excess added sugars may be a significant contributor to chronic inflammation, it's best to enjoy it in moderation. Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to inflammatory conditions like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Thankfully, eating a healthy diet, which includes cutting back on added sugar, can help.

In this plan, we mapped out a week of anti-inflammatory meals and snacks that skip added sugars to help reduce inflammation. We also made sure to include plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies, high-fiber whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to create a balanced week of eating. With recipes and snacks as tasty as the ones in this plan, you won't even miss the sugar. Be sure to check out our collection of no-added-sugar desserts to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth naturally.

Because excess weight plays a role in chronic inflammation, we set this plan at 1,500 calories per day, which is a level where most people will lose weight, and included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day, depending on your calorie needs.

What Is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

The anti-inflammatory diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet in that they both emphasize whole, unprocessed foods with a focus on plenty of fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables. The anti-inflammatory diet more specifically includes foods that play a role in reducing chronic inflammation, like antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as cherries, berries and dark leafy greens, and also has increased emphasis on healthy fats from avocado, fish and nuts. This diet skips foods more likely to increase inflammation, like added sugars and artificial sweeteners, processed foods and refined grains.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Focus On:

  • Fish
  • Nuts, including natural nut butters without any added sugars
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains (quinoa, bulgur, oats, brown rice, whole wheat and more)
  • Fruits, especially cherries, berries, pomegranate
  • Vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies and beets
  • Avocado
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Unsweetened fermented dairy products, like yogurt and kefir

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  2. Prepare Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers to have for breakfast throughout the week.
Roasted Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Broccoli

Day 1

Breakfast (362 calories)

  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats, prepared with water
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened dried cherries
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (187 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup blueberries

Lunch (419 calories)

P.M. Snack (105 calories)

  • 8 dried walnut halves

Dinner (424 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,496 calories, 85g fat, 81g protein, 137g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,051mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit cherries at breakfast, omit yogurt at A.M. snack, and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 medium peach to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Sesame Kohlrabi & Chicken Salad
Credit: Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Day 2

Breakfast (376 calories)

A.M. Snack (84 calories)

  • 1 cup blueberries

Lunch (386 calories)

P.M. Snack (233 calories)

  • 22 unsalted dry-roasted almonds
  • 1 cup raspberries

Dinner (432 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,511 calories, 80g fat, 83g protein, 127g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 1,830mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit apple at breakfast and change P.M. snack to 1/2 cup raspberries.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 14 dried walnut halves to A.M. snack plus add 1 avocado, sliced, to the salad at dinner.

Greek Muffin-Tin-Omelets With Feta and Peppers on white plate

Day 3

Breakfast (376 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

  • 1 large pear

Lunch (386 calories)

P.M. Snack (212 calories)

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup blackberries

Dinner (417 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,522 calories, 69g fat, 72g protein, 166g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,635mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit apple at breakfast and change P.M. snack to 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 5 dried walnut halves to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving Cucumber & Avocado Salad to dinner.

a blue bowl full of chicken and vegetables and a smaller bowl with dressing

Day 4

Breakfast (362 calories)

  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats, prepared with water
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened dried cherries
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (248 calories)

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds
  • ½ cup blueberries

Lunch (386 calories)

P.M. Snack (48 calories)

  • ¾ cup raspberries

Dinner (452 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,496 calories, 79g fat, 69g protein, 143g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 936mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit cherries at breakfast and omit almonds at A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 20 dried walnut halves to P.M. snack and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Greek Quinoa Salad
Credit: Greg DuPree

Day 5

Breakfast (343 calories)

A.M. Snack (171 calories)

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup blackberries

Lunch (386 calories)

P.M. Snack (131 calories)

  • 1 large pear

Dinner (464 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,494 calories, 66g fat, 68g protein, 145g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,737mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit orange at breakfast, omit yogurt at A.M. snack, and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 25 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack plus add 1 avocado, sliced, to the salad at dinner.

One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Broccoli
Credit: Photography / Kelsey Hansen, Styling / Greg Luna

Day 6

Breakfast (362 calories)

  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats, prepared with water
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened dried cherries
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (117 calories)

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain kefir

Lunch (357 calories)

P.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Dinner (462 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,497 calories, 60g fat, 71g protein, 174g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,125mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit cherries at breakfast, omit blackberries at A.M. snack, and change P.M. snack to 1 medium peach.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 medium banana to lunch, and increase to 2 Tbsp. peanut butter for P.M. snack.

Chickpea Tuna Salad
Credit: Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

Day 7

Breakfast (376 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

  • 1 large pear

Lunch (357 calories)

P.M. Snack (180 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 15 unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (442 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,485 calories, 79g fat, 71g protein, 133g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 2,052mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit apple at breakfast, change A.M. snack to 1 medium peach, and omit almonds at P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 20 dried walnut halves to A.M. snack, increase to 25 almonds at P.M. snack, and add 1/2 avocado, sliced, to the salad at dinner.