Super Bowl Of Bad Eats
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resourceHundreds of millions will watch the big game...
billions of dollars will be gambled on its outcome... and tons of pounds will
be gained during the non-stop feast fests that accompany this annual
Yes, ladies and gentlemen -- and children
of all ages -- I am talking about Super Bowl Sunday. You don't have to be a
sports fan to participate. Barbara and I are hosting a Super Bowl party and of
the 20 or so attendees, I would say maybe half could name the teams playing for
NFL bragging rights (Tampa Bay and Oakland), their nicknames (Buccaneers and
Raiders) and their coaches (Jon Gruden and Bill Callahan). But just about all
our guests would be able to guess what's on the menu: pepperoni and cheese,
chips and dip, nachos and cheese, wings and beer.
Super Bowl parties have become about as
predictable as the never-ending halftime show which will bore many to tears
while driving the rest of us back to the food table for seconds and maybe even
thirds! Heck, who am I kidding? Partygoers will only eat once. Unfortunately,
that one meal will start at 6 p.m. and finish at 11 p.m. when the game finally
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Bad Food's
Super Bowl pick. (Hopefully, it won't end up being a Mr. Bad Pick pick.) Drum
roll please. When the final gun sounds the scoreboard will read Oakland 27,
Tampa Bay, 23.
If eating were a sport, this Sunday would
indeed be the super bowl of grub. Like many things in life, there's a right way
and there's a wrong way to eat. Unfortunately, many of us have chosen the wrong
way. And what better way to pull a dietary end-around than to belly up to a
tailgate party buffet and eat like there's no tomorrow?
Chicken wings... fried chicken... ribs...
chips... dips...The latter could refer to you and me when we insist on
overdoing it in the name of football. If eDiets employed referees they'd be
tossing flag after flag our way and slapping us with a plate "piling on"
infraction. Face it folks, finger foods washed down by beer or soda will foul
up many a diet this weekend.
While strolling through the local Sam's
Club recently I grabbed a bag of Tyson chicken wings (we'll be serving Battered
Mug wings at our party) and checked the label. At first glance, the news isn't
all that terrible: a serving of Buffalo Hot Wings has 140 calories and 9 grams
of fat (2.5 grams are the stick to your blood vessels saturated variety). The
Honey BBQ version was slightly worse at 160 calories and 10 grams of fat (2.5
saturated). However... we are talking TWO WINGS per serving. When was
the last time you attended a party and had just two wings? Never? Me too...
Far be it from me -- a Penn State
University grad and a lifelong New York Jets fan -- to tell you to pull the
plug on your pre-game partying. Ain't gonna happen anytime before you-know-what
freezes over. I am going to ask you to digest the revealing numbers (culled
from the info-packed eDiets archives, mind you) I am about to serve up and then
give our just-as-tasty alternatives a try. Yes, it could involve cooking rather
than running to the grocery store deli or neighborhood fast food joint, but in
the long run your belly and heart will thank you.
Oh, one more thing: I know it may sound
blasphemous to some of you, but why not give light beer a try this year? I was
a die-hard Bud fan for many years. No real man drinks a light beer, I
told myself time and time again. Heck, I even teased friends who reached for a
Miller Lite rather than a full-flavored, full-calorie brew. Guess what? A few
years ago I pulled a reverse play (I admit... it was waistline-induced) and
became a fan of light beers. Now, on those rare occasions I imbibe in a regular
Bud, I cringe at the taste. So give it a try. The calories you save really do
Are You Ready For Some
And now ladies and gentlemen, here are
the starting players for your football party spread. First we give you the
"player" and its stats, then we provide the numbers for the replacement
players. Playing wideout...
FRIED CHICKEN: Sorry Colonel... you
can do your silly little dance somewhere else. Remember, just because its
all-white meat, doesnt make it lean. One 6.5-ounce extra-crispy breast from KFC
has 470 calories and 28 grams of fat. KFCs drumstick will set you back 195
calories and 12 grams of fat, and even that little wing manages to cram in 220
calories and 15 grams of fat!
It'll take a little work but you'll be far
better off to "fry up" your own chicken, using this great recipe:
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken
1 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with
aluminum foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse chicken breasts in
running water and pat dry. Pour buttermilk, crushed corn flakes, and flour
seasoned with salt and pepper into three separate shallow bowls. Dredge each
chicken breast in buttermilk, then in flour, back into buttermilk, then into
corn flakes. Arrange corn flake-coated chicken breasts on baking sheet and
bake, about 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked
Makes 4 servings. Nutritional values per
serving: 250 calories, 2g fat, 31g carbohydrate, 27g protein, 4g fiber and
CHICKEN WINGS: How bad could they
be? Theyre chicken, after all, right? That may be true, but wings are
considered dark meat, which is more fatty than its lighter counterpart. And
once you drench them in oil and dip them in blue cheese, they might as well be
any other meat.
