Food is associated with friends and fun. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic large Super Bowl parties are strongly being discouraged by medical experts. But that doesn’t mean your smaller family gathering can’t be fun and that you can’t enjoy healthy food during the game.
Popular party foods include pizza, fully loaded nachos, and fried chicken wings. But they are among some of the most fat-laden offenders. They all have around 800-1,000 calories and about 50 g of fat in a typical party-sized portion. For example, two pieces of all-meat pizza contain 940 calories and 56 g of fat.
Kristi Wempen and Kelly Tasky are registered dietitian nutritionists at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato and share some ideas for healthy eating this weekend.
For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
The high-fat, high-salt load might temporarily increase blood pressure and lipids in the blood, but if you’re healthy, you should be able to recover without much difficulty. However, if you have heart disease or diabetes, it can be even more serious. And whether you are healthy or not, overeating leads to weight gain, especially around your middle, which can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives to consider that are both nutritious and delicious.
Check out these healthy Mayo Clinic Recipes:
Southwestern potato skins
Hearty Turkey Chili
Philly Steak Sandwich
Black Bean Burgers
Sweet and spicy snack mix
SUPER HEALTHY MEATLOAF
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “stuffing 10 pounds into a 5-pound bag?” What about making a 4-pound meatloaf with only 1-pound of beef? Here’s © Chef Richard’s super healthy 4-pound “meatloaf” just in time for Super Bowl weekend. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour. The internal temperature as checked with a meat thermometer should be 165 degrees. Enjoy!
1 lb. ground beef, 95% lean meat
6 stalks of celery
1 lb. carrots
½ lb. sweet, raw onions
¾ lb. eggplant
3 cups chickpeas or garbanzo beans
2 tsp. olive oil
1 ½ cups medium grain brown rice, cooked
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
Healthier food options for your next party
- Veggie tray with hummus (Try making peanut butter hummus.)
- Low-fat yogurt-based dips
- Whole-grain chips and salsa
- Fruit skewers or a fruit plate
- Roasted chickpeas or a homemade trail mix made with whole-grain cereal and low-sodium nuts and seeds
- Infused or sparkling water
You don’t have to sacrifice health for great taste! There are plenty of healthy options that taste great, such as the ones listed above. Otherwise, just put a healthy spin on some of these favorites:
- Baked wings instead of fried
- Homemade veggie pizza with whole-grain or cauliflower crust instead of an all-meat pizza
- Whole-grain chips with salsa instead of cheesy nachos
Additional tips for eating healthy at parties
- Smaller portions make a big difference
- Slow down and enjoy; the slower you eat, the more full you’ll feel
- Get away from the food table so you’re not tempted to go back for more
Is it OK to cheat with a few of my favorite foods?
You’re allowed to have fun and enjoy what you eat. There shouldn’t be forbidden foods as this often leads to overindulgence later. Balance is the key. Another tip: drink a lot of water. It may help you feel more satisfied with less food, where alcohol will lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to overeat.