Will you be one of the more than 100 million Americans tuning into the Super Bowl to watch the Patriots vs. the Seahawks? If so, beware of the blitz on chips and dip, nachos, wings, pizza and beer. These football faves can quickly pile on more than 3,500 calories (nearly two days’ worth).
Below are five of my winning penalty-free game day eats:
1. Veg Out: Skip the high calorie chips and veg out! I always serve a large tray of veggies with healthy dips during the game. Veggies pack a powerful nutritional punch in few calories. For instance, a serving of baby carrots is just 35 calories compared to 150 calories in a serving of regular potato chips. Plus veggies have fiber to keep you fuller longer. Celery, tomatoes, broccoli, and peppers are ideal for your veggie platter. If you do offer chips, look for bean-based crisps or pita chips that have less saturated fat per serving.
2. Skinny Dip-it: Most cheesy, creamy dips are high in calories and artery-clogging saturated fat. My go-to dip is hummus because it’s made from beans and keeps sat fat low. Sabra Classic has just 35 calories and less than a gram of saturated fat per tablespoon. And if you’re serving sandwiches, hummus is a great alternative to mayo.
3. Holy Guacamole!: Guacamole is a game day must-have. This year, Americans will devour a record number of fresh avocados—240 million—during Super Bowl week. From a nutritional standpoint – there’s a lot to celebrate. Avocados are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. A tablespoon of guacamole has about 30 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, most of which is unsaturated. Try my favorite slimmed down guac recipe.
4. Perfect Pizza: It won’t be game day without pizza, but did you know that just 2 slices from some delivery chains can cost you nearly 600 calories and over 10 grams of saturated fat? For my parties, I always order thin crust (whole wheat, when available), and I ask for twice the veggies and half of the cheese and meat toppings to slash sat fat.
5. Sip Smart: With just a couple of beers and a few sodas, you’ve added over 500 calories to your game day without eating a bite. Studies show that calories that we drink don’t leave us feeling full like food does. Save most your calories for eating and sip smarter… swap out sports drinks and full-calorie colas for lightly sweetened (or unsweetened) iced tea, seltzer, or diet soda. If you drink alcohol, remember that you’ll be racking up calories quickly. Regular beer has 150 and mixed drinks often pile on 300 or more calories per drink. If I drink, I’ll have an ultra-light beer (some are as low as 55 calories) or I’ll jazz up sparkling water with infusions of lemons, limes or berries.