Author: Cate Dallas
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Whether you’ll be watching the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl, we all know what that day has in store for us…food, lots and lots of food. Gatherings like this usually involve foods that are high in calories, fat, and sodium, but this does not always have to be the case. Figuring out how to take a typical “party food” and altering it just a little can make a world of difference in the calories, fat, and sodium content.
Here are some recipes and tips to lighten the load and the calories of your plate on Game Day:
- Planning on Hot Wings? Try baking them instead of frying to cut back on the fat content. Fried foods quickly become saturated with the fat it is being cooked in which significantly increases the fat content and the calories. Baking foods like chicken and other meat products actually helps some of the food’s fat to cook out, decreasing the fat and calorie content. Here are some links to some delicious Baked Hot Wing recipes.
- Drop the Cream Soups. While soups generally get the “healthy” label, there are some that are higher in fat, cholesterol, and calories than others. Cream soups are often made with heavy cream or other cream bases to provide the thickness and “creamy” texture. While they may taste delicious, they are often loaded with fat and cholesterol, and not much nutritional value. Instead of preparing these, experiment with broth based soups that typically contain more vegetables and fiber, and significantly less calories and fat. For instance, a 12 oz serving of chicken tortilla soup averages around 200 calories while the same amount of creamy potato soup is nearly double the amount of calories and fat. Try these tasty soups!
- Alter the Dips. A lot of dips are loaded with saturated fat and sodium because they are often made with sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese. This isn’t even counting what your dipping into them. Try switching it up to bean based dips or salsas to add fiber and unsaturated fat (heart-healthy). Here are some flavorful and HEALTHIER dips for vegetables and pretzels.
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to make a “healthier” version of their recipes, but there are some precautions you can take when these not-so-nutritious foods are tempting you.
- Everything can fit in your diet. If you want to splurge and have some fried hot wings with ranch dressing, go ahead, but do so in moderation. Limit yourself to just a couple, and fill up the rest of your plate with some more nutritious foods like vegetables and broth based soups. Practice your self-control, it will be rewarding in the end.
- Use smaller plates. The larger the plate, the more food you can fit on it. Also, make sure you put your dips on a plate and not just dip out of the bowl. This will also help you to become aware of just how much you are eating.
- Don’t surround yourself with food. Leave the food in a separate room from the T.V. or wherever you may be gathering with your friends and family. When you stand or sit next to the food, you will be more likely to consume an abundance of food without even knowing your doing it.
Large gatherings really put our healthy habits to the test. While of course it’s okay to have a “cheat” day every now and then, who says you have to waste it on your super bowl party. Be proud of the healthy habits you've been practicing and do not be afraid to show them off in front of your friends. Who knows, maybe your healthful habits will rub off on those around you and you can share your success and influence the ones you love.