Gearing up for the Super Bowl? Us, too! While Super Bowl parties are a blast, they can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to healthy eating. Wings, cheesy dips, nachos, pizza...the list of not-so-great for your foods goes on and on. Not to mention that you'll probably spend three or more hours sitting on the couch.
But your Super Bowl party doesn't have to be unhealthy. In fact, there are some easy swaps you can make for your favorite Super Bowl snacks that make them a little bit better for you and your guests' waistlines. And the best part? These Super Bowl snacks are so tasty that no one will probably miss the fatty and greasy fare!
9 Super Bowl Snack Swaps to Make
1. If serving chicken wings... Traditional chicken wings are full of calories and fat — about 160 calories and 11 fat grams per wing. Avoid all that unhealthiness by making your own grilled chicken wings. Simply coat three pounds of raw chicken wings with a package of herb marinate, a half cup of oil and vinegar dressing, a quarter cup of ketchup and two tablespoons of hot sauce (or more if you like them really hot!). Refrigerate for about an hour and then grill them up! Making them this way allows you to have three wings for 200 calories and 15 grams of fat. Talk about a Super-Bowl-snack improvement!
2. If serving tortilla chips...This Super Bowl, give your tortilla chips a healthy boost by trading your usual ones in for some more nutritious ones. Try Corazonas Tortilla Chips that have 0.5 grams of plant sterols, which are proven to help lower cholesterol (hey come in Lightly Salted, Black Bean & Cheese, and Squeeze of Lime), or skip the corn chips entirely and try a bean-based chip like Beanitos that also comes in fun flavors and is high in fiber.
3. If serving creamy dips...Creamy dips are usually full of fat and calories. If you're making dip from scratch, try swapping Greek yogurt for the full-fat sour cream your recipe calls for, or skip the creamy dips all together and try guacamole or salsa. Guacamole may be high in calories, but it's also high in heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Try this fun guacamole recipe for the big game!
4. If serving potato chips...You've probably been told to served baked potato chips instead of regular ones, but baked chips can be dry and, frankly, a little boring. So switch things up by serving more exciting options like Popchips that come in cool flavors like jalapeno, sweet potato, and salt and vinegar. Or skip the chips entirely and serve crunchy veggies like carrots, celery, snap peas and jicama sticks.
5. If serving pizza...Ordering carry-out or picking up some frozen pizzas may be easy, but your health will thank you if you make your own pizza at home. Plus, making pizza at home doesn't have to be super complicated or take forever! Make some the morning of the Super Bowl and then bake them just before your guests arrive, or make your guests part of the pizza fun by having them help select the healthy pizza toppings. Here are a few healthy make-at-home pizza ideas to get you started!
6. If serving chili...There's nothing like a bowl of chili during the Super Bowl! While most chili recipes are heavy and call for ground beef, try making turkey chili, which is a much leaner cut of meat. Also consider adding extra veggies to your chili like chopped zucchini, carrots or spinach.
7. If serving anything with bacon...Is there anything better than bacon? Well, not really. And while turkey bacon is much better for you, it just doesn't have the same flavor. So, if you're wrapping sausages in bacon or have bacon in a recipe, don't go without it — just halve it. If wrapping, cut a piece of bacon down the middle. If chopping up, just use half as much. Bacon is so flavorful that a little really does go a long way!
8. If serving sandwiches...Whether it's big subs, barbeque sandwiches or mini ones for finger food, cut calories by using less bread. Many bread companies now sell flatbreads or thinner versions of buns and slices of bread. Use these to cut the calorie count of your sandwiches big time!
9. If serving beer...Beer gets a bad rap, but it actually has quite a few health benefits when you enjoy it in moderation (one drink a day for the ladies and two for the men)! So instead of drinking multiple light beers, sip and savor a darker and heavier beer. A 12-ounce Guinness has just 126 calories. Think of it as a dessert!
In addition to these healthy Super Bowl snacks, make sure to get out for a quick game of catch or tag football. It's fun, and you'll burn more calories than watching the big game on the couch!
Are you throwing a Super Bowl party? What healthy snacks are you serving?
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.