Newswise — Super Bowl Sunday is the "Super Bowl" of snacking. Research by the Calorie Control Council and the Snack Food Association finds that Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on the big game day. That 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. The average armchair quarterback will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat just from snacking (not counting any meals).
The Calorie Control Council's research reveals that potato chips, the snacking favorite, will account for 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat. These 1.8 billion fat grams nationwide are the same as 4 million pounds of fat. That 4 million pounds of fat is equal to the weight of 13,000 National Football League (NFL) offensive linemen at 300 pounds each. Using the average weight of the Super Bowl teams, the calculation is actually more than 4 million pounds of fat and 13,000 NFL offensive linemen, since the New England Patriots' offensive line tips the scale at 310 lbs. average and the New York Giants offensive line averages 311 lbs.
The Council recommends pre-planning your Super Bowl event and menu to include no-fat and low-fat chips and dips. When it comes to dips, it is possible to cut the fat without cutting the flavor. Try salsa, which is fat-free, or substitute reduced-fat sour cream and non-fat yogurt. Use fresh herbs and spices such as cilantro, parsley and hot peppers to add great flavor. Add fresh vegetables and low-fat dips to your party tray for a healthy appetizer in no time.
Also, choosing fat-free potato chips for the big game could save up to 300 calories per person. And, nationwide, fat-free potato chips could even cut 14 billion calories and 1.8 billion fat grams from our snack attacks.
Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the Council, recommends planning 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. Or, if you want to get into the game spirit, it would take 2 hours of playing touch football to burn those calories," she says.
"You certainly don't want to have a dietitian at your Super Bowl party calling 'interference' when you and your friends start overindulging. 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," Hubrich advises.
Super Bowl Sunday is a day when many people ruin their New Year's resolution to lose weight by consuming excessive calories and overindulging. If you want to get right back on your diet after the big game, the Council suggests that you visit its non-commercial web site, www.CaloriesCount.com, where you can learn how to make lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight and keep it off.
You can look up Super Bowl Party Recipes for "Cutting the Fat and Keeping the Flavor" on the Calorie Control web site, http://www.caloriecontrol.org. The Council is a non-profit association of companies that make low-calorie and reduced-fat foods and beverages, and has been tracking dieting trends in America for more than 20 years.
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