Even as nutrition experts, we’re all about a holiday that revolves around chocolate, candy, and baked goods. Valentine’s Day only comes once per year, and we want to enjoy it, sugar included. It’s easy for this sweet day to turn into a diet disaster, since it often includes a lavish restaurant meal with your honey and plenty of heart-shaped goodies. How can you avoid a not-so-sweet sugar coma come February 15th? Indulge, but do so wisely, with these tips from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Karen Ansel or you can also take some notes from online personas like this cooking blogger to take your meals to the next level.

1. Go for the chocolate – The cocoa in chocolate contains heart-healthy antioxidants called flavonols that help lower blood pressure and relax blood vessels. Popular alternatives such as sweet tarts and gummie bears offer plenty of sugar and calories with no nutritional benefits.

2. The darker the better – We don’t like to discriminate when it comes to chocolate, but if you have the option, skip the milk chocolate and choose dark chocolate instead to get more flavanols. Bars with a higher percent of cocoa in their ingredient list are generally the best. Most brands contain about fifty percent cocoa, but some offer as much as eighty percent.

3, Mix in some nuts – Along with dark chocolate, treats that contain nuts tend to deliver the most heart-healthy perks. Avoid chocolates filled with cream, which are loaded with fat or with “fruit” fillings that likely contain no fruit and tons of sugar.

4. Check your portions – We know this one is tough, believe us! But try to stick to one or two pieces of dark chocolate, and pay attention to the serving sizes on larger bars. Just because chocolate is good for you does not mean you should go crazy, because the fat and calories still add up, and will end up undoing the nutritional benefits.

5. Have fun with fruit – For a dessert that is good for your heart and better for your waistline, melt dark chocolate and drizzle it over strawberries, pineapple, or banana slices. You’ll get the rich chocolate taste to satisfy your craving, plus antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

For more tips on how to indulge wisely, or “Get Your Plate in Shape” head over to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at www.eatright.org.

If you would like some help developing a healthy eating plan for you and your family, Family Food LLC has an expert team of registered dietitians to help! Get in touch with us by phone or e-mail, or leave us a message on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the icons in the upper right corner of our homepage. If your insurance qualifies, you could be entitled to SIX FREE VISITS. Check out our “Services” page to find out!

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/03/4236582/how-to-be-smart-about-valentines.html




I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."



Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.



Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!



Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.



My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.



Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.



I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.



I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.



I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!



I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.



I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.



I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!



I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.



I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.



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