Super Bowl 45 is on February 6 and whether you’re rooting for the Packers or the Steelers, know a safety from a tight end or a touch-back from a 2-point conversion, no matter. The Super Bowl is all about the ads, the half-time show, (who doesn’t want to see Fergie do her signature back-flips?) and food.
Super Bowl ranks second only to Thanksgiving in terms of food celebrations and more people will go to a Super Bowl party than go out on New Year’s Eve. However, unlike Thanksgiving which provides a balanced meal. The four food groups of Super Bowl aren’t on dietitians’ most-recommended lists.
[sws_pullquote_left]Super Bowl’s “Basic Four” food groups are 1) Chips and dip; 2) Pizza; 3) Buffalo wings; and 4) Beer. [/sws_pullquote_left]
Super Bowl parties begin with the pre-game and continue to the post-Game reports, which can last six or more hours. Some of the Game Day food stats are as impressive as the teams’ and players’ records vying for the World Champ title.
In our next posts leading up to GameDay, we’ll be showing some of our favorite ways to make winning substitutions to lighten up your Superbowl party menu.
Super Food Stats of Super Bowl Sunday
- One to two day’s worth of calories (1,800-4,000)
- $240 million dollars worth of soda
- 70 million pounds of Hass Avocados
- 30 million slices of pizza
- 11 million pounds of potato chips
- 8 million pounds of tortilla chips
- 4 million pounds of pretzels and popcorn
- 2.5 million pounds of snack nuts
Here are some of our best tips to make a leaner Super Bowl menu.
Blitz the Baked Chips
There’s always a “blitz” for chips, so make sure to purchase ones that are baked and not fried. That will cuts the saturated fat and calories. Also, look for whole-grain pita chips, tortilla chips and crackers as most of us fall short on our daily whole grains.
Not only can the chips be deadly at a Super Bowl party, so too can the dips that go with them. To lighten up the dips so that you can actually double-dip (not like Seinfeld’s George) but as in you can have more, because these are that much lower in calories and saturated fat.
Using nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt, lowfat cottage cheese or reduced fat sour cream in place of full-fat sour cream for dips can slash saturated fat, calories and calories in your dip recipes. A cup substitution using a light or reduced fat sour cream shaves 30+ grams of fat and about 250 calories. Whenever you make lower-fat recipes, look for ways to carry the flavor. I like using hot sauces, like Tabasco, in my guacamole, on top of pizza and in my winning wings (chicken breast tenders) because it will add flavor but without adding extra calories, fat and very little sodium.
Other favorite smart dips include salsa, hummus and bean dips.
And, of course, the must-have dip for any Super Bowl party is Guacamole! Guacamole is a must-have for any football party, and that’s good because Hass avocados are naturally nutrient rich. With nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, avocados make a perfect chip companion. We have one of our favorites below but we have a few other favorite Ahh-vocado recipes in another post.
* 2 ripe medium Hass Avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
* 1 large ripe tomato, diced
* 1⁄4 Cup finely chopped red onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
* Juice of 1 large lime
* 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
* 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 1⁄4 tsp salt
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss well
Maintain chunky consistency and serve immediately.
Lighter Spinach Dip
2- 10oz frozen packages chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1- 8oz. can chopped water chestnuts
3 scallions, very finely chopped
1 cup Reduced Fat sour cream (or lowfat Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (optional)
1- 4oz. jar pimento, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Before preparing the dip, be sure to defrost and drain the excess water from two packages of frozen chopped spinach. Combine all of the ingredients, including the drained spinach, in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Chill before serving.
Make a Leaner Main Course
For your main courses, here are some of our best-bet substitutions to slash calories and saturated fat.
Winning Wings vs. Buffalo Wings: Instead of fried wings (which can be nearly 100 calories per wing with dipping sauce), use chicken breast tenders and back, broil or grill them with a traditional “Buffalo” sauce. I’ve used this Smoking Hot Sauce recipe for my chicken breasts tenders and it was great. Once you smother anything with hot sauce, it tastes great. Serve them with a low-fat Blue Cheese dressing.
Thin-crust Veggie Pie vs. Thick-crust Pepperoni Pie: A slize of meaty, cheesy pizza can provide 300 calories and too much sat fat, so instead, go for a medium-sized pizza and order thin-crust. Ask for extra veggies and go light on the cheese. If you do this, you can cut your calories down to less than 250 per slice.
On the Sidelines
Since beer is the fourth food group of Super Bowl, you don’t want to drink a day’s worth of calories. And believe me, it’s easier than you think–especially if you drink mixed drinks.
Instead, opt for light beers or the feathery ultra-lights like MGD64, Beck’s Premier Light, Michelob Ultra. These beer brands have about 55-65 calories per 12-ounces and can literally shave hundreds of calories by making a beverage swap.