Nothing puts the “kick” in kick-off like a plate of Buffalo Wings. Spice up your Game Day with these Buffalo Wing facts!
10Best Editors, USA TODAY 10Best
We all know the truth: Foods that taste best aren’t always best for you. That goes doubly for game day, when boxes of pizza and hot wings stack up like Tom Brady’s Super Bowl rings.
The urge to gorge on Super Bowl party foods Sunday will be great. And honestly, it’s OK to cave. Just this once.
“Just like gorging on veggies one day won’t make you healthy, gorging on hot wings and pizza one day doesn’t make you unhealthy,” said Caroline Passerrello, a dietitian with the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
That said, you should be informed before you grab that second gob of sour cream dip. Here are five of the least healthy Super Bowl foods.
Hot Wings: Sauce is boss. At wrecking your diet
They’ll burn you. (Photo: mphillips007, Getty Images)
A “snack size” portion of five wings from Buffalo Wild Wings topped with their (admittedly delicious) Thai Curry sauce comes in at 500 calories with a whopping 34 grams of fat.
You could skip the fatty sauce and make your own using low fat coconut milk,
said Cordialis Msora-Kasago, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Piling on carrots and celery helps: “They bring crunch to the plate while adding nutrients like fiber which helps you stay full,” she said.
Pizza: Meat, cheese, bread and less meat
A thing of beauty. (Photo: Vicheslav, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
No pizza matches the intensity of football like a Meat Lover’s from Pizza Hut. A single slice from its large, hand-tossed version comes in at 440 calories and 23 grams of fat. But be honest: You’re not gonna eat just one piece.
“Cut calories and fat by opting for the thin crust pizza and substituting half of the meat on the pie with veggies like bell peppers, mushroom and spinach,” Msora-Kasago suggests.
Pigs in a blanket: Treat yo self
Bread and meat. Meat and bread. Yes. (Photo: shanecotee, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Look, there’s not much we can do to redeem this deliciously adorable snack: It’s processed meat surrounded by bread.
Five tiny franks in a blanket from Hebrew National amount to 310 calories with 25 grams of fat — and that’s before you add condiments, which, of course you will. You’re not a monster.
“Give yourself permission to eat, because when you feel deprived you eat more than you intend to,” Msora-Kasago said.
Chips and dip: ‘One of the worst’
Salty chips and dip don’t fill you up and can leave you sluggish on Monday, said Alison Gustafson, a University of Kentucky associate professor of dietetics and human nutrition.
“Potato chips with dip is by far one of the worst,” she said. “Lots of empty calories and sodium and fat”
A serving of Lay’s classic chips with a (not unrealistic) half-cup of Kroger french onion dip runs around 400 calories with 30 grams of fat and, yikes, 930 milligrams of sodium.
If you just have to have that creamy texture, Msora-Kasago has a tip: Swap out sour cream for nonfat Greek yogurt, adding flavor and nixing calories.
Brownies: Not so sweet
Go long. On calories. (Photo: sdstockphoto, Getty Images)
Brownies, even football-shaped ones, rank high among Super Bowl snacks that don’t fill you up and offer little nutrition, Gustafson said.
Decadent treats, like Ghirardelli’s chocolate triple fudge brownies, come with 18 grams of sugar per serving. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t partake.
“The key is to not make it a habit the next day,” Gustafson said.
Bonus item: Beer. Don’t get too crafty
Beer isn’t food, per se. But it’s called liquid bread for a reason. And downing a bottle of Bells Two Hearted Ale during each half of the game will leave you with 424 calories. Consider light beer instead, Msora-Kasago said, and sip water in between to avoid a hangover. If you’re drinking light beer, anyway, you won’t tase much of a difference.
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner
More: What to eat after the Super Bowl? An omelet and soup, experts say
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