So get cookin' and enjoy our Better
1 Tbsp. paprika Combine paprika, hot sauce
and olive oil; add chicken and toss well to coat. Marinate chicken in
refrigerator, about 1 hour. Heat broiler. Arrange chicken on broiler pan and
cook, five minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with dressing for
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
tsp. olive oil
3 (4-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into
3/4 cup fat-free blue cheese dressing
Makes 6 servings. Nutritional values per
serving: 120 calories, 2g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 14g protein, 500mg sodium, and
1 grams fiber.
RIBS: A typical 8-ounce
restaurant serving of barbecue pork ribs has 645 calories and 43 grams of fat.
That's even more fat grams than youd get from an order of Chicken Tenders, a
regular-size French fries and a vanilla milk shake from Burger King. So
if youre following an 1,800-calorie diet plan, an order of ribs will give you
more than 70 percent of your recommended daily limit for fat in one meal!
We recommend you head down your
supermarkets frozen food aisle and grab a box of Gardenburger Meatless
Riblets (they're made from soy protein). Pop a riblet in the microwave for
about three and a half minutes and you can get your flame-broiled fix for just
210 calories and 5 grams of fat.
NACHOS: It thickens us to
know that an order of beef 'n cheese nachos can have as much fat as 10 glazed
doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts. Rather than opt for restaurant recipes that are
nacho cup of tea, try this great alternative courtesy of Forbidden Foods
Diabetic Cooking (American Diabetes Association)...
When topped with cheese, tomatoes and other
healthy ingredients, these hearty nachos are the perfect way to stay on the
ball while losing weight.
4 cups low-fat baked tortilla chips
cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. canned chopped green
1/2 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced pitted black
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large
heatproof platter or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Scatter the
tortilla chips evenly over the platter. Sprinkle them evenly with the cheese
and green chilies and broil until the cheese melts (2 to 3 minutes). Top nachos
with tomato, olives, onions, cilantro and jalapeno peppers. Serve
Makes six 3/4-cup servings. Nutritional
values per serving: 172 calories, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 20mg
cholesterol, 319mg sodium, 7 grams protein.
If you want to keep some more
traditional football party fare, opt for low-fat versions. Some
ideas from your plan include low-fat nachos, snack pizzas, picante potato
wedges, hummus dip with crackers, crackers and cheese, sour cream dip with
carrots, tortilla chips with salsa, baby carrots, popcorn, pretzels and cheesy
pita chips. Just dont forget to pay attention to portion
And now for some great advice for serving
other game foods that'll score big with your guests.
Before kickoff, serve dinner so you and
your guests won't be famished, which can lead to going overboard on snacks.
Prepare our favorite filling pre-game meals -- they're sure to make fans of the
Turkey Chili: Substitute lean ground
turkey breast or red and black beans for ground beef in your favorite chili
recipe (use cooking spray instead of oil, too). Top with chopped tomatoes and
peppers for a crunchy, hearty texture.
Mushroom Burgers: Look for these
cheesy, meatless burgers in your grocer's freezer section. Pile them along with
sandwich-style pickles and all the usual burger fixings on whole-grain rolls,
or slice them up and layer on mixed greens.
Tofu Hot Dogs or Turkey Sausages:
You'll feel like you're right in the stands when you bite into one of these
smarter alternatives to beef or pork hot dogs and sausages. Load them up with
deli mustard, relish, onions and peppers, or sauerkraut to boost the "fill you
Boca Nuggets: These soy-based bites
taste just like fried chicken nuggets (see if the family can tell, we dare
you!), but they're much lower in fat. Serve them with barbecue sauce or honey
mustard for dipping. Also look for boneless, skinless hot wings -- a terrific
stand in for Buffalo wings alongside fat-free blue cheese dressing and crunchy
Baked Potato Skins: Bake potatoes,
then slice in half and scoop out the center, leaving about a quarter-inch of
potato flesh inside each skin; spray with butter-flavor cooking spray and
broil, potato side down, 5 minutes or until browned. Turn and broil a few
minutes more; top with imitation bacon bits and chives.
Spicy Popcorn: Spray air-popped
popcorn with butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cayenne
pepper or Old Bay seasoning.
