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MyFitnessPal 5 mins read

When it comes to the love language of food, gestures of true love should be good for the heart.  However, many decadent treats are jam packed with saturated fats – a leading contributor to high cholesterol and heart disease. 


According to new research from global food and nutrition app MyFitnessPal, while 64% of Australians admit to wanting to reduce their saturated fat intake, half (50%) are still unsure of how much they should consume daily. 


“Tasty treats can definitely have a place in our diets, especially on Valentine’s Day, but they don’t need to be full of saturated fats to taste delicious. In fact there are plenty of easy swaps you can make to protect your heart, yet serve up a feast full of flavour” said fitness coach and author, Luke Hines.  


With the data finding confectionery such as chocolate and crisps (75%), baked goods (69%), and red meat (56%) intake are set to increase this Valentine’s Day, MyFitnessPal has shared a list of alternative food recipes to take care of your lovers heart, without compromising on taste. 

1. Sheet Pan French Toast With Mixed Berry Sauce


  • 8 slices sprouted whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 cup (237ml) skim milk or plant-based milk of your choice
  • 1 cup (170g) blueberries
  • 1 cup (167g) strawberries, sliced


Preheat the oven to 425°F (230ºC). Coat a rimmed 13-by-18-inch (33-by-46-cm) sheet pan generously with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices closely together on the pan in a single layer.


In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/4 cup (59ml) of the orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract and nutmeg until completely blended. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread slices. Tilt the pan around so the bread absorbs the egg mixture. Bake in the lower third of the oven until browned on the bottom, 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the berry sauce: Combine the berries and remaining orange juice in a medium sauté pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit begins to break down and the juices have reduced slightly, 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.


Move the sheet pan to the top rack of the oven (6 inches/15 cm) from the broiler element. Switch the oven to broil and broil on high until the bread is puffed and browned on the top, 1 1/2–2 minutes.

Serve the French toast with the sauce.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 2 slices bread, 5 tablespoons/74ml sauce


Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 321; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 186mg; Sodium: 97mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fibre: 8g; Sugar: 15g; Protein: 19g

2. Red Lentil-Beet Hummus


  • 1/2 cup (96g) red lentils
  • 1 cup (225g) beets, cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 medium jicama, peeled and sliced


In a small pot, place the red lentils with 3 cups (700ml) water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer; cooking for 15–20 minutes. The lentils should be very soft and starting to fall apart, but don’t cook them to the point of disintegration. Drain gently in a wire mesh strainer but do not rinse.


While the lentils cook, set up a steamer, and steam the beets for 15 minutes. They should be very tender when pierced with a paring knife. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor.


Place the cooked lentils and garlic in the processor bowl with the beets, and process until pureed, scraping down as needed to make a smooth paste. Add the tahini and salt and process until smooth. Add lemon and scrape; process to mix. Transfer to a bowl or storage tub.


Peel the jicama and slice in thin rounds, then stack the rounds and cut into wedges, to look like tortilla chips. Serve cold to scoop up the hummus.

Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1/4 cup, plus 1/3 of a jicama


Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 128; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat:1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 223mg; Carbohydrate: 16g; Dietary Fibre: 5g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 8g

3. Roasted Salmon With Mandarin Salsa 


  • 2 4-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chilli pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC). Place the salmon fillets on a small baking pan, skin-side down. In a cup, mix the chilli powder and salt and sprinkle over the salmon. Roast for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. (farmed salmon takes 2–3 minutes longer)


For salsa, combine the oranges, jalapeño, scallion, lime and cilantro, toss to mix. Makes 3/4 cup salsa.

Serves: 2 | Serving Size: 1 fillet and 6 tablespoons salsa

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 298; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 57mg; Sodium: 228mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fibre: 2g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 24g

4. Banana Split on a Stick


  • 4 large bananas, peeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 8 wooden or plastic popsicle sticks, or chopsticks
  • 4-ounces (113g) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (35g) roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (12g) freeze-dried strawberries, crushed


Line a small baking sheet or tray with parchment paper. Gently push a popsicle stick into the bottom (cut side) of each banana half, stopping before the stick peeks through the other side. Place on the tray and freeze until solid, 1 hour.


Combine the chocolate and oil in a small, microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave on 50% power in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.


Put the peanuts and strawberries on separate salad plates. Dip a banana in the chocolate mixture, tilting the measuring cup to cover most of the banana. Working quickly, sprinkle the banana with the nuts and strawberries. Lay on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bananas. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: 1 banana pop

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 205; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 16mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fibre: 4g; Sugar: 15g; Protein: 3g

5. Strawberries and Cream Baked Donuts



  • 1 cup (130g) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup (40g) coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (76g) sliced fresh strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (39g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 2% milk or oat milk
  • 1/4 cup (8 g) freeze-dried strawberries, crushed


Preheat the oven to 425° (218°C). Coat a standard 6-well (1/3 cup/79ml) donut pan with cooking spray.


In a large bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and oil. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the strawberries. Do not over-mix, or the donuts become tough.


Divide the batter into the prepared pan and press it down into the donut moulds evenly. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean, 8–10 minutes. Let the donuts cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.


Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add the milk and stir to create a thick glaze. Place the donuts on a plate, bottom side up, and drizzle with the glaze. Sprinkle with the crushed freeze-dried strawberries and serve.

Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1 donut

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 199; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 33mg; Sodium: 194mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fibre: 3g; Sugar: 20g; Protein: 5g


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