Super Bowl Sunday is around the corner and whether you are hosting a party, or a guest at someone else’s celebration, you might be thinking, “There goes my diet.”
For anyone who made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or just eat a little healthier, Super Bowl Sunday presents a superhuman test of your will power. Next to Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest eating day of the year. Americans are expected to consume 1.25 billion chicken wings alone over Super Bowl weekend.
Just like the athletes on the field, if you want to win (in this case stick to your resolution), it helps to have a game-plan going in.
- Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch before the party so you’re not tempted to overeat.
- Know what you’re consuming from a nutritional and calorie perspective so you can control portion size and make good food choices. It also helps to have a calorie limit in mind. (The average adult should consume about 2,000 calories a day.)
- If you’re the host, consider serving heavy foods at a set time such as before the game or during half-time and then serve lighter fare, like popcorn, salsa and tortilla chips, or a vegetable tray during the game. This will prevent mindless eating of higher calorie foods throughout the game.
If you are going to a Super Bowl party your food choices are limited to what the host serves unless you offer to bring a dish. Among the most popular Super Bowl foods, here are some tips to stay out of trouble.
- Buffalo Wings – These tasty morsels are usually fried and covered in a butter sauce so while they are small, they are loaded with saturated fat and calories. Adding blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce only adds insult to injury. Limiting your portion size to four wings will keep your calorie count to around 400.
- Pizza – A slice of pepperoni pizza contains 300-400 calories, mostly from saturated fat. Limit your portion to just one slice or skip it altogether if other healthier options are available.
- Chili – Among the healthier Super Bowl favorites, this is a good option if it is meatless or uses lean cuts of meat and includes beans which supply fiber. A one cup serving of beef chili with beans is only about 250 calories.
- Submarine or Hoagie Sandwich – Your average 6” deli sandwich with meats, cheese and condiments packs about 600 or more calories, and depending on the sandwich, lots of saturated fat too. So unless you are making a meal of the sandwich, cut the serving size in half if you plan on sampling other fare.
- Seven Layer Dip – Two tablespoons of this dip and a handful of tortilla chips is about 250 calories.
- Brats or Sausage – When you take into account the high amount of saturated fat in these “tube steaks” you are better off skipping them altogether—unless of course you can find an extra-lean brand with less fat. Your typical brat has about 260 calories and 22 grams of fat. Add a bun and condiments and you are up to about 500 calories.
Recipe Modifications and Substitutes
If you love the traditional super bowl fare listed above, but just want to make them healthier, here’s some simple substitutions that will improve nutritional value while cutting fat and calories.
- Swap buffalo wings for baked buffalo tenders. They are available in the frozen food section of the grocery store or make your own. Serve with low-fat ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- Order pizza with whole wheat crust and/or thin crust and choose vegetable, chicken or lean meat toppings. If possible, ask the pizzeria to go light on the cheese.
- For sandwiches or subs, choose low-fat deli meat, condiments and cheeses and offer whole wheat bread as an option. Avoid high fat meats including bacon, sausage, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs and bologna. Look for ham, turkey and chicken deli meats that are 96-98% fat free.
- In dips use non-fat sour cream or non-fat greek yogurt instead of regular sour cream. Go with low- or no-fat cheese as well.
- When cooking ground beef (or turkey) for your seven-layer dip or chili, buy the leanest ground meet you can find. After browning the meat, drain off any fat and pat the meat with a paper towel or use a colander to rinse the meat under hot water.
Maybe it’s time to introduce a new recipe to your friends and family. Here’s a healthy option from the cookbook Wholesome Temptation which contains flavorful foods that are good for you.
½ T. canola or extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. onion, chopped
1 ½ garlic cloves, chopped fine
½ red bell pepper, chopped, seeded
1 T. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ (16 oz.) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
½ (16 oz.) can black beans, drained, rinsed
½ (16 oz.) can pinto beans, drained, rinsed
½ c. frozen corn
½ (28 oz) can tomatoes with juice
½ c. low-sodium V8 juice, spicy version if desired
Sea salt, ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. cooked ground turkey (skinless)
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Stir in onion, garlic and bell pepper. Lightly sauté until onion is translucent, garlic is golden and bell pepper is softened. Stir in chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and oregano. Stir mixture for 30 seconds. Stir in beans, corn, tomatoes and juice. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked turkey and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish as desired. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 108; Total Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Sodium: 169 mg; Carbohydrates: 11 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 7 g.
Looking for more healthy recipes like this? Wholesome Tempation is available in our online store. Even though the book was designed to help cancer patients prepare nutritious meals, it contains a wide variety of recipes that are appropriate for anyone who wants to eat a healthy, flavorful diet. Recipes are low in refined sugar, processed flour, and saturated fats and rich in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to support your immune system
PR News Wire