How to Make Super Bowl Foods Healthier

How to Cut Fat and Calories From 9 Classic Super Bowl Dishes

Forget Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is the real American diet marathon. Every year on a cold Sunday in February, millions of Americans sit down to drink beer and likely eat some of the most unhealthy foods you can think of. A study conducted by the Calorie Control Council in 2015 reported that the average American consumes at least 2,400 calories during the four to five hours they spend watching the game. Ouch.

Well, there goes your New Year's resolution.

No one wants to chow down on celery while watching the Los Angeles Rams play the Cincinnati Tigers. (Celery is only good for dipping blue cheese between buffalo wings; everyone knows that.) But there are ways to make the most popular game-day food not so bad for you.

"It's important to make healthy food exchanges every day, not just on Super Bowl day," Gabriele Geerts, a registered dietitian at meal kit delivery service Green Chef, tells AskMen. "Since the Super Bowl is a huge food-consumption holiday, it's a great opportunity to make some classic dishes healthier and avoid straying too far from your nutritional goals."

Gooey pizza pies are a staple in soccer, and there's a fairly simple way to cut down on the carbs in the dish. Dana Murrell, executive chef at Green Chef, suggests swapping out traditional pizza crusts for pre-made cauliflower pizza crusts from the freezer aisle.

"There are even some that only have a regular base crust that allows you to customize the top. It's a great low-carb or gluten-free alternative, and it also helps to add veggies." Murrell explained to AskMen. "However, if you want a more traditional pizza, there are many toppings you can use to make it healthier. Substituting turkey pepperoni for regular pepperoni is an easy swap that no one will notice. Adding more veggies adds flavor to the pizza - like fresh spinach, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes."

Beans. Sour cream. Avocados. Cheese. Salsa. Tomatoes. Onions. These amazing ingredients combine to make a delicious seven-layer dip that will almost certainly be a hit at any Super Bowl party. Steve DiFillippo, chef and owner of Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse and official Taste chef on behalf of the Patriots (NFL), says that by simply skipping the pre-made sauces and making them from scratch, this staple can be made healthier. can be made healthier. "Use homemade ingredients," he tells AskMen. "Homemade black bean puree and fresh avocado work great. Skip the sour cream and use plain Greek yogurt."

How to Make Super Bowl Foods Healthier

Can you still enjoy the Super Bowl if you don't melt cheese on your chips? For up-and-coming chefs who want to make their nachos healthier, celebrity chef Cat Cora tells AskMen that you should consider using an air fryer instead of buying fried chips. When it comes to toppings, she suggests swapping full-fat cheese for fat-free feta, using low-fat sour cream and filling up on veggies.

Why eat regular chips when you can dip them in a delicious French onion dip? It's really hard to give it up, so it's necessary to make the swap to make it better for you. Top Chef alum and Black Market Liquor Bar owner Antonia Lofaso suggests removing one standard ingredient.

"To make your French onion dip as traditional and flavorful as the original, omit the mayonnaise altogether, as it's often a processed product, and instead use full-fat sour cream," she suggests to AskMen. "I also recommend adding vegetables to the dip - like chopped spinach, roasted peppers, and/or marinated artichokes - to give the sour cream a creamy flavor."

If anyone is coming to the barbecue on Feb. 3, the burgers are not to be missed. If you're trying to be healthier, eating a bison burger is a great alternative to a beef burger, even one that's 90 percent lean, says DiFilippo. If you insist on a beef patty, "add a lot of vegetables," celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck tells AskMen. "Cook two very thin patties and sear them, season them with salt and pepper, and then add mustard to the patties for extra flavor. extra flavor. Add tons of veggies in between - lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, avocados."

Nearly every Super Bowl party across the country ends with a bucket full of chicken bones that were once delicious buffalo wings. Instead of buying wings from your local bar, Cora recommends using an air fryer yourself. When preparing the chicken wing sauce, she suggests using coconut oil instead of butter; coconut oil is rich in saturated fats and will raise your good cholesterol, not your bad!

If you insist on buying pre-made sauces, Lofaso (who also owns a catering company in Southern California) suggests looking for sauces with the least amount of sugar. "Many bottled sauces in stores are processed and contain additives to extend the shelf life of the sauce," she explains. "If you want to add sugar, that's fine! But you can add your own natural sweeteners like honey, molasses or agave."

How to Make Super Bowl Foods Healthier

Soccer fans will fill their bowls with chili, which can easily make you healthier. Merrell suggests adding vegetables to your slow cooker in addition to meat and beans. Try sweet potatoes or winter squash, which are good for the long simmer that chili needs. She also likes to season her chili herself to control the salt content in the dish. This will prevent your sodium intake from getting completely out of control.

A staple of any soccer viewing party (or Maroon 5 for the halftime show, depending on why you're actually watching) is potatoes and cheese, which are mixed with bacon, onions and potato skins. Cora suggests using sweet potatoes instead of the traditional russet potatoes, or using smaller potatoes, such as minnow seeds, so people eat less of them. When topping with homemade ranch, she suggests using Greek yogurt as a base.

When you hear the words "spinach" and "artichoke," it tricks your brain into thinking you're not eating something that's bad for you. However, you have to make some swaps to lose fat. "My favorite substitute for dips containing sour cream or mayonnaise is full-fat Greek yogurt," Murrell explains. "For a substitute for chips, I like to use pre-cut carrots sliced with a wavy knife. Another favorite is psyllium flakes in place of chips." While it's hard to resist those savory, fried treats, choosing healthier foods to dip is an easy way to slow down calorie consumption.

How to Make Super Bowl Foods Healthier

Most of these swaps are easy to accomplish and your guests may barely notice, but your body will. Geerts adds, "Don't forget: not everything has to be swapped or substituted. It's just as beneficial to add nutrients like fiber and protein to your dishes-think nuts, chopped vegetables, beans, and Greek yogurt!"

If you're finding it hard to resist all of these tasty treats, Gilts suggests remembering the importance of portion control. "Don't let other people serve you. This will allow you to control your portions," she says. "Standing or sitting across from your food during a race helps eliminate mindless snacking. Remember to eat a balanced diet before the game! If you're starving, you're more likely to overeat."