Diet and Nutrition

6 Healthy Eating Tips for Big Game Day

Diet and Nutrition

Appetizers on the table for the football party.

Super Bowl Sunday, America’s favorite unofficial holiday, is almost upon us. That means team pride, outrageous commercials, and, usually, lots of delicious, diet-threatening snacks like chicken wings and cheese dip.

In fact, Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving as the biggest day for U.S. food consumption of the year. But there are ways to avoid dietary penalties.

We huddled up with UT Southwestern Registered Dietitian Susan Rodder, who thoughtfully drew six tips from her playbook to keep you advancing toward a healthier goal line.

Drop the wing formation

Replace wings with unbreaded barbecued chicken tenders, chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce, or sushi/sashimi dipped sparingly in low-sodium soy sauce, all of which are lower in saturated fat than wings.

Run an alternate ‘za’ route

Replace “meat-lover’s pizza” with a thin-crust veggie topping pizza or pita topped with any of a variety of hummus and olive spreads.

Sack the queso

Unsalted and lightly salted tortilla chips are easy to find; serve with salsa and guacamole, which are much healthier options than queso, with lower saturated fat and sodium.

Punt the pork

Replace pigs (and piglets) in a blanket with mini-wraps or sandwiches; try pesto sauce spread on a tortilla or baby bun with deli roast beef (which is as low in saturated fat as turkey and generally much lower in sodium).

Score a snack touchdown

Balance any of these game-day “player substitutes” with a platter of fruits and vegetables – they’ll disappear fast when they are cut up and ready to eat!

Defense! Defense!

And don’t forget to offer nonalcoholic beverages. If partaking of alcohol is part of your tradition, it’s helpful to drink a “spacer” (for example, sparkling water) between alcoholic beverages to keep your appetite in check and stay hydrated.

According to Ms. Rodder, your health will win out with these tips no matter how the game ends.