February 7, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,
February is American Heart Month (Go Red http://www.goredforwomen.org/), as well as Valentine’s Day. We don’t often think of heart disease being the # 1 killer of women, especially when we are indulging in our chocolate treats from our loved one(s). But don’t fret, we don’t have to completely wipe chocolate out of our heart healthy diet. In fact, incorporating small amounts of dark chocolate in our diet can be beneficial….with the key word being small! Dark chocolate offers heart healthy benefits due to their flavonol content. Think dark ... skip milk chocolate and pick the darkest chocolate possible to get more flavonols. Bars with a higher percent of cocoa in their ingredient lists generally are the best; many brands have about 50 percent, but some offer more than 80 percent. Along with dark chocolate, treats that contain nuts tend to deliver the biggest benefits where heart health is concerned. Avoid chocolates filled with creams, which are high in fat, or with "fruit" fillings that likely don't feature any real fruit - just extra sugar. So this month as you indulge in your Valentine treats, take a moment to think about your real "heart."