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Supercharge Your Super Bowl Snacks

Healthy Lifestyle

Game time loser: Your diet

The biggest game of the year often comes with the biggest number of calories. Snacks and the Super Bowl simply go hand in hand, and often time those snacks aren’t exactly high on the “healthy” list. Instead, they’re packed with saturated and trans fats.

Tackle those fats

Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 cause of death and disability for those with Type II diabetes. Eating a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and rich in the healthier fats (for example: walnuts, olives, avocadoes, olive oil and canola oil) is important for a healthy heart.

It's more important to eat foods (and yes, that includes your game-time snacks) that are low in fat; especially foods low in saturated fat. Remember also to avoid trans fat, since this may increase your risk of heart disease.

Are any of these foods in your diet now?

Saturated Fat

  • Coconut and palm or palm kernel oils

  • Butter

  • Cream or Half-n-Half

  • Regular cream cheese

  • Regular sour cream

  • Solid shortening

  • Lard

  • Partially hydrogenated oils (i.e., stick margarine)

  • Full fat cheese (i.e., American, cheddar)

  • Fatty meats (i.e., bologna, pork sausage, bratwurst, pickle loaf luncheon meat)    

Trans Fat

  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Frozen pies and other baked goods
  • Frozen pizza
  • Fast food
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Stick margarine
  • Regular coffee creamers
  • Refrigerated dough products
  • Ready-to-use frostings

Avoiding the diet penalties

The best way to take charge of your diet is to read nutrition labels and make sure the saturated and trans fats in your food are less than 3 grams per serving. A person who needs 2,000 calories each day should eat no more than 15 grams of saturated and trans fat daily. 

"Eating a low-fat diet helps with weight loss, so limit your fat intake to no more than 25-35 percent of your daily calories, or about 55 to 67 grams of fat each day."

Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE
Methodist dietitian

Try these tips for a healthier heart and a healthier you!

  • Switch from stick margarine to soft margarines (ex: liquid, tub or spray)
  • Try baking, steaming, microwaving or grilling instead of frying in shortening or lard
  • Eat the healthier fats (for example: walnuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, olives, and avocados)
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products and lean cuts of meats and skinless poultry.

Need some ideas for healthy Super Bowl snacks? 

Check out these recipes from the Methodist Hospital Café 8303 Chefs:

Edamole (Edamame Dip) 

Ingredients: 

  • Garlic
  • Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Hot sauce
  • Cumin
  • Frozen shelled edamame
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend till desired consistency. Serve with veggies, tortilla chips or pita bread. 

Chicken Skewers

Ingredients: 

  • Chicken
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Fresh minced ginger
  • Minced garlic
  • Brown sugar

Directions:

Slice chicken breast in long thin pieces and set aside. Combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic and brown sugar for marinade and whisk. Add chicken and allow to marinade for a couple hours. Put chicken onto wood skewers and bake in oven till done.  

Bruschetta

Ingredients: 

  • Fresh baguette
  • Tomato
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt

Directions:

Slice baguette on a bias and rub lightly with oil. Toast in oven. Combine diced tomato, olive oil, chopped garlic and fresh basil. Mix and add salt to taste. Top toasted baguette with tomato mixture and enjoy.  
 

Martha Nepper

About the Author:

Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE, is passionate about healthy eating and nutrition. Her favorite part of being a registered dietitian nutritionist is seeing someone become healthier through better nutrition and adding more activity in their lives.

You can find Martha helping patients with healthier nutrition at the Methodist Center for Diabetes and Nutritional Health.

See More Articles by Martha Nepper