Football season is upon us.
College football started last week, and the NFL starts their regular season this week.
Whether you are heading to tailgate before your favorite team's game, or just gearing up to watch the game with your friends and family, check out some of these tips and recipes to eat healthy while you enjoy the game.
Although every tailgate and football watch party is different, there remains a few regulars.
- Chicken Wings
- Chips and various Dips/Salsas
- Hot Dogs
Now, indulging in some of these delicious foods is not unhealthy, but moderation is always key.
Chips, like Tostitos, are usually coated with salt and may not be as healthy as you think. One serving of Tostitos Scoops, which is one ounce or about 13 chips, is 140 calories, and contains 120 mg of sodium. Instead, you could try baked, kettle cooked, the brand 'Bare', 'Late July Snacks', or any vegetable chips.
Make your own dips, like, guacamole, hummus, queso, and salsa to ensure that there are no, or fewer unhealthy additives. Tostitos Smooth and Cheesy Dip has 200mg of sodium in it's 2 tbsp serving. Some of the 'cheesy dip's" ingredients are as follows; "Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Sodium Phosphate), Whey Protein, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Datem, Sodium Phosphate, And Artificial Color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5).
The condiments that most people put on their hot dogs and hamburgers is what usually pushes the food into the unhealthy zone. Ketchup is often packed with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and salt. Relish is similar to ketchup, boasting high levels of sodium and sugar. While ketchup and relish are a couple of unhealthier condiments, Mustard is seen as almost a super food to some. Mustard has a low amount of most of the bad things, but has a slightly higher sodium amount.
If you want to read more about the different condiments and their different nuances, check out this web page that gave a grade and listed some pros and cons to each one.
If you consume most, or all of these foods on any given Saturday or Sunday while rooting on your team you will have certainly raised your sodium levels to an almost unhealthy level.
For every beer, drink a cup (6-8oz) of water. Drink light beers; they have less calories and fewer ingredients in them. Try to limit your soda consumption to one 8oz-16oz on these days. It also would be helpful if you drank a cup of water after each soda. If you can resist soda, opt for a flavored seltzer water or your favorite low cal beverage.
Try to limit the amount of these foods you eat, or find some healthy alternatives.
If you are looking for a few recipes or ideas to complete your Sunday Football spread, we've got you covered.
This healthy guacamole with frozen peas is lower in fat and calories, but tastes just as delicious as the real deal. The peas add a subtle sweetness and give the guac a vibrant green color!
"In my mind, there’s nothing unhealthy about regular guacamole. Avocado is a healthy fat. That said, using frozen peas in place of a couple extra avocados makes this guacamole lower in calories and fat per serving. Which basically means you can eat more. As a volume eater this makes me a happy camper." Brittany of Eating Bird Food
This healthy version of BBQ Wings is baked, instead of fried. Already a plus, and the BBQ sauce is homemade and easy. It is made with natural sugars, contains no high-fructose corn syrup, and tastes delicious.
This easy, cheesy, Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip will be a hit at your next party, no one will know it’s light!
Tip: For low-carb diets, serve it with mini bell peppers or carrot sticks.
Easy mini pepper nachos. Who says nachos have to be made with tortilla chips? Mini peppers make a great low carb base for your favorite nacho toppings. And it’s kid-friendly too!
This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip has everything you love about buffalo wings, only made into a dip – the perfect party appetizer, no messy hands!
Popcorn, which is one of our favorite satisfying low-cal snacks, gets a fancy upgrade with chili powder, cumin, pepper, paprika, and sharp jalapeño cheese (we suggest cutting the recipe to use one cup of cheese). Choose a low-fat, low-sodium pre-packaged variety of popcorn, or pop your own kernels in a small paper bag in the microwave.
The only hard part to making this snack is slicing the main ingredient. To save some time (and make your life a whole lot easier) use a mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes. The snack is full of orange-hued carotenoids, necessary for the body to absorb Vitamin A. Feel free to serve these sweet potato chips alongside any of our other favorite healthier chip recipes. Dip them in malt vinegar for a tangy twist.
These little guys are unreal. There’s no fruit or veggies in this snack, but they’ve got portion control built right in by baking up in a mini-muffin tin. If you use whole-wheat elbows, whole-wheat cracker crumbs, and Greek yogurt you can turn a classically sinful meal into a healthier snack.
We know, we know, fries are supposed to be made out of potatoes. But we promise the Parmesan crust does an excellent job at hiding the green color of the zucchini—a good source of vitamin C and manganese, the nutrient that promotes calcium absorption. We love dipping the baked goodies in low-cal barbecue sauce!
Salad may sound like a Super Bowl party fumble, but we’ve got a secret to let you in on: You can eat this snack with your hands! Transform a classic Caesar into a finger food by spooning it onto endive spears and topping with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and whole-wheat croutons. Plus, endive is rich in minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron.
You could even add a little chicken to pack in some protein.
This four-ingredient queso might just be your new favorite dip for veggies, tortilla chips, and anything in between.
If you didn't find any recipes you liked here or are looking for more delicious and healthy recipes, give it a quick google search. You will get hundreds of new ideas and recipes to make a fantastic array of snacks and foods.
Let us know of any other recipes you swear by or have found in your searches!
Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I have researched all of this information and have presented it in this way. The recipes I found on google. Nothing I express here should be taken as medical advice and you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.