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Healthy choices for the Super Bowl

21 January, 2015

The Super Bowl, an event long awaited by football fans, has turned into a festive occasion that brings together family and friends.

So it’s party time with chicken wings, cheese nachos and beer to wash it all down! But if you’re watching your weight, blood sugar or cholesterol, such foods that are hot favourites of the American football championship finals can pose a problem. So here are five tactics for informed fans.

Make a touchdown with chili

chiliIt’s just so easy to overindulge in chicken wings and crisps, which are not only full of fat and salt, but also don’t satisfy hunger. The healthier option would be to take out the crock-pot and prepare a nourishing chili. Beans and vegetables contain protein and fibre, which are both essential for making you feel fuller.

Cause a sensation with a popcorn bar!

In addition to being a whole grain (yep!) popcorn is a great alternative to crisps. Avoid adding salt to it and instead entice your guests with a whole array of seasonings: olive oil, herbs, black or Cayenne pepper, curry, Tabasco, or grated Parmesan.

Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt

guacamole

The consistency of Greek yogurt makes it the dip of choice, the first time and every time! Use it in your favourite recipe to replace sour cream, mayonnaise or cream cheese. Salsa, hummus  and guacamole are also excellent choices.

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Forget traditional crisps and bake tortillas!

Cut tortillas or whole grain pita into wedges and bake at 180°C (350°F) for a few minutes until they turn golden brown and crispy. crispy-tortillasYou’ll be surprised to learn that both the sweet as well as the savoury versions of homemade crisps taste delicious, topped with ground cinnamon and lemon juice. No time to cook? Then go with store-bought baked corn chips.

Alcohol: Have a plan B

When alcohol is part of the menu, the calories start to add up fast. Opt for low-alcohol beer or wine instead of more calorific beverages. Limit your alcohol consumption to 2-3 glasses if you’re a man and to 1-2 if you’re a woman. To avoid being empty-handed, plan an alternate beverage like sparkling lemon water, an alcohol-free “Bloody Caesar” or even a homemade punch!

Did you know that?

A snack that’s loaded with fat, sugar and salt (we’re talking standard Super Bowl fare here) can cause bloating and lower your energy level. No matter what you decide to put on the menu, eat and drink in moderation to fully enjoy your day. A tip? Lay out the dishes some distance away from the sofa! Having to get up and use small plates will help you binge less.

Happy Super Bowl!

Healthy Meal Planner

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Author

Joëlle Emond

Joëlle Emond

Registered Dietitian, RD at Clinic NutriSimple

Passionate about food and health, Joëlle Emond always finds a way to convey her desire to cook and eat healthy! Good communicator, she can be found both in print media and on television. She is the founder of 123Nutrition, a company through which she delivers lectures on healthy eating.

Joëlle Emond

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