Post Content

Terri_Mendoza photo

 

Posted by: Terri Mendoza – WIC Nutritionist

Ah, tis the season for love, romance, and…tempting high-fat, high-sugar foods!  The fall and winter months are packed with opportunities to indulge in foods that are not very healthy. Halloween candy is quickly followed by Thanksgiving carbs–stuffing AND potatoes, anyone? Christmas and New Year’s Eve offer yet more delicacies, and then come our favorite hefty Super Bowl snacks. What’s someone to do who wants to acknowledge Valentine’s Day, the last of these calorie-packed celebrations, but still keep an eye on their waistline?  Luckily, there are great alternatives to those heart-shaped candy boxes.  Giving flowers but not candy, preparing a healthy meal, or just spending time with that special someone are all great ideas for making Valentine’s Day a little less “sweet” but equally special.

But since chocolate is the first thing to come to mind when talking about Valentine’s Day, you may be glad to know that it’s okay for most people to go ahead—in moderation!  Luckily for us chocolate lovers, dark chocolate (but not milk or white chocolate) has actually been found to have health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and other heart-healthy effects.  But remember that it can still be a source of calories, sugar, and fat, so watch how much you eat and don’t substitute even dark chocolate for healthier foods.  When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better, since it has the most health benefits, so look for ones with a high percentage of cocoa.  (Just be aware that the higher the percentage, the more bitter the taste.)  Here are some ideas for making your chocolate choices more nutritious:

  • Pair melted dark chocolate with fruit–raspberries, strawberries, and bananas are particularly delicious!
  • Enjoy chocolate with nuts.  Almonds are a long-time favorite, but there are other combinations of dark chocolate covered nuts that you might like just as well. 
  • Warm up with reduced-fat and low-sugar hot chocolate mixes.  Find your favorite and you won’t miss the added cream and sugar!

Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day!  How do you plan to spend your Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear from you!

Written By:

Recent Posts

Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) & Climate Change posted on Jun 23

The Environmental Toxicology Program in the Bureau of Environmental Health has developed a climate assessment approach that leverages the combined resources of the Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) tool and the CDC Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework. The approach actively engages stakeholders   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) & Climate Change

Love in Action: Supporting One Another in Challenging Times posted on Jun 15

Love in Action: Supporting One Another in Challenging Times

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr. What do we do when horrible things happen? A tragedy like what happened at Orlando’s LGBTQ Pulse nightclub is so   …Continue Reading Love in Action: Supporting One Another in Challenging Times

Getting Hurt is Not in Your Job Description posted on Jun 13

Getting Hurt is Not in Your Job Description

POP QUIZ: Deli slicers – How hard can they be to use? Everyone seems to have story about someone being cut at work while using a deli slicer*. If you don’t have one yourself, ask a friend or colleague—they almost certainly do. And more often   …Continue Reading Getting Hurt is Not in Your Job Description