No matter which team you are rooting for, Super Bowl Sunday is always a fun-filled and food-filled event. But the problem is most of the traditional snacks served are artery clogging, fat filled, and diet busting.
The game lasts for four hours and more than 100 million people watch each year as they guzzle beer and devour high-calorie snacks.
Researchers from Cornell University tracked grocery purchases for the Big Game and found that the average American will eat more than 6,000 calories — on average — by the end of the day.
That’s three days’ worth of calories for most folks and you’d need to run a marathon to burn them off. In fact, the quantity of calories consumed on Super Bowl Sunday even beats out Thanksgiving.
“Even though the Super Bowl is a major display of athleticism, the fans display their major appetite for junk food with the usual Super Bowl spreads,” says Tara Collingwood, a sports dietitian for professional and recreational athletes.
“People come with big appetites for the Big Game and it’s a long event from the pre-game festivities to the last minute ticking of the clock. An enormous amount of empty calories can be eaten, sipped or gulped during those hours!”
Amy Shapiro, founder of Real Nutrition, NYC, agrees. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“With a little planing you can have great flavor without busting your calorie budget and still eat healthy, heart-friendly foods filled with protein and fiber that won’t clog your arteries,” she says.
Here are Shapiro and Collingwood’s timely tips for satisfying snacks that can slash fat and calories during the big game:
Veggies with guacamole. Avocados are high in calories but also contain heart-healthy fat that can fill you up and cause you to eat less of the other bad-for-you foods, Shapiro tells Newsmax Health. “Salsa is pretty much a free food in my mind so when you have had enough guac, dig into the salsa guilt-free,” she says. Shapiro recommends using Siete Foods tortilla chips which are made from coconut and cassava flour and taste great. Serve trays with celery, cucumber, and carrot sticks with a low-calorie dip.
Baked wings. Chicken wings are a popular and staple snack at most Super Bowl parties, Collingwood tells Newsmax Health. Bake them instead of frying to cut calories and serve with hot sauce.
Cauliflower bites. These nutritious and tasty treats are easy to make. Simply cut up a head of cauliflower into florets and toss with salt, garlic powder and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes in an oven preheated 400 and serve with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or any sauce your prefer.
Beef sliders. Make your own sliders by cooking sliced grass-fed beef on toasted whole wheat buns. Garnish with caramelized onion and avocado.
Shrimp cocktail. This is a great high-protein, low-calorie choice and the cocktail sauce contains tomatoes which are chock full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Or simply flavor the shrimp with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Turkey chili. Make your own heart-healthy chili with ground turkey, beans, and veggies for a high-protein dish that’s filled with heart-healthy fiber. “This will keep your guests warm, cozy and satisfied,” says Shapiro, who suggests serving the chili with shredded cheese, slices of avocado, and chopped tomatoes to prevent overindulging.
Healthy deviled eggs. Here’s another staple updated to provide extra health benefits. Mix the egg yolks with hummus and spices like salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder instead of mayo. This provides lots of protein which keeps you satisfied and prevents mindless munching.
Chicken skewers. Chicken breast tenders are lean and healthy when grilled or broiled on skewers. You can marinate the tenders in soy-ginger sauce or teriyaki sauce for extra flavor. Serve with a variety of low calories sauces and dips.
Stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms are very low in calories but delicious stuffed and baked with sautéed spinach mixed with low-fat feta cheese or another cheese of your choice.
Bruschetta. Top sliced crusty bread with antioxidant-packed chopped tomatoes, onion, and basil. “Bake or broil for a healthy alternative to traditional pizza that has much more fat and calories,” she says. “Be creative and top the bruschetta wish smoked salmon, avocado, or grilled vegetables.”
Fruit skewers with yogurt dip. This attractive snack satisfies everybody’s sweet tooth while making an attractive addition to the Super Bowl table. Some suggestions include grapes, strawberries, melon, and pineapple chunks.
Pistachios. Keep plenty of these nuts on hand for snacking. They are low in calories and, when served in the shell, take longer to crack open and eat, slowing down the caloric intake.
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