7 Most Popular Super Bowl Snacks: Which to Skim and Which to Skip

by Jessica Smith, REDBOOK

Here's your game plan for surviving Super Bowl Sunday with your waistline intact. We've picked the seven Super Bowl snacks you are likely to see on Sunday, and show you which you can eat in moderation (skim it) and which to avoid altogether (skip it).

The Game Plan On game day, be sure to eat a fiber-filled breakfast (oatmeal is a great choice) and satisfying lunch (salad or soup and half a sandwich are great options) so you don't arrive to the party famished. Once you arrive at the party, you don't have to deprive yourself! We recommend picking three of your favorite SKIM IT options below and enjoying every bite. And remember you can keep munching on lower calorie fare like crudite, salad (just watch out for creamy dressings), fruit and salsa throughout the game.

1. Buffalo Wings Buffalo wings are typically deep-fried and served with high-fat blue cheese dressing, making one serving (four to six wings) add up to over 400 calories, says Christen Cooper, MS, RD, founder of Cooper Nutrition Education and Communications, in Pleasantville, NY. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out them says Cooper, "these little babies are tempting for their tanginess and serve as fun finger food for the Super Bowl, just stick with four and then stop".

The verdict? SKIM IT.
Go ahead and grab a few wings, just stick with a reasonable portion (about four) and then move on.

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2. Chili Cooper likes this dish because "beans provide great fiber and protein. But if it's regular beef chili, skim it to keep calories in check. Have a cup, not a bowl, and enjoy," recommends Cooper.

The verdict? SKIM IT. Eat it, just stick with a cup size serving.

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3. Pizza If it's pizza that's been ordered out, you can be sure you're consuming anywhere from 300-450 calories with each substantial slice (especially if its with extra cheese), says Cooper. "If you have pizza frequently and would rather have other foods that you eat less regularly, I'd skip it, recommends Cooper.

The verdict? SKIP IT.

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4. Hoagies "Your average hoagie, may pack salami, ham, turkey, cheese, mayonnaise and other condiments. Six inches of such a sammie could cost you 600 or more calories and lots of saturated fat," says Cooper.

The verdict? SKIP IT. Since sandwiches (for most people) are nothing special, if you would rather have some wings and other festive foods, skip it recommends Cooper.

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5. Baked Beans Around 250 calories a cup, baked beans contain lots of fiber (10g) and protein (13g), says Cooper. But they are also usually made with bacon, and contain a good dose of saturated fat, so I'd skim it, says Cooper.

The verdict? SKIM IT. Beans help fill you up, so if you are hungry, this is a great choice. Grab a cup full and enjoy.

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6. 7-Layer Dip At around 300 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving, you really need to ask yourself: "Do I really crave this?" says Cooper. It may contain beans, which may make a small serving worth your while if you can't live without it, but this is one of those foods that can be really tough to stop eating.

The verdict? SKIP IT.

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7. Pigs in a blanket "At over 250 calories per 'pig,' you have to decide whether a hot dog or sausage wrapped in pastry is what you really want, says Cooper. They have no nutritional value. I would skip it, unless your cravings compel you to do otherwise.

The verdict? SKIP IT.

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Finally, we know there will be plenty of beer there too to wash down all these snacks. Keep in mind those red plastic party cups typically hold 16 ounces, or 200 calories worth of beer (or soda), so we sure to factor in your liquids too! Of course, ideally we would all stick to water (boring!), but if you must imbibe, stick with diet coke and rum or light beer.

photo credit: Jamie Grill

Jessica Smith is a certified fitness lifestyle expert and creator of the 10 Pounds Down DVD series.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.