Score with these tips to make healthier game-day choices
Sure, the Super Bowl is an excuse to load up on appetizers and party food, but you can win the calorie game if you make these healthier choices:
1 ounce of peanuts (about 30 peanuts) is 166 calories. Peanuts are chock-full of nutrients, including vitamin E, folate, fiber, niacin and magnesium. They also contain a large amount of protein, which helps keep you feeling full longer. But they’re also very high in calories. Healthy alternative: Don’t keep a huge bowl in front of you, where you’ll mindlessly shovel them down by the handful. Try to eat one at a time.
5 tortilla chips with seven-layer dip come in at a grand total of 280 calories. Just a little seven-layer dip—with refried beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream and cheese—is serious business that will cost you serious calories, about 30 per dip. Five restaurant-style tortilla chips are 70 calories. Healthy alternative: Make the dip yourself using low-fat cheese and sour cream and black beans instead of refried. Or switch to salsa. Two tablespoons have about 15 calories. Choose light or baked chips.
2 slices of Domino’s Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza, hand-tossed crust, large, have a whopping 720 calories! Healthy alternative: Get thin-crust pizza with veggies.
5 Buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dressing are 599 calories. The wings are fried and high in calories by themselves. Add blue cheese dressing and you’re committing caloric suicide! (You’re in good company, by the way. Americans will eat 1.3 billion wings over Super Bowl weekend.) Healthy alternative: To cut down on calories, use hot sauce without blue cheese. Or make your own wings, going skinless and baking instead of frying them.
10 potato chips with French onion dip are 705 calories. Let’s do the math: One chip is 10.5 calories, and every dip of dip is 60 calories. And just like that, a handful of chips has nudged you into overload before the first quarter is half-way through. Healthy alternative: Try popped or baked-style chips, and make your dip with low-fat mayo or non-fat yogurt.
1 cup of Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn is 91 calories. As a snack, popcorn can be healthy because it’s a whole grain. But nobody stops at 1 cup of popcorn, and when you add butter and lots of other high-calorie toppings, it loses its healthy status. Healthy alternative: Eat air popped popcorn or make it with cooking spray in a pan covered with a lid. Skip the toppings.
2 KFC Original Recipe chicken drumsticks have 320 calories. Deep-fried chicken is very high in calories, though believe it or not, extra crispy has fewer calories. Healthy alternative: Make your own. Coat skinless chicken with whole-grain bread crumbs and bake it.
2 bottles of Budweiser contain 290 calories. Beer and football go together like the high school quarterback and the head cheerleader, but each beer is 145 calories. Healthy alternative: Go with a very light beer.
1 meatball sub has about 850 calories. Meatball subs come fully loaded—meatballs, cheese and bread—and they push the calorie envelope. Healthy alternative: Switch to turkey meatballs, pita bread and low-fat cheese.
1/2 rack of T.G.I. Friday’s baby back ribs is 900 calories. We get it: Ribs are yummy. They’re also good and packed with calories, fat and sugar. Healthy alternative: You could make your own ribs, trimming visible fat before and after cooking. To avoid some of the sugar in the sauce, load them with seasonings, cook them partially, brush them lightly with sauce and then finish cooking.