Many of you will be gathering around the TV sets this Sunday for the Super Bowl. This is an opportunity to go wild with poor food choices during the four hours of America’s greatest sports attraction with nearly one of two American’s watching the game and nearly a billion viewers world wide. However, you can decide to eat healthy and I would like to provide you with a few options that will make for a really super healthy Super Bowl.
Sliced Peppers with Salsa
For a homemade alternative to chips and dip, try sliced peppers or other veggie sticks with salsa. Cut up red and green bell peppers and use them as tortilla chips for dipping in salsa. This is a fun way to sneak more vegetables into your diet. You can dip a whole pepper’s worth of “chips” and stay under 50 calories.
Go out on a limb and try something entirely different. These green pods, known as edamame, are a popular appetizer in Asian restaurants. It’s fun to open the pods and pop the young soybeans into your mouth. One serving has 122 calories, and 5 g of fat.
If you’re craving spicy chicken, skip the wings and try lettuce wraps. You can make these at home by wrapping diced spicy chicken and vegetables in a lettuce leaf. Each wrap has 160 calories and 7 g of fat. If you order this appetizer at a restaurant, be sure to share. A plate of four wraps has a total of 640 calories, 28 g of fat, and 650 mg sodium.
Like salad, having a bowl of soup can curb how much you eat during the rest of the meal. The key is choosing a low-calorie option, such as a tomato-based vegetable soup. A 12-ounce bowl has about 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 1,240 mg sodium. Stay away from cream-based vegetable soups, which are higher in calories and saturated fats. When buying canned soup, look for those marked “low in sodium.”
Shrimp cocktail is very low in saturated fat and calories. It’s also a refreshing source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote healthy circulation. To keep the calorie count low, stick to tomato-based sauce. A serving of shrimp with cocktail sauce has about 140 calories.
Stuffing mushrooms instead of potato skins helps keep the portion size down. Mushroom caps filled with cheese and breadcrumbs have less than 50 calories each. That means you can eat half a dozen and still keep your appetizer under 300 calories, along with 19 grams of fat, and 720 mg of sodium.
When you’re craving a meaty appetizer, opt for beef skewers. In Asian restaurants, this may be listed as beef satay — skewers of beef with peanut sauce. At home, you can grill skewers of lean beef with onions, garlic, hoisin, soy, and barbecue sauce. A quarter-pound serving has about 130 calories, 5 g of fat, and 803 mg sodium.
Blake recommends using appetizers to work in healthy foods you might be eating too little of. Seared crab cakes offer an appealing way to get more seafood into your diet. Served with chili sauce, a typical crab cake has about 300 calories, 20 g of fat, and 960 mg sodium.
The best appetizers are low in calories, but satisfying enough to curb how much you eat during the rest of your meal. Salads made with spinach or other leafy greens do this very well. Studies suggest you’ll eat about 10% less during a meal if you start off with salad. A cup of fresh spinach with a tablespoon of vinaigrette has about 80 calories.
Grilled vegetable kabobs offer a nutritious, low-calorie alternative to fried onions. If this isn’t on the menu, ask for a side of grilled vegetables as your appetizer. Veggie kabobs are also easy to make — try skewering onions, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini. Brush with a lower-fat garlic and herb marinade. Two large kabobs will have about 75 calories.
I don’t care who you root for or what will be the outcome of the game. I do hope you practice healthy life styles and consider a consuming healthy food during the game.
This article was modified from WebMD, Best and Worst Appetizers.