Super Bowl Sunday is the “super bowl” of snacking. Americans will consume 30 million pounds of snacks on the big game day, according to research by the Calorie Control Council and the Snack Food Association. This breaks down to 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 4.3 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn and 2.5 million pounds of nuts. In fact, the average armchair quarterback will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat just from snacking (not counting any meals).
Potato chips, Americans’ favorite snack choice, will account for 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat—equal to 4 million pounds of fat, or the weight of roughly 13,000 NFL offensive linemen weighing in at 300 pounds each.
Preplan your Super Bowl menu to include nonfat and low-fat organic chips and dips. Cut the fat in dips by substituting fat-free salsas, reduced-fat sour cream and nonfat yogurt. Use fresh herbs and spices like organic cilantro, parsley and hot peppers to add great flavor. Fresh organic vegetables can be the base for healthful appetizers. And by choosing fat-free potato chips, you can save up to 300 calories per person.
Beth Hubrich, a Calorie Control Council dietitian, recommends a pre-Super Bowl workout before settling in to watch the game.
“For example, to burn off those 1,200 calories from snacking during the Super Bowl, it would take 3 hours of walking around a football field or 1 hour and 45 minutes of running,” she says. “Or, if you want to get into the game spirit, it would take 2 hours of playing touch football to burn those calories.
“You certainly don’t want to have a dietitian at your Super Bowl party calling ‘interference’ when you and your friends start overindulging,” she adds. “But by doing a little game planning in advance, you can avoid becoming one of the millions of fans who eat 50 grams of fat in a very short period of time.”