Big Game Snacking Equals Super Diet Slacking

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Pick Pistachios insteadWhen a player is just not doing their job on the field, the coach yells for a substitution.  Yet, when fun celebrations for watching the Big Game are being planned, most hosts often serve up some of the most caloric and nutrient-poor snacks around. Here's my “game analysis” on how to score some great substitutions for favorite party fare that are still easy and delicious (and shocker better for your health)!


(Image: The Green Nut)


Super Naughty Snack:  Wings and Blue Cheese Dressing


Super Smart Substitution:  Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce


Why:  That deep-fried coating and creamy blue cheese dip is enough to throw a flag on the field. Calories for shrimp and cocktail sauce are less than 140, while chicken wings & blue cheese dressing are nearly 420 – the worst kind of party foul! Additionally, fat and saturated fat are 1g (2% DV) and <.5g (2%DV) respectively in the shrimp, while the chicken wings and blue cheese pile them on with 34 g (52% DV) fat and 7 g (37%DV) saturated fat.


Game Call: Don’t Be a Wimp, Choose the Shrimp!


 


Super Guilt-Filled Snack:  Potato Chips


Super Nutrient-Rich :  Lightly Salted Pistachios


Why: For the same amount of calories and that same satisfyingly salty crunch, but a lot less guilt, pistachios offer many other important nutrients. Based on comparing nutritional labels of leading chip brands, pistachios give you 6g of protein (versus a mere 2g per serving of potato chips) and 3g (12%) of the daily value for fiber per serving (versus 1g (4%) in potato chips). Pistachios are also packed with copper and manganese (20%) – and, who can limit themselves to only one serving of potato chips (about 8 chips)? An ample serving of pistachios (49 per 170 calorie serving) will take you much longer to open and munch on while saving you calories along the way. For those health “nuts” out there, the “green nut” also gives you valuable antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.


Game Call:  Pick Pistachios for Healthy Crunch!


 


Super Mix-Up: Chex Mix


Super Game Saving Swap: Unsalted Air Popped Popcorn


Why: A one-ounce serving of Party Snack Mix yields a ½ cup of snacking and 120 calories, but for a one ounce serving of air-popped popcorn, you can munch on 5 ½ cups for only 90 calories and 1.5 g (3% of DV) of fat, compared to the 3g (5% of DV) of fat in one handful of Party Snack Mix!


Game Call: Ditch the Mix 


 


Super Saturated Fat Snack:  Spinach and Artichoke Dip


Super Fiber-filled Substitution: White Bean Dip


Why: Traditional spinach and artichoke dip is laden with high-calorie ingredients, like sour cream, mayonnaise and cheese.  Get the same full flavor with a White Bean Dip that uses garlic, lemon juice, scallions, pistachios and coriander seed for its flavoring.  These ingredient substitutions can cut up to half the saturated fat from 3g (15%DV) to .5 g (3%DV) and you create a dip that is naturally cholesterol-free (cutting out the 15mg (5%) of cholesterol in the other dip).  And, instead of fat-laden chips, serve up whole wheat crackers or cut veggies for crunch value! 


Game Call:  Whip Up Some Healthier Dip

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