• By Dana Sparks

More super healthy snacks for Super Bowl weekend

February 1, 2018

Ever wonder why big-game parties and other large gatherings are classic situations for eating food that’s notoriously bad for you? Perhaps it’s because everyone wants to serve food that’s going to please their guests, and often, these traditional favorites aren’t very healthy. Maybe it’s the fact that food is so intertwined with emotions. Either way, food is how we celebrate — it tends to bring people together. Food is associated with friends and fun. Sometimes people even get more excited about the food than the game itself.

Some of the most popular foods people bring to parties

  • Pizza
  • Fully loaded nachos
  • Fried chicken wings

All are among some of the most popular yet most fat-laden offenders. They all have around 800-1,000 calories and about 50 g of fat in a typical party-sized portion. For example, two pieces of all-meat pizza contain 940 calories and 56 g of fat.

Watch: Healthier food options at a party.

Kristi Wempen and Kelly Tasky are registered dietitian nutritionists at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.

On average, party-goers consume a whole day’s worth of calories during these events. The high-fat, high-salt load might temporarily increase blood pressure and lipids in the blood, but if you’re healthy, you should be able to recover without much difficulty. However, if you have heart disease or diabetes, it can be even more serious. And whether you are healthy or not, overeating leads to weight gain, especially around your middle, which can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives to consider that are both nutritious and delicious.

Check out these healthy
Mayo Clinic Recipes:

Veggie pizza
Southwestern potato skins
Hearty Turkey Chili
Philly Steak Sandwich
Black Bean Burgers
Sweet and spicy snack mix 

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SUPER HEALTHY MEATLOAF

Perhaps you've heard the phrase, "stuffing 10 pounds into a 5-pound bag?" What about making a 4-pound meatloaf with only 1-pound of beef? Here's © Chef Richard's super healthy 4-pound "meatloaf" just in time for Super Bowl weekend. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour. The internal temperature as checked with a meat thermometer should be 165 degrees. Enjoy!
Journalists: Broadcast quality video [TRT 1:05] is in the downloads. Click for more healthy recipes.

INGREDIENTS: 

1  lb. ground beef, 95% lean meat 
6  stalks of celery
1  lb. carrots
½  lb. sweet, raw onions
¾  lb. eggplant
3  cups chickpeas or garbanzo beans
2 tsp. olive oil
1 ½  cups  medium grain brown rice, cooked
1  egg
½  cup sun-dried tomatoes
4  garlic cloves
1  Tbsp. parsley
1  Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1  Tbsp. paprika
2   tsp.  ground cumin
1  tsp.  black pepper

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Healthier food options for your next party

  • Veggie tray with hummus (Try making peanut butter hummus.)
  • Low-fat yogurt-based dips
  • Whole-grain chips and salsa
  • Fruit skewers or a fruit plate
  • Roasted chickpeas or a homemade trail mix made with whole-grain cereal and low-sodium nuts and seeds
  • Infused or sparkling water

You don’t have to sacrifice health for great taste! There are plenty of healthy options that taste great, such as the ones listed above. Otherwise, just put a healthy spin on some of these favorites:

  • Baked wings instead of fried
  • Homemade veggie pizza with whole-grain or cauliflower crust instead of an all-meat pizza
  • Whole-grain chips with salsa instead of cheesy nachos

Additional tips for eating healthy at parties

  • Smaller portions make a big difference
  • Slow down and enjoy; the slower you eat, the more full you’ll feel
  • Get away from the food table so you’re not tempted to go back for more

Is it OK to cheat with a few of my favorite foods?

You’re allowed to have fun and enjoy what you eat. There shouldn’t be forbidden foods as this often leads to overindulgence later. Balance is the key. Another tip: drink a lot of water. It may help you feel more satisfied with less food, where alcohol will lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to overeat.

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Related posts:

Mayo Clinic Minute: Take the guilt out of Super Bowl party favorites

Tuesday Tips: Do you know the difference between a snack and a treat?

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