Five Heart Healthy Alternatives to Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

Binging on chocolate isn’t the only way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Whether you are single or attached, Valentine’s always brings with it, one common thing; The urge to consume chocolate.

It’s February, which means the pressure of maintaining your New Years gym resolution has completely worn off. Whether or not you are attached, you will most likely feel the urge to binge on chocolate around the 14th of this month.

The problem is that traditional milk chocolate (especially the kind used in cheap Valentine’s Day candy) is very high in sugar and fat, which can cause weight gain, and eventual diabetes or heart disease. How ironic is it, that a holiday based on matters of the heart could be so bad, for the actual heart?

This Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to try a healthier route. Opt for dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Find creative ways to involve fruit in your chocolate consumption, or try chocolate alternatives.

Here are five heart-friendly alternatives to traditional milk chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries- Both strawberries and dark chocolate contain antioxidants, which can help prevent heart disease. Chocolate covered strawberries are also super easy to make, so it could be a fun project to bake them with your partner on Valentines day.

READ MORE: How to Fight Unhealthy Food Cravings

Dark Chocolate Coconut Chips- Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, and coconut can help boost weight loss, improve fat metabolism, and support gut health. Also, chocolate and coconut were meant to go together. It’s a fact.

Cacao- Cacao comes in many forms, from powder and butter to cacao nibs. Unlike chocolate, cacao is high in fiber and can help lower blood pressure and improve digestion. Just check the label to make sure there aren’t a bunch of added sugars, as natural cacao treats tend to be more bitter than their chocolate counterparts.

Carob- Unsweetened carob candy contains more calcium than chocolate alternatives, and carob is free of stimulants like caffeine, which makes it a great choice for people who are sensitive to over-stimulation.

Cocoa Powder- To get the chocolate flavor, you can add cocoa powder to almost anything. Try experimenting with Greek yogurt, tea, cottage cheese, or smoothies. There are tons of creative ways to add chocolate to your diet without the added calories.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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