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5 Healthier Alternatives To Valentine’s Day Food Favorites

By Dr. Larry Deutsch and Dr. Jeff Schweitzer

1. Instead of: A box of chocolates
Try: An edible fruit arrangement
Here’s why: Still a thoughtful gift for your loved one, most fruits are low in calories per gram because they have high water and fiber content. Chocolate is empty nutrition, a high energy density food, meaning the calories are more densely packed into the sweet than a piece of fruit.

2. Instead of: Chocolate covered strawberries
Try: Strawberries with light whipped cream
Here’s why: When you’re eating whipped cream, most of what you are eating is air. One or two tablespoons of light whipped cream typically have less than 30 calories and little to no fat. A little dollop on strawberries is a delicious alternative to dipping them in high-calorie, high-fat chocolate.

3. Instead of: Eating out at a restaurant
Try: Cooking dinner at home
Here’s why: At home, you can control your portion sizes and what goes into your meals. At a restaurant, most people have more difficulty avoiding high-caloric food and giant-sized portions.

4. Instead of: A cocktail
Try: Red wine
Here’s why: Although alcohol itself doesn’t contain fat, it is loaded with calories. And when you add in mixers, juice, sugar, and other ingredients, the calories can really add up. A glass of red wine, in moderation, is lower in calories and has been shown to increase levels of “good” cholesterol and protect against artery damage.

5. Instead of: cookies or cupcakes for the little valentine in your life
Try: a lower energy version of their favorite treat or simply reduce portion size by ten percent
Here’s why: Putting your little one on the road to healthy eating can never start too early. Indulging them in a sweet now and then is ok, but consider substituting in healthier ingredients. Instead of oil, substitute for applesauce, instead of whole eggs, consider using egg beaters. Their treat will still be just as delicious, but a little healthier and that is the best gift you can give them this Valentine’s Day!

Bottom line, follow these four simple rules:  eat less, choose well, be active and restructure your relationship. You will enjoy Valentine’s Day without adding unwanted pounds!

DR. LARRY DEUTSCH is a family physician and hypnotherapist with over 35 years of experience. A leader in the area of hypnosis in medicine, Dr. Larry is a frequent speaker on the role of hypnotherapy in health and medical seminars throughout the world. For more information, please visit

DR. JEFF SCHWEITZER is a biologist, consultant and internationally recognized authority in ethics, conservation, and development. He served at the White House during the Clinton Administration as Assistant Director for International Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology. For more information, please visit

They are the authors of Calorie Wars: Fat, Fact, and Fiction.

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