Super Bowl Sunday is a day of fun, football and of course, snacking. Super Bowl foods tend to be notoriously unhealthy, and are full of fat and sodium. If your New Year's resolution was to lose weight or at least maintain your weight, splurging on Super Bowl snacks will only set you off track. Instead, try some healthier options that are just as tasty as their full-fat counterparts.
According to the Calorie Control Council and the Snack Food Association, the average Super Bowl snacker will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat – and that's just from snacks alone. Sure, you may want to splurge – after all, it's only one day – but why not splurge with alternatives that taste just as good, but save on fat and calories?
1. Baked Chicken Wings Instead Of Buffalo Wings
Deep-fried chicken wings smothered in a spicy sauce and dipped in a blue cheese dressing may sound like a tasty snack, but it’s really a caloric nightmare. Buffalo wings are full of fat and sodium, two things you don’t need to be consuming in large quantities. But no Super Bowl party would be complete without chicken wings, so instead of frying them, bake them. Rub them with a little lemon pepper or chili powder and dip them in a low-fat, yogurt dip.
2. Hummus Instead Of Spinach And Artichoke Dip
Although spinach and artichokes are good for you, when they’re smothered in fat-filled cheeses such as cream-cheese and mozzarella, their nutritional value goes down the drain. Try making hummus instead. It’s full of heart-healthy fats and is low in saturated fats. It’s simple to make: just blend chickpeas, olive oil and garlic with your favorite herbs and spices, and even olives and roasted red peppers. You can also find many different varieties in your local grocery store. Serve with lots of veggies for a little extra fiber.
3. Quesadillas Instead Of Nachos
According to Time Magazine, a serving of nachos has 14 grams of fat and has 1,700 milligrams of sodium, which is more than the recommended Daily Value. So skip the nachos this year and make a quesadilla instead. Use whole wheat tortillas, whole black beans, low-fat cheese and lots of veggies.
4. Homemade Trail Mix Instead Of Store-bought Party Mix
Store-bought trail mixes are full of salt and have little nutritional value. Make your own fresh mix instead with your favorite nuts, dried fruits and vegetables and salt-free pretzels.
5. Kale Chips Instead Of Potato Chips
No Super Bowl party would be complete without some kind of crunchy snack, but instead of potato chips, which are high in fat and sodium, munch on kale chips. Kale is full of vitamins C and A and is a good source of fiber.
6. Salsa Instead Of Chip Dips
You have to have something to dip those kale chips into, but those sour cream-based chip dips are just waiting to clog your arteries. Salsa, on the other hand, is low in fat and calories and is full of vitamins A, B6 and C, and is heart-healthy.
7. Flatbread Pizza Instead Of Store-Bought Or Delivery Pizza
Store-bought pizzas can sometimes taste like cardboard and delivery pizza is full of fat and grease. Instead, set up a pizza station where guests can make their own pizza. Use rosemary or garlic flatbreads instead of dough, which is packed with unnecessary carbs. Set out low-fat cheese, vegetables and turkey pepperoni for toppings, which you can pile on without feeling guilty.
8. Wraps Instead Of Sliders
Wraps are a healthy snack and have less fat than a slider. For your vegetarian guests, make a veggie wrap with avocado, which is full of vitamins. For those who want a little protein, add some roast chicken or turkey to their wrap.
9. Tofu Chili Instead Of Store-Bought Chili
This dish will satisfy meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Because it doesn’t have meat, this dish is low in fat and calories. If you’ve never had tofu and are worried about the taste, don’t be. Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, so don’t skimp on the herbs and spices. Tofu is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially protein. Add in some fresh, whole beans for some extra protein and fiber.
10. Fresh Fruit Kebobs Instead Of Dessert
After eating savory and spicy foods all day, you’re probably going to want to cleanse your palate with something sweet. But don’t grab a bag of cookies or cut a slice of cake. Have some fresh fruit kebobs instead. They’re fun to eat and are a great way to end a day of healthy snacking.
If you already have your menu planned out, here are some tips to keep in mind when prepping the food:
- Skip the salt. Consuming too much salt can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and edema. If you're making your own appetizers, don't add any salt to the mix. The ingredients probably contain enough sodium as it is.
- Go low-fat. If you're making a yummy veggie dip, don't buy full-fat sour cream; buy a low-fat version, instead. The same goes for any other ingredient or snack. Pick a low-fat version and save yourself from the guilt.
- Stock up on fruits and veggies. They're a good source of fiber and are easy to sneak onto the snack platter.
And if cutting calories through healthier food isn’t enough, cut some calories through exercise as well. Hit the gym in the morning or play a game of football in the backyard to get in the Super Bowl spirit. Keeping that balance of “calories in, calories out” is the best way to keep healthy and maintain your weight.