Pita Chips 'n Mexican Dip: Cut pita
bread into triangles and spray with olive-oil flavor cooking spray; broil until
golden brown and crisp. Mix black bean dip and salsa; serve as a spicy pita
And here's a great tip to prevent yet
another yellow flag from the eDiets referees (the infraction: too many beers or
alcoholic drinks on the field):
Call a time-out from alcohol. If
youve been drinking alcoholic beverages, alternate with something
non-alcoholic, like sparkling water with lime or diet iced tea. This will cut
back on calories and prevent the loss of inhibition that can lead to
overeating. Better yet, reach for water to keep you hydrated and aid in weight
One regular beer ranges between 150 to 200
calories, while a light beer has only about 100 calories. A 5-ounce glass of
wine has about 100 calories, as does 1-ounce of alcoholic spirits such as
vodka, gin or scotch.
Dont forget: substituting juice for
regular soda is like substituting regular sour cream for mayonnaise.
Youre not saving calories! An 8-ounce glass of juice, unsweetened, has
about 120 calories.
Our special pre-game show continues
now with additional insight from a veteran of the weight wars, Katherine
Tallmadge, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a frequent
contributor to the eDiets Monday-Thursday newsletters.
Let's go down the field for more bonus
coverage from Katherine...
Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner
and you'll soon be driving to the supermarket or take-outs to buy provisions
for your Super Bowl party.
Most guys I know love to get together to
play cards, watch sports or just hang out and talk. Left to their own devices,
the food of choice may be nachos (1,400 calories a plate), baby back ribs (770
calories per pound), buffalo wings with blue cheese dip (1,000 calories per
dozen), chips (1,050 calories per 7-ounce bag) with sour cream dip (500
calories per cup), and other high calorie junk food.
Its whats easy -- and
theyre used to it. But Ive found that when you serve healthy, tasty
alternatives, theyre just as happy. So why not serve a plate of fresh
fruit such as apple slices, grapes and pineapple? How about a tray of fresh
crudites: carrots, cucumbers, red peppers with a nice dip made with fat free
sour cream or a hummus style dip?
My experience is the guys are pleasantly
surprised at how delicious and enjoyable healthy foods are and they wont
groan the next morning when they hop on the scale. Ive also had men tell
me how much more they enjoyed the party because they didnt feel bloated
and uncomfortably stuffed.
More options include Barbaras Fried
Chicken, Tallmadges Chili Non Carne" (see recipe below excerpted from my
book, Diet Simple) served with baked chips.
Katherines Chili Non-Carne
I love this simple, quick chili recipe. Of
course theres zillions of ways to make chili, most dont need a
recipe. But this ones easy to follow and everyone loves it. Its
meatless but you dont miss the meat because its so flavorful. You
should use the amount of garlic or chili powder that appeals to you. I like it
hot and spicy!
I double the recipe so I have plenty for
the week. I use this dish as a lunch or dinner alongside a green salad. I also
serve it at parties as a dip next to fresh tomato salsa, light sour cream and
guacamole. Its perfect rolled up in a tortilla or stuffed in a taco with
some reduced fat cheese. The basic recipe serves four and is great for Super
1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil, or more
large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. hot chili
1 large fresh green pepper, chopped
1 28-oz. can Italian plum
tomatoes, chopped, including the liquid
1 1-lb. can kidney or black beans,
whichever is preferred
1/2 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1/2 cup water or
bouillon (to hydrate the bulgur)
2 seeded Jalapeno peppers, chopped, if
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onions and garlic in the oil over
low heat in a large pot until soft, 15 or more minutes. Add the chili powder
and simmer for a few more minutes. Add the fresh green pepper and cook until al
dente. Meanwhile, soak the bulgur in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Add all
remaining ingredients including the bulgur and simmer slowly over low to medium
heat until flavors are well blended and vegetables are cooked to the desired
consistency ... a few minutes or longer, if desired.
Adjust seasonings to your preference. Since
many canned items were used, additional salt will probably not be needed.
Calories 320, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat
1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 730mg, Total Carbohydrate 59g, Fiber 13g, Protein
12g, Vitamin A = 70% of daily requirement, Vitamin C = 120% of daily
requirement, Calcium = 15% of daily requirement, Iron = 30% of daily
Bottom Line: If every Sunday, you save your
husband (and maybe yourself) a thousand calories by serving healthy party foods
to him and his friends, he could lose 15 pounds in a year.
Katherine Tallmadge is an in-demand
weight loss and nutrition speaker and consultant with a 20-year private
practice in Washington D.C. Shes also spokesperson for the American
Dietetic Association and author of Diet Simple: 154 Mental Tricks,
Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations.