Sunday, February 2 is one of America's biggest party and pig-out days -- Super Bowl Sunday. However, most snack and meal choices typically served on this football Sunday aren't exactly healthy. Deep fried, creamy and greasy options abound, but there are better ways to serve up delicious treats for Superbowl XLVIII.
All those creamy, crunchy and salty foods we love to devour on Super Bowl Sunday come at a cost -- lots of fat, sugar, calories and cholesterol. Let's take a look at some of the most popular items and ingredients used in Super Bowl foods and what healthy options you can replace them with:
Typical Choice -- Mayonnaise
Better Choice -- Greek Yogurt or Silken Tofu
Mayonnaise makes foods creamy and rich, but is full of fat and calories. You can use Greek yogurt or silken tofu (very soft) in popular dishes like tuna salad or in dips so you don't have to miss out on that texture that you love. Love ranch? Mix a dried seasoning packet (look for low sodium) with one of these substitutes.
Typical Choice -- Potato Chips and Tortilla Chips
Better Choice -- Sliced Cucumbers
No dip, be it salsa, onion dip or hummus is complete without something crunchy to scoop it up with. Try thinly slicing crisp, fresh cucumbers instead to cut out all the bad stuff. A bonus? Cucumbers are packed with water, which will fill you up faster to prevent overeating.
Typical Choice -- Soda
Better Choice -- Sparkling Water
Soda is incredibly popular for washing down all those foods, and the saltier they are, the more you drink. What you may be craving is the bubbles instead of the taste. Don't skip out on the carbonation -- o for sparkling water and combine it with fresh citrus juice and some liquid stevia extract (zero calories and natural).
Typical Choice -- Beef
Better Choice -- Turkey or Black Beans
For burgers or chili, many people turn to beef. While OK in moderation, beef can be very fattening. Try lean ground turkey next time with the same seasonings and no one will know the difference. Beans are also a perfect option, especially for guests who don't consume meet. Both options are very high in protein.
Now that you're familiar with the ingredients, let's get cooking.
Keep those swaps in mind when looking at recipes you're already familiar with to help you enjoy the same foods, just a lighter version. Consider these tips and recipes when planning your menu for the big game:
Eat a small, healthy meal before heading to a Super Bowl party.
Create a colorful plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Make sure to get plenty of fiber to help you fill up faster.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Stick to three bites of more decadent foods -- you'll get to fulfill the craving without overdoing it.
Put your food selections on a salad plate so you fill it faster.
Consider roasting or baking foods you would normally fry, like chicken wings (remove the skin). Roast chickpeas with your favorite spices for a satisfying snack full of protein and fiber.
Opt out of ordering out for greasy pizzas, make a pizza bar with toasted pitas, crushed tomatoes, low-fat cheese and plenty of fresh vegetables. Have guests make up their pie and toss them under the broiler three or four at a time on a baking sheet to melt cheese.
Instead of bagged, cheesy popcorn, top plain organic popcorn with nutritional yeast/brewer's yeast for a cheesy taste and B vitamins.
Use stocks to add more flavor to foods instead of butter. Look for low sodium options.
Spice things up with citrus and chilies that speed up the metabolism, provide vitamins and can take the place of salt.
Supplements to Keep You on Track
If you're looking for some additional help to stay on track with your New Year's resolution, especially with celebrations picking up and the temperatures rise, consider one of these supplements:
Psyllium -- Psyllium is a type of natural fiber that expands within the gut into a thick, gel-like substance that helps you feel full longer. It also helps the digestive system stay on track and fiber is an essential component of the daily diet for heart health.
Green Coffee Bean Extract -- The key compound in green, unroasted coffee beans is chlorogenic acid. Supplements that contain 50 percent or more chlorogenic acid can help burn fat throughout the body by speeding up the metabolism for greater weight loss.
White Kidney Bean Extract -- Sugars are one of the most types of foods we crave, like breads, candy and pasta. This extract from white kidney beans blocks absorption of carbohydrates and helps reduce your cravings. These substances are burned for energy instead of being stored as fat.
Supplements work best when combined with a balanced diet (everything in moderation and plenty of fruits and vegetables) and regular exercise. Remember, which any supplement, it's crucial to speak with your doctor before adding a product to your routine, especially if you're currently being treated for a medical condition. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't take supplements for weight loss, even natural ones, before more research has been conducted.
We have all the healthy groceries and supplements you need to have a fun-filled and delicious celebration this Sunday at eVitamins. Shop today and enjoy!