Your Six-Pack Super Bowl Game Plan!

Samantha Mark, RD CDN, our Chief Nutritionist, doesn’t want your belly to be a loser on Super Bowl Sunday. Follow her game plan!:

While Giants and Patriots fans rev up for war this week, perhaps there is one place we can all find common ground on Sunday: good-tasting, nutritious Superbowl foods. Whether you are throwing a party, attending a party or cooking up a family meal for game time, be smart in your choices and you can easily be a winner.

Take those old football classics and reinvent them into lighter, flavorful dishes. Whether is chicken wings, chili, dip or potato chips, there are some great tasting ways to give  them a healthier kick.

Chicken wings seem to be a staple food for sports events. Nothing says football like a mouthful of hot sauce and bleu cheese. As delicious as they may be, they could be setting you back hundreds of calories with just a few wings!

Try Sammi’s simple solution: make grilled chicken kabobs and dress them with hot sauce. If you are a bleu cheese fan, add reduced fat bleu cheese to non-fat Greek yogurt. This can act as your dipping sauce. Now you have grilled white meat (which is lean) and you’ve saved yourself excess fat and calories from regular bleu cheese dressing. Talk about a touchdown!

Another easy Superbowl remix is turkey chili. It can be prepared nearly identically to its beef counterpart, just substitute lean turkey meat (the higher the percentage of lean meat, the better). Throw in some beans to pack your plate  vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Another play: Go vegetarian! Skip the turkey and use tofu, beans and veggies. Instead of serving it with fried tortilla chips, use baked chips (preferably whole wheat) or serve with soft, 100% whole-wheat wraps.

It’s never a party without finger foods, right?! Chips and dip are always in style, but there are so many new and easy ways to perk up this played out snack.

For starters, pass on the sour cream; it is full of saturated fat. Grab some avocados and prepare homemade (or store-bought) guacamole. Avocados contain heart-healthy fats your taste buds will appreciate.

Another idea? Get exotic and serve hummus! Made from chickpeas, olive oil and garlic, this dish goes great with whole wheat crackers or fresh-cut veggies.

If you need lighter ingredients, replace full-fat sour cream with low-fat or fat-free  versions. Non –fat Greek yogurt also works well because of its thick consistency and tart taste (and let’s not forget the benefits of the vitamin D and calcium). Remember, what you are dipping into the dip counts, too. Incorporate baked whole wheat crackers and raw veggies to increase your fiber intake and help keep the calorie count down.

Finally, if you are going to consume alcohol, go light. Light beer has fewer calories and is just as tasty. Remember for men, consume no more than two alcoholic beverages and for women just one. (One drink = 5 oz. wine or 12 oz. beer or 1 ½ oz. of 80 proof liquor).

Don’t forget, the real reason you are at a Superbowl party is to watch the game!  Let food be on the sidelines, not the main action. Avoid going to a party on an empty stomach and stick with small portions. May this be your most exciting, best-tasting, nutritious Superbowl yet!

Until next time,

Sammi (@flwsammi)

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