Super Bowl Sunday is a long-awaited day for football fans and foodies alike. Whether you are among the 100 million tuning in to watch your favorite team or looking forward to an array of snacks, dips and other new finger foods to tackle, this might just be one of your favorite days of the year.
“Enjoy the game. Entertain yourself with the commercials and half-time show. But consider thinking twice about the kind of food you will prepare or eat while spending the evening watching the game,” says Silvia Veri,R.D., nutrition supervisor, Beaumont Weight Control Center.
It can be easy to fumble and add on hundreds – even thousands – of mindless calories while sitting in front the of television. Unfortunately, many of our football favorites also happen to be high in fat, cholesterol and calories. A dozen wing dings can have 1000 calories and a slice of meat lovers pizza is almost 500 calories.
Explains Wendy Miller, M.D., medical director, Beaumont Weight Control Center, “Increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet and choosing low-fat dairy and lean protein can help reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease.”
Take Silvia and Dr. Miller’s advice this Super Bowl Sunday and intercept the high-fat, processed foods, like nachos and cheese sauce, and score some winning points with healthy alternatives, such as these:
- Guacamole: Mash avocados and add chopped tomato, onion, bell peppers and a squeeze of lime juice for a heart-healthy dip. “Avocados include healthy fats, called beta-sitosterol, which can help reduce cholesterol,” says Veri.
- Salsa: Use jarred or homemade and serve with baked or whole-grain chips, vegetables or pita chips.
- Bruschetta: Toast thin slices of whole wheat or multi-grain bread, rub with garlic and top with tomato and basil.
- Shrimp Cocktail: Chill cooked shrimp and serve with a spicy cocktail sauce for a low-fat, low-calorie appetizer. “One large shrimp contains about 1 gram of protein and 5 calories per piece,” says Veri. “Proteins takes longer to digest so it should keep you fuller, longer.”
- Hummus: Grind a couple cans of rinsed chickpeas, lemon juice, a roasted red pepper and garlic cloves in a food processor for a filling and flavorful dip. “Chickpeas are full of protein and fiber. Hummus is a much better choice than a creamy, high-fat ranch dressing to dip your vegetables,” says Veri.
- Fruit and Cheese: Replace full-fat cheese with its low-fat version and skip the crackers. Serve cube-size amounts with fruit instead.