Valentine’s Day is meant as a celebration of love — and that can extend to some of the treats you love, too.
Chocolate is just as heavily associated with the holiday as red hearts and roses, but many avoid it for the sake of their diet.
That doesn’t have to be so. According to Nyree Dardarian, assistant clinical professor in Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition, you can “say yes to chocolate.”
“It is not taboo on Valentine’s Day,” Dardarian said.
A simple trick to limit your chocolate intake is to freeze them. Taking them out of the box and arranging them in single-serving bags is an easy way to get the chocolate out of sight and spread out your consumption.
Sharing the chocolates with friends is another good way to meter how much you eat and to spread the love — along with the calories and sugar.
When it comes to dark chocolate, there are actually some benefits.
“Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and may help decrease LDL levels (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol),” Dardarian explained. “Check the nutrition facts panel. In order to reap the benefits of dark chocolate, the first ingredient should be cocoa butter and the cacao content should be 60 percent.”
And remember that nutrition isn’t just about cutting things out of your diet: It’s about trusting yourself to make healthier decisions on special days like this holiday.
Dardarian is a registered dietitian who provides one-on-one nutrition sessions via Parkway Health and Wellness’ Nutrition Services program.
Media interested in talking with her should contact Frank Otto at 215.571.4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.