For the weekend: Have a healthful Super Bowl party

Consumer Reports News: February 06, 2010 08:08 AM

Whether you're a Colts fan or rooting for the Saints, the Super Bowl drives most of us to the standard football party favorites—buffalo wings, pizza, and chips ‘n dip—washed down with beer. Good game food, but not necessarily good-for-you. While no one wants to snack on apples slices and lettuce wedge during the game, many of the party classics are filled with calories, fat, and salt. And since more people gather to eat on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year, except Thanksgiving, you could do yourself and your guests a heart-healthy, waistline-friendly favor with some minor adjustments to your menu.

Keep the chips, but can the greasy, fatty dips. Make salsa or serve hummus instead of cream-based dips. Try blending kidney or black beans, tomato, vinegar, and chili powder to spread on baked chips or pita chips. Check out our food testers' top-rated suggestions for healthier tasty dips and lower-fat snacks, and a recipe for Creamy White Bean Veggie Dip over at the FitSugar blog

Veg it up. Add veggies to anything and everything. Add some to your chili and for dipping, start with standard carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. But try being a bit more adventurous with lightly steamed, room temperature asparagus spears or string beans. They're great dipped into hummus, salsa or any other dip.

Cut down on the condiments. Marinate your wings before cooking them—that way you skip the many dips and dressings when you serve them up. If you're serving sandwiches, give your guests mustard instead of mayo and top with lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and pickles. Also try wrapping them with low-calorie tortillas, instead of bread.

Watch out for liquid calories. Offer beverages low in calories and sugars—and be sure to put out a pitcher of water. If you're serving soda and beer, go for diet soda and light beer (One regular beer ranges between 150-200 calories).

Don't be a couch potato—at least not during halftime. You can use this time to burn some calories. Get up, stretch and walk around, toss around a football, refill your guests' drinks, or take Fido out for a bathroom break.

Ginger Skinner

Read more tips on how to have a heart-healthy Super Bowl Sunday and check out the ShopSmart blog for the scoop on beer for the Super Bowl. 

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