Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day

Woman Holding Valentine's Day Gift Bag

A person once told me that there is no way you can have a healthy heart valentine’s day.  When you are out with the one you love you can’t but splurge on chocolate rich assortments of candies, you usually skip your exercise plan to get ready for the valentine’s day evening date and eating out at a fine highly fat tasting restaurant where you top of the meal with a luscious unhealthy dessert.  The person continued to say that the only healthy thing during that day are the roses!

I had to agree and disagree this statement that this person told me.  The part I do agree with is yes that it can be a unhealthy eating day but I also disagree that it has to be like this on Valentine’s Day.  We all have a choice on how we are going to eat and how we are going to spend time together on this day but we can make a choice in doing this in a heart healthy way.

First, we can decide on what types chocolates candies that can be given as a gift.  There has been research that dark chocolate candy that contains cocoa which is loaded with flavonols.   Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate is linked to lower risks of heart failure among middle-aged and older women, compared to eating no chocolate at all.  So eat a small amount of dark chocolate have benefits after all.

Second is how can you spend this date to make it heart healthy day.  Why not include some physical activity exercises!  Why exercise? Exercising aerobically at least four times a week for at least half an hour each time can help lower heart health risks, lose weight and raise your good (HDL) cholesterol.  So why not have a date that consist of walking in the botanical gardens  or jogging in the park or swimming in the local pool or in the beach.  Now that is romantic!

And last idea for Valentine’s Day date is what types of food should I eat at a restaurant that is heart healthy? Plan what type of meal you and your date would like to eat.  Some examples are:

If you like Mexican – avoid the refried beans and guacamole  but instead have chicken enchiladas  or black beans (not refried) burrito without cheese.

If you like Italian  – avoid alots of meat, cheese and cream sauces but instead have either pizza (less cheese and add only vegetable toppings) or pasta with marinara or clam sauce.

If you like Asian – avoid stir-fried, breaded and deep-fried food but instead have Sushi or sashimi or steamed rice with steamed, broiled or cooked entree.

For a dessert why not share and have a fruit salad or low fat strawberry cheesecake with fresh strawberries.

Or  instead of going out for your date, why not you and your lover cook together a sexy heart healthy home cook meal.  What a way to top of a lovely day!

Next week we will discuss about how you can change your eating habits to a heart healthy ones.

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