Wellness Wednesday – Football Party Snacks with Nurse Lauren
Hi there, Nurse Lauren here with your Wellness Wednesday tip!
It’s that time of year again. NFL playoffs and parties every Sunday! It doesn’t matter what team you are routing for, we know one thing – the amount of unhealthy snacks over the next few weekends will be plentiful. Today, let’s chat about how to make healthy choices for your Playoff and Super Bowl parties.
Let’s play a little game of “Eat This, Not That!”
INSTEAD OF THIS:
- Buffalo Chicken Dip – a football game staple. For your typical recipe including cream cheese, shredded cheese, bleu cheese dressing, wing sauce and chicken, you are talking about 156 calories for two tablespoons. Here’s the rest of the nutritional breakdown: 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 484mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 7g protein. Whoa sodium!!! And this does not include any salty chips or bread that you will be actually dipping.
Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower Bites – you will still satisfy your craving for tangy wing sauce, but you will cut down the amount of calories, fat and sodium in a serving. Check out this recipe from Eating Well. This recipe serving size is 3/4 of a cup (or 12 tablespoons.) That is six times the size of the buffalo chicken dip recipe above! (1 tablespoon = 1/8 of a cup.) Nutrition information per serving: 99 calories; 7 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 8 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 0 mcg folate; 5mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 169 IU vitamin A; 70 mg vitamin C; 33 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 288 mg sodium; 439 mg potassium. Plus this recipe has a nutrition Bonus of Vitamin C (117% daily value.)
Note: These nutritional values do include the bleu cheese dressing served on the side. I suggest you make your own dressing – do not buy store bought bleu cheese! There are many ways to make the dressing a bit healthier, like substituting greek yogurt for the mayonnaise. Serve the dip with a side of carrots and celery instead of chips.
Why is eating foods high in sodium bad for you? Consistently consuming foods with high amounts of sodium can increase your risk of having high blood pressure. Without the right lifestyle changes, high blood pressure may have to be treated with medication. High Blood pressure can eventually lead to heart disease and even stroke.
INSTEAD OF THIS:
- Turkey and Cheese Hoagies – According to the Wawa Nutrition Center, a classic turkey and cheese hoagie with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise has 830 calories with 37 grams of fat (12g saturated fat,) 120 mg of cholesterol, 2930 mg of sodium, 88 grams carbohydrates, 47 grams of protein and 16 grams of sugar (That’s right – and this isn’t even your dessert!.) Lots of calories, high fat content and again with the astronomical sodium (see my soapbox above!)
Low Carb Pesto & Turkey Cucumber Roll Ups – recipe courtesy of The Ambitious Kitchen. In comparison, this recipe is only 52 calories (meaning you could eat 16 of these rolls before you hit the number of calories in the above hoagie,) 3 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of carbohydrates and 1.1 gram of sugar.
Whats the deal with carbohydrates? Are they good or bad for you? Well that depends! Carbohydrates are used by the body as fuel for energy, therefore we need carbohydrates in our diet in order for our bodies to function. Focus on eating more healthy complex carbs such as green vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Avoid eating simple carbs such as cakes, candy, soda and refined sugar products.
Of course, a big part of watching these football games is enjoying some beers while watching it. If you are going to drink, limit how much by deciding before hand how many calories you are designating for alcohol. (Stick to this! Even if your team is winning!) Research how many calories some of your favorite beers are so you are informed when presented with options. Check out The Ten Healthiest Beers according to the Huffington Post.
If you are not hosting and have no control over the menu, follow these steps to try and stay on track:
- Fill up on protein-rich snacks, such as greek yogurt or hard boiled egg whites, before you go. This way you aren’t starving and heading straight to the nachos when you arrive. (Also, be sure to drink a full glass of water!)
- Choose the veggies over the chips if you must dip.
- Drink one full glass of water in between any alcoholic drinks you consume.
- Be mindful of how much you are putting in your mouth. Don’t eat blindly as you watch the game. Keep track of everything. This way you can actually count the calories for the day and know where you stand for the rest of the week.
This is Nurse Lauren, contributor of NursesNOW, signing off with your Wellness Wednesday tip! Remember to follow these tips so you can enjoy socializing during the playoffs without being unhealthy.