Super Bowl Nutrition, Without the Penalties
Do you want your energy level high for the big game? The usual Super Bowl day routine—high-fat food intake, lack of activity (being a couch potato), and excessive alcohol intake—may cause a drop in energy later in the game when you really need it to cheer the Eagles to victory!
Here are some tips to stay lean and alert for the big game.
- Get a walk in, or go to the gym earlier in the day. (No excuses. The game is not until early evening!)
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important if you are planning on consuming alcoholic beverages later.
- Do not skip meals thinking you want to save calories for a splurge. You may end up eating more. Focus on whole grains and higher-fiber foods that fuel your body.
While we’re on the subject of meals, eat a lighter breakfast. Some breakfast ideas:
- Whole grain toast and peanut butter
- Avocado spread on whole grain toast, scrambled eggs
- Oatmeal with almond slivers or crushed walnuts and raisins
Also, go for a light lunch. For example: salad and a protein, or fresh fruit and yogurt.
If you are hosting the party or bringing snacks to a party, remember that the most common Super Bowl foods are often super high in fat and calories. So instead of fried chips try their baked counterpart. You can save 30 calories per ounce (usually 15 to 20 chips).
And increase whole grains by doing the following:
- Try serving bean- or quinoa-based chips.
- Serve popcorn to replace some chips.
- Offer veggies and low-fat salsa, or hummus dips to replace mayonnaise and cheese dips.
You can also stay on track for healthy snacking by thinking about food placement and smaller serving plates. (Larger plates equals larger food intake.) So place vegetable and fruit trays as the focal point of your table. You can still have your favorites, but make smaller portions of higher-fat items available.
Looking for healthier variations on popular Super Bowl food? Try these substitutions:
- Ground turkey or chicken for chili vs. ground beef
- Turkey meatballs for chicken wings or vegetarian-based cauliflower baked mock wings
- Flatbread or thinner crust pizza with veggies
- Hard-boiled eggs with yogurt base vs. mayonnaise, for higher protein and lower fat
Jacki Dwyer, RDN, MS, CDE is a Registered Dietitian/Diabetes Educator at Einstein Healthcare Network’s Gutman Diabetes Institute.