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Super Bowl snacking: Tips for staying healthy

A seven-layer potato skin snack might show up

A seven-layer potato skin snack might show up at your Super Bowl party. According to the Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association, the average viewer grazes about 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat during the big game celebration. (Credit: AP)

Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a day that showcases skill, strength and perseverance.

On the football field, sure, but what we’re talking about is what it takes to resist all the snacks that come with the game. After Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is next up on the list of days when Americans are likely to consume the most calories (and don’t forget, on Thanksgiving, the average person has 3,000 to 4,500 calories on their dinner plate).

Nina Eng, chief dietitian at Plainview Hospital, helped to shed some light on just how many calories many of us are filling up with on game day. “According to the Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association, the average viewer grazes about 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat during the big game celebration.”



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To help ease the damage on your waistline, Eng offers these tips for game day snacking:

-- Start with an assortment of colorful, crunchy fresh vegetables and fruit, then add a healthy dip. Hummus, salsa and guacamole are great choices to replace dips made with cheese or sour cream. You can also substitute fat-free sour cream, fat-free yogurt or Neufchatel cheese -- which naturally has less fat than other full-fat cheeses -- in your favorite dip recipe.

-- Skinless chicken wings that are seasoned and baked in wing sauce are a delicious lower fat alternative to traditional fried wings with skin.

-- Try baked tortilla chips served with either salsa, bean dip, or chili made with lean turkey meat to replace higher fat ground beef.

-- Popcorn is actually a great snacking choice provided it is not drowning in oil and butter. Try adding some shake-on flavorings (butter, cheese, spice blends).

-- Remember that beverages such as soda, juice, and beer can add empty calories and may also increase your appetite. Your best choice is water.  If you do choose to drink alcohol, remember moderation.

In addition to these tips, Eng also suggests eating before you go to any big game parties. “If you skip meals in an attempt to save calories, and arrive at the party hungry, there is a very good chance that you will overeat.”

Lastly, Eng reminds partygoers (and we agree!) that a Super Bowl party is a social event, so put down the munchies and get to talking and watching!

What are your tips for game day snacking? Let us know in the comments field below.

Tags: Super Bowl , snacks , food , football , party

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