Happy Valentines Day!
I love that Valentine’s day is all about the heart and chocolate! If you are eating the correct kind of chocolate, 70% dark chocolate, you are being heart healthy!
Here are a few heart statistics for you to think about on ‘heart day’ aka Valentine’s day (per CDC):
- Leading cause of death in US
- 1 in every 4 deaths are from heart disease
- 1 person dies every 37 seconds from cardiovascular disease
- 47% of Americans have at least 1 or 3 risk factors: smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterolThere is no better time to prevent yourself from being a statistic by:
- 25 g or more of fiber
- 2,300mg or less of salt for the general population (= about 1 tsp)
- 1,500mg if high risk
- 300 mg or less of cholesterol
- 200 mg or less if high risk
- 6% or less of calories from saturated fat (about 13g for a 2,000 cal diet)
- 2g or less of trans fats
- 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 or more days a week
- 3 or more servings of vegetables per day
- 2 or more servings of fruits per day
- at least 7 hours of sleep per night
- Adopting a Mediterranean or DASH diet that focuses on low salt, legumes, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, fish, low in red meat, healthy fats (olive and avocado), and whole grains
- Finding ways to reduce stress
70% or higher dark chocolate is a great addition to your Valentine’s day! And how can you go through Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Especially dark chocolate covered strawberries OR this chocolate tahini spread on whole grain bread with fruit and seeds.
Chocolate Tahini SpreadCourse: Healthy Tips, Snack
1/4 cup tahini (see below for homemade)
3 tsp honey
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp strong brewed coffee
100% whole grain (best: Ezekiel bread)
toppings: Fruit of choice, chia seeds, flaxseeds, cocoa nibs
- Blend all together until pasta-like consistency.
- Spread on bread and add toppings.
- *Homemade tahini (makes 1/2 cup): 1 cup toasted sesame seeds + 1 tbsp oil — Process in a food processor and slowly add oil
Take care of your heart and have a great Valentine’s Day!