If you’re planning on attending a (gut-busting) party this Sunday, but you don’t want to drop the ball on your diet, try calling an audible with these waist-friendly swaps.
Jackie London, RD Head of Nutrition & Wellness at WW, shared with Fox News her favorite lightened-up game-day options that are sure to be a touchdown this Sunday. (By the way, have we made enough football puns, yet?)
“Foods served during the Big Game tend to be made from saturated-fat-filled ingredients, which can rack up quickly: lots of breading and frying; heavy cream; red and processed meats; cheese; etc," she said. "While these foods are delicious, it is a long game — and the parties are even longer — meaning there’s plenty of time to graze on snacks that are less-than-satisfying."
Luckily, swapping out heavy, processed foods for fresher, healthier options without sacrificing taste is pretty easy to do, London said.
“Making some small modifications to the menu can go a long way in making the foods healthier without sacrificing taste,” according to the expert.
“If there’s one thing any Super Bowl party is known for, it’s dip: Bleu cheese, queso, beans, sour cream — you name it!” London says. And she’s not wrong — according to a recent nation-wide study of Google search queries, "dip" was most popular football-related search in 20 states.
However, instead of rich or dairy-filled dips, London suggests starting with a salsa base, as it usually touts tomatoes as its first ingredient.
“Bonus: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin A, and lycopene, which are important for general immune health,” she pointed out.
If you prefer a creamier option, London suggests trying a black bean dip or hummus, which provide healthy fat, protein, and fiber. Also, try swapping any sour creams or cheese-based recipes with low-fat or non-fat plain Greek yogurt. You can add extra flavor by getting creative with fresh herbs, or using a seasoning — like "Everything Bagel" seasoning or adobo spice – to add flavor while still eating more mindfully.
And adding a plate of crudité for dunking, instead of chips, can also save calories during the big game.
Instead of the chip-and-cheese calorie bomb, London advises front-loading with fiber-rich pinto beans, skim cheese and blue corn tortilla chips, which have more protein and fiber than other options. To maximize flavor, add fresh tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno pepper and cilantro.
“Higher fiber, a little more protein, and often less sodium (you can DIY the flavors yourself),” London says of this suggested snack swap, as compared to other, less nutritional munchies like salty potato chips or french fries.
“Treat yourself to about four cups of air-popped deliciousness — the volume will help you feel like you’re eating a ton,” she added.
You can also dress up the (sometimes boring) snack option with sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and chili flakes.
Last, but certainly not least, are buffalo wings: But this, too, has met its lower-cal match.
The WW-friendly version suggests using a spicy, reduced-sodium seasoning in place of a buttery sauce – and skipping the deep fryer altogether.
“You’ll keep the flavor you love without all of the breading and deep-frying!”
Visit the WW website for the complete recipe.