Healthy Super Bowl Alternatives
One of the most highly anticipated Sundays of the year is upon us, so cue the Buffalo wings, pigs in a blanket, and onion dip. That’s right… We’re talking about Super Bowl Sunday, which is often associated with processed and refined “finger foods.”
Many of us typically spend the night eating in front of the TV to avoid missing any of the action-packed game. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans tend to eat around 2,400 calories during the game alone on Super Bowl Sunday.
Of course, rather than focusing on calories, we at Integrative Nutrition believe in balance and progress over perfection. We also recognize that the Super Bowl is an important annual tradition for many – and food is a big part of it. Allow yourself to enjoy the festivities and know that you don’t have to have an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to Super Bowl snacking. In fact, rather than taking away your favorite Super Bowl snacks, consider adding whole-food options alongside your typical spread.
Whether you’re hosting some friends, attending a party, or simply having a quiet evening at home, here are a few ways to boost the nutrition of some Super Bowl favorites.
Dips are a Super Bowl staple. If you’re looking to replace sour cream or mayonnaise, try Greek yogurt; it has a perfect dipping texture with a protein boost. Or switch things up by choosing a bean-based dip, such as a spicy black-bean hummus, which is likely to be made with natural, whole ingredients. Plus, you can always include some bell peppers, celery, and carrots to go with your dip.
There are many ways to put a healthier spin on this hearty dish! If you’re sticking to a more classic chili, we recommend buying organic and grass-fed beef when possible. For a lighter alternative, you can stick to a bean and vegetable chili. Gluten-free grains, like quinoa, are also a great add-in because they tend to work for a variety of dietary styles among guests.
Store-bought chips are often high in sodium, preservatives, and lower-quality fats, but you always have the option to make your own! Buy vegetables like sweet potatoes or plantains, slice thinly, top with your go-to spices, and bake them to get that satisfying crunch. Plus, you might find that you’re full for a longer period of time by eating real, unprocessed snacks.
We love the cauliflower craze that seems to be popping up everywhere – from pizza crust to crackers and rice. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we love them as a base for Buffalo wings, too! Not only is cauliflower one of our favorite cruciferous vegetables with mild flavor, but it pairs well with a savory Buffalo sauce. Never tried it before? No sweat! Here’s a delicious recipe from IIN grads the Balanced Beyars just in time for you to try this weekend!
Photo via the Balanced Beyars // @balancedbeyars
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