Henrico Doctors' Hospital - February 02, 2020

The Super Bowl only comes around once a year. So why not binge on your favorite greasy and sugary snacks when cheering your team to victory? While it may be tempting to reach for those unhealthy snacks, it may not be the best choice for your waistline or overall health.

What makes some snacks unhealthy?

The American Heart Association advises against eating too many foods high in sodium, sugar, and fat. Foods to avoid that can be high in calories include:

  • chips
  • fried chicken
  • pizza
  • cookies
  • cold cuts
  • cheese
  • sweets

Tips for a healthy game day

Don’t get sacked by unhealthy food choices. Stay on offense with these game day tips:

Check food labels before buying

Snack foods are often processed and can contain harmful additives

Make your own

There’s no need to give up your favorite snacks. Try adapting recipes to make them healthier by:

  • Using free or low: fat, sodium and sugar options
  • Baking, boiling or microwaving instead of frying
  • Using fruit, vegetables or spices to add extra flavor
  • Cutting unhealthy ingredients portion size by half

Avoid overindulging in alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk for many health problems. The American Heart Association recommends an average of one to two drinks per day.

Practice moderation

It can be hard to pick and choose healthy options at a party where you have little control over the options. Be mindful and make smart choices.

Healthier doesn’t mean boring

No one wants to put a damper on the game with “boring” healthy food. Search the web and social media for some fresh ideas, or try one of these options from the American Heart Association. Either way, get ready for a healthy, happy Super Bowl!

Saucy Boneless Chicken “Wings” with Red Ranch Sauce

85 calories per serving, 13 grams protein, 0 grams fiber

Ingredients:

Red Ranch Sauce

  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free yogurt (plain)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Chicken

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, all visible fat discarded, cut into 3 x 1/2-inch strips (16 strips total)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Stir together the Red Ranch Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. In a second small bowl, stir together 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Stir in the flour.
  3. Coat the chicken strips in the chili powder mixture, gently shaking off any excess. Using your fingertips, gently press the coating so it adheres to the chicken. Place the strips in the slow cooker. Add broth around the chicken. Cook, covered, on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Ranch-Chive Popcorn

184 calories per serving, 3 grams protein, 4 grams fiber

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil (divided) or 4 Tbsp safflower oil (divided)
  • 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried chives
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. In a heavy-duty large pot, warm 1 tablespoon canola oil and a few popcorn kernels over high heat. Wait a couple minutes until these kernels have popped—this shows the oil is at the perfect popcorn-popping temperature.
  2. As quickly as possible, add in remaining popcorn kernels and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Shake the pot constantly as the kernels pop, cook until the popping slows down, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from heat but keep the lid on; some remaining kernels may continue to pop.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together oil and seasonings.
  4. Carefully transfer the hot popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle with the herbed oil, tossing.

Cinnamon Sweet Tortilla Chips with Fruit Salsa

66 calories per serving, 1 gram protein, 2 grams fiber

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 drops cinnamon-flavored liquid stevia sweetener
  • ½ packet stevia sweetener packet (organic or natural) or ¼ teaspoon stevia sweetener (organic or natural)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup diced mango (from ½ of a medium mango)
  • 1 medium kiwifruit, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup pineapple tidbits, canned in their own juice, drained
  • ¼ cup diced strawberries (about 2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 squeezes tropical punch-flavored stevia water enhancer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, cinnamon-flavored liquid stevia sweetener, stevia sweetener, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Place half of the tortilla wedges in a medium bowl. Drizzle half of the oil mixture over the wedges. Repeat with the remaining tortilla wedges and oil mixture. Using a spoon or clean hands, toss the wedges with the oil mixture.
  4. Arrange the wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Using a spoon or clean hands, toss the wedges with the oil mixture.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Turn over the wedges. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the wedges are golden brown and crisp. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the orange, mango, kiwifruit, pineapple, strawberries, cilantro, lime zest, and tropical punch-flavored stevia water enhancer. Serve with the tortilla chips.