Don't be fooled by all the hype, for some people Super Bowl Sunday is not about football - it's all about the food. Due to the fact that the Super Bowl has turned into a day-long event, people tend to eat non-stop for hours. In fact, it is ranked as the number two "food consumption event" of the year. For people watching their weight who don't want to be uncomfortable crunching carrots and celery sticks, you're in luck - there are many healthy options for you to chow down while watching the big game.
Super Bowl Facts:• By the time the final whistle blows at Super Bowl XLIII, they say, Americans will have downed 156 billion calories, mostly from greasy pizzas, fried chicken wings and beer. • The typical Super Bowl party-goer consumes 1,300 calories through food alone - not including beer, soda and wine. It may be as much as 2,500 calories depending on the person and the party. • One out of seven Americans orders take-out or restaurant-delivery food on Super Bowl Sunday. At least 58 percent order pizza, 50 percent scarf chicken wings and 20 percent go for a sub or sandwich. • One in 20 Americans watch the Super Bowl at restaurants or bars. • Americans double their average daily consumption of snacks on Super Bowl Sunday, consuming more than 33 million pounds of treats in one day. • Super Bowl fans spend more than $50 million on food during the 4 days prior to the Super Bowl. • An additional $11.8 million is sold in beer prior to Super Bowl Sunday • Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year.
Eat this, not that at your Super Bowl party:
1 serving Beef Chili VS. 1 serving Turkey Chili with Beans:345 calories, 7g fat, 7g fiber vs. 178 calories, 4g fat, 10g fiber
Substitute lean ground turkey breast and beans for ground beef in your favorite chili recipe. Top with chopped tomatoes and peppers for a crunchy, hearty texture. Filling up on hearty lean protein and fiber-filled beans will not only provide you with fiber and protein, but you'll save close to 200 calories.
Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce VS. Baked Chicken Fingers with BBQ Sauce: 1170 calories, 85g fat, 3g fiber vs. 470 calories, 8g fat, 2g fiber
Swapping artery-clogging Buffalo wings with a side of full-fat blue cheese dressing, by making your own baked, skinless chicken fingers with barbecue sauce, save you a whopping 700 calories and over 70 grams of fat.
Potato Chips (2 oz) with Onion Dip (1/2 cup) VS. Stacy's Pita Chips (2 oz) with Hummus (1/2 cup):520 calories, 39g fat, 2g fiber vs. 460 calories, 19g fat, 8g fiber
Potato chips with onion dip is a combination of greasy, fried carbohydrates and trans fat. Instead, you can help your heart and cholesterol by switching to whole-grain chips, like Stacy's Pita Chips and hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas which have poly- and monounsaturated fats which are beneficial to your health. Plus, you get the added boost of fiber.
2 slices Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza VS. 2 slices Pizza Hut Thin Crust Veggie Pizza:780 calories, 38g fat, 4g fiber vs. 360 calories, 14g fat, 6g fiber
Super Bowl Sunday is the No. 1 day of the year for take-out pizza. You can still have pizza, but choose the crust and toppings wisely. Trim over 400 calories from your slices by choosing crunchy, thin-crust pizza and order lots of fiber filled veggies on top instead of high fat, high sodium meat toppings.
Fried Nachos with ground beef and sour cream(8 ounces) VS. Baked chips with Turkey Chili and low fat cheese(8 ounces):1560 calories, 86g fat, 10g fiber vs.700 calories, 5g fat, 17g fiber
Nachos may be a Super Bowl party staple, but they're packed with calories, fat and sodium. Assembling your nachos with baked chips such as those offered by Tostitos, topped with lean turkey chili and shredded low- fat cheese will not only save you half the calories, but 17 times the fat of the original version.
1 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot VS. 1 Beck Premier Light:330 calories vs. 64 calories
What's a Super Bowl party without tons of heavy beer drinking? Gulp down a six pack and, well, it isn't pretty that over 1000 calories, the equivalent of a 7 glazed donuts. Choose a light beer instead, or make your own wine spritzers to save on calories.
1 cup of Un-shelled Nuts VS. 1cup In- shelled Pistachios:700 calories, 56g fat, 13g fiber Vs. 340 calories, 28g fat, 10g fiber
From the moment the pre-game interviews start, through the exciting and entertaining commercials and most importantly watching the actual Super Bowl, everyone's eyes are glued to the T.V. Therefore, people aren't watching how many handfuls nuts they are consuming. Although nuts do contain healthy fats, eating straight from the bowl can easily lead you to munch through 1000 calories. In shelled pistachios, contain the lease calories because the shells take up most of the volume of 1cup. Cracking them open allows you to be conscious of what you are doing and therefore slow down consumption time, which can enable one to curb their caloric intake dramatically.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of Skinnyandthecity.com. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto