Dietician: Some wine, some chocolate OK for Valentine’s Day

May 20, 2024 | (Tiffany Arnold)

WASHINGTON — A little wine, a little chocolate — what could be better for Valentine’s Day? The good news is some of the treats consumed on the holiday are also OK for your heart, according to a dietician.

“There is definitely a lot of research out there about the antioxidants in both the dark chocolate as well as the red wine,” says Krista Blackwell, a clinical dietician with Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

In the red wine, the antioxidant of note is resveratrol, which Blackwell says is found in the deep color of the wine.

The American Heart Association says women can have one four-ounce serving a day, and men can have two. The key is moderation.

“We know that in small amounts, alcohol does have some beneficial heart affects,” says Blackwell. “But the other side is we tend to drink too much of it and then we go the other way and have these negative side effects.”

The health benefits of chocolate are a bit trickier to determine. That’s because the antioxidants are in the cocoa beans and a lot of the nutritional value is lost in processing when fat and sugar are added.

Blackwell says the key is to choose dark chocolate made with as little added sugar as possible. And, once again, as in wine, the key is moderation.

“It’s not eating a whole dark chocolate bar every night — maybe a square a few times a week fits into a healthy lifestyle.”

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