Kidney Diet Tips

Heart Warming Valentine’s Day Tips

A common myth about emotional eating is that it’s prompted by negative feelings. Yes, people often turn to food when they’re stressed, lonely, sad, anxious or bored. But emotional eating can be linked to positive feelings, too. Think of the romance of sharing dessert on Valentine’s Day. Often it is really the feeling of the event projecting a positive image on the food.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it is the perfect time of year to consider making new, healthy traditions with your partner. Here are a few suggestions for a kidney-friendly holiday celebration:

Tradition Re-boot Tips

  • Start a healthy after dinner walk to give each other some undivided attention.
  • Instead of exchanging chocolates on Valentine’s Day exchange love notes, flowers or some new favorite music.
  • Cook or bake a special dinner together. (For more ways to use ingredient substitutions to make your recipes healthier see below.)

Recipe substitutions are a great place to start because small nutritional changes can add up to a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Some examples of how to eat for health include: eating enough fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains, limiting alcohol consumption and getting plenty of fiber in your diet. Lastly, a healthy diet is low in unhealthy fats that are solid at room temperature such as saturated fat and trans-fats.

Healthy Baking Techniques and Ingredient Substitutions

Try these tips for reducing fat and cholesterol to make your Valentine’s Day dishes heart healthy.

  • Sauté with oil instead of butter or lard.
  • Make baked goods with unsaturated oil, soft margarine or butter and olive oil blend.
  • Replace oil with applesauce, fruit or veggie purees to reduce fat in baking.
  • Increase protein and decrease fat and cholesterol with egg whites. Instead of baking with one whole egg, use 2 egg whites; or choose a commercially made, cholesterol-free egg substitute.
  • Try a dairy substitute, such as almond milk, to replace all or part of the milk in a recipe.

When using these baking techniques at home it is important to experiment with only a few small substitutions first until you find what works. For example, you many need to add more oil and egg white to a recipe when you use almond milk as the product texture may seem drier than with high fat milk.

For ideas on recipes for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day check out “ Eat what You Love: 10 Kidney-friendly Valentine Treats ” and “ Heart-Warming Recipes for a Valentine’s Day Dinner ”. These recipes are sure to create some positive emotions!

Looking for a quick Valentine’s Day treat? Try one of these easy smoothie recipes.

Will this be the year you start your own healthy Valentine’s Day tradition? The dietitians at DaVita want to wish you and yours a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Heidi Bennett RD, CBE

Heidi Bennett RD, CBE

Heidi Bennett is a busy mother of two who believes eating well is possible with limited time . She has worked as a clinical dietitian in Wisconsin and now California for over twelve years. Through her experience in a variety of settings , she has found her true calling as a renal dietitian for DaVita. In her free time Heidi loves traveling with her husband and growing fresh ingredients for cooking and preserving.