Healthy Super Bowl Food
Top 10 Most Popular Super Bowl Foods and What Their Nutrition Labels Really Say About Them
The Super Bowl is an eating event for millions of Americans, with parties across the country serving up snacks that are often grease laden and artery clogging. The food labels of the 10 most popular Super Bowl snacks can help you decide which Super Bowl foods to serve and which to skip.
1. Chicken Wings
According to the National Chicken Council, five percent of all the chicken wings eaten in the United States over a year are eaten during the Super Bowl. Generally, wings are fried and drenched in sauces, as well as dipped in fat laden dressings. This makes them a bad nutritional choice at an average of 100 calories per wing, not including the dipping sauce.
2. Vegetables and Dip
The NPD Group, a market research company, has found that the most popular snack during the Super Bowl in recent times has been vegetables and dip. While vegetables are certainly a healthy snack, keeping this snack healthy depends on the dip. Fat free alternatives or yogurt-based dips make great healthy substitutions over ranch and blue cheese dips.
Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for pizza delivery, with popular chains routinely reporting record daily sales. The food labels on pizza vary widely, with pizzas including meat and extra cheese racking up the most calories and fat. Thin crust pizzas with a light layer of cheese can be included in a healthy Super Bowl menu.
4. Potato Chips
Potato chips weigh 150 calories per ounce, with about 100 of these calories coming from fat. Although they’re not the best choice nutritionally, choosing a brand that salts their chips lightly and uses healthy oil can make chips a reasonable snack in moderation. Look at food labels for chips cooked in olive, safflower, or canola oil.
Large sandwiches, often made with salami, cheese, mayonnaise, and other high fat foods, are popular during the Super Bowl. Cheese and cured meats are usually high in saturated fat, but alternatives can be used to make sandwiches healthier. Opt for lean turkey, ham, and low fat cheeses while skipping the mayo.
Peanuts and pistachios are the two most popular nuts served during the Super Bowl. Food labels show that these nuts are high in fat, but most is monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy type of fat. Choose roasted nuts with no salt added, as honey roasted varieties have about four times as much sugar as plain varieties.
Chili is a great cold weather food, making it ideal for Super Bowl Sunday. Ground beef versions of chili have nearly 300 calories per cup, with up to 15 grams of fat per cup. Healthier versions can be made by skipping the meat or substituting boneless, skinless chicken breast or lean ground turkey for the ground beef.
8. Homemade Dips
Dips are popular items for potlucks during the Super Bowl. The most popular dip during the Super Bowl is seven layer dip, which is full of cheese, beef, and sour cream and packs in hundreds of calories per serving. A better choice is a bean dip made with reduced fat cream cheese.
9. Cheese and Crackers
This is a classic party combination that often shows up at get-togethers during the big game. Hard cheeses such as cheddar typically contain around 110 calories per ounce, with about half of those calories coming from saturated fat. Cheeses made with two percent milk paired with whole grain crackers lighten this snack up.
10. Salsa and Chips
Salsa is a great alternative to heavy dips, with plenty of vegetables and only about 20 calories per serving. Baked tortilla chips can accompany this healthy dip, making it one of the best choices during the Super Bowl. Fresh or homemade salsas are the healthiest and best tasting choices.
There are plenty of foods served during the Super Bowl that can expand your waistline, but choosing wisely and making healthy substitutions will keep your party fun without the guilt of eating poorly.