Super Bowl Sunday is as much about eating as it is about whether the Panthers or the Broncos score the first touchdown.
Commonly served Super Bowl snacks, however, are often loaded with calories, fat and salt, cautioned Dana Angelo White, a clinical assistant professor of athletic training and sports medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.
But there are some easy ways to make game-day foods delicious and healthy, noted White. She offered the following tips:
- Drink water. If you’re drinking alcohol, stay hydrated. Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Opting for other sugar-free drinks, like seltzer, can also slash calories.
- Pace yourself. Eat normally before kick-off so you aren’t overdoing it even before higher-calorie foods are served.
- Keep things simple. When choosing a Super Bowl party menu, stick with a few key dishes. This way you won’t be tempted to sample many different foods.
- Fill up. High-calorie appetizers may not be satisfying, causing you to eat more. Instead, prepare satisfying main dishes, such as a batch of healthy chili.
- Lighten up. Replace ingredients that are high in calories and fat with healthier alternatives. For example, swap out high-fat cheese or mayonnaise with low-fat cheese or plain Greek yogurt.
- Limit portions. Exercise restraint at the buffet table. You can enjoy a variety of foods but don’t overdo the size of your portions.
- Cut the chips. Replace salty chips with a variety of fresh veggies.
- Be prepared. If you are a guest, bring along a healthy dish.
- Try healthier crowd pleasers. Rather than ordering greasy pizza, make a healthier homemade version with flatbread, chicken, sausage or peppers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more on game-day food safety.