Are You Ready For Some Football?

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



Football season is back and that means cheering on your favorite team, meeting with friends and grabbing snacks during the game.  While munching away those calories can pile up quickly. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) says you can keep your tailgate party or football-watching bash healthy by making a few simple, healthy swaps. According to the AHA, if Americans ate the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, approximately 39,900 deaths would be prevented from cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes and $7.6 billion in medical costs could be saved annually. Small changes to diet and lifestyle can add up to big gains in health.

Healthy Tips

You can start by “eating the rainbow” to increase your fruit and veggie intake. Set up your party buffet with the healthiest items first, such as salad, cut-up veggies, and low-fat dips made with low-fat sour cream or yogurt, or fruit and vegetable salsas. Make healthy appetizers that are fruit- and vegetable-centric. Place healthy food snacking items in fun bowls or martini glasses all around your party venue. Watch portions and use small plates to avoid piling up on food and calories, and select mostly fruits and vegetables.

Try lean meat or fish, keeping servings to the size of a deck of cards. Try turkey, veggie or salmon burgers on whole grain buns, or eliminate bread altogether and just put your meat or fish serving on top of a salad. Swap baked chicken breast strips dipped in Buffalo sauce for fried wings packed with fat. Make chicken chili or toss boneless/skinless chicken breasts and a lower-sodium barbeque sauce in the slow cooker for easy pulled chicken mini-sliders on whole grain buns.

Make a whole wheat crust pizza topped with mostly veggies. Limit chips, nachos and other high-calorie snacks. Create a Mediterranean platter with hummus, grape tomatoes, oranges, bell peppers, cucumbers, roasted zucchini and eggplant, and whole wheat pita chips for a tasty and healthy snack.

For dessert have a fruit salad or kebobs, individual fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, or dark chocolate-dipped strawberries! Drink plenty of water to feel more full before eating. Reach for sparkling water with fruit wedges instead of sugary beverages, or add it to juice for a lower calorie fruit sangria. Alcoholic drinks can pack on the calories, so drink in moderation.

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November 2, 2016 |

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