7 Heart Smart Superbowl Swaps
Watching the Superbowl doesn’t have to come with a side of calorie overload and artery clogging saturated fat. Even if you watch your portion size, much of the typical Superbowl fare can quickly add up to more calories, saturated fat, and sodium than you need in an entire day — ironic considering that this great American sports tradition falls in the same month as national heart health month! The solution? Swap out your favorite game-day foods with these seven healthier (but equally delicious) versions. It’s a win-win they way we see it, honor your team and honor your heart. Go team!
Chicken wings: They may be small, but chicken wings can pack a SERIOUS calorie-sodium double whammy. In part, the calories come from the breading and deep frying — but the traditional blue cheese sauce also contributes a fair share of calories and sodium. One order of Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese contains 1490 calories. Try these delicious, flavorful Sticky honey chipotle chicken wings a quarter of the recipe (including the sauce) is around 250 calories and 300mg sodium — and you can lower the calories and saturated fat even more if you remove the skin before marinating!
Pizza: Pizza can be a deliciously heart-healthy food if it’s made with a thin crust (preferably whole grain), lots of veggie-rich toppings, and a light sprinkling of flavorful cheese. A thick crust, meaty toppings like sausage and pepperoni, and heavy cheese will leave you down around 500 calories, 10g saturated fat, 1200mg sodium, and only 2 grams of fiber. Instead, try this Butternut squash, spinach, and goat cheese pizza that we created for SELF magazine.
Spinach artichoke dip: You might need to sit down for this — an order of spinach artichoke dip with chips can pack in more than 1600 calories and more than twice your daily saturated fat allowance. Even if you share with 4 other people, you’re still getting almost as many calories as you need at lunch! Try this flavorful Spinach artichoke dip with bacon — because it packs in so much flavor, it’s easier to stick to the 1/4 cup portion size! And it uses lighter versions of cream cheese and mayo, to keep the saturated fat reasonable. If you want to keep calories even lower, and add more fiber, dip carrot and celery sticks into the dip, instead of bread/crackers/chips.
Guacamole and chips: Avocados are loaded with good-for-you monounsaturated fats — the heart-friendly fats. But because they’re rich in fat, they’re also rich in calories. The creamy dip is also packed with sodium, as many restaurants add lots of salt to add flavor. Dilute the calories while adding big-time sodium-free flavor, by making Avocado-mango salsa to serve with whole grain chips or as a topping for turkey burgers.
Potato skins: An order of loaded potato skins from a restaurant will easily contain over 1000 calories. Try this recipe for Mitchell’s Loaded Baked Potato Skins — 124 calories for a very loaded potato skin means you can have a few different apps and still stick to your calorie budget.
Pasta salad: Large amounts of full-fat mayo and too little veggies make pasta salad a pretty heavy option. Try our Artichoke and Tuna Pasta Salad, which delivers the heart-loving combo of flavor, fiber, omega 3s, and protein all for just 179 calories per cup.
Chili: How amazing is a bowl of hot chili on a cold day while you’re inside cheering for your team? Perfection. But with nearly as much sodium and saturated fat as you need in an entire day, a bowl of traditional chili might not be your best bet. Instead of opting for a traditional beef chili, try our Turkey and Bean Chili. It packs a wallop of spicy flavor, less than half the calories and sodium, a fifth the saturated fat, and more than twice the fiber (some cholesterol lowering soluble fiber!) of traditional beef chili. Top it off with some shreddd reduced fat Mexican blend cheese and a dollop of plain 0% Greek yogurt.