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Tips for Healthy Tailgating

Super Bowl Sunday is near, so put on your favorite team’s jersey and fire up the grill!

Gameday menus usually mean high-calorie foods that keep you from your health goals. But there are plays you can make to stay ahead of the game while enjoying your favorite foods.

Add healthy staples that can take the place of unhealthy choices.

Grill whenever possible, using lean proteins like chicken, fish and pork tenderloin.

Set out fruit and vegetable trays with healthy dips. Guacamole, hummus and salsa provide healthy fat and some protein. Drink plenty of water to feel full and stay hydrated. And avoid cream or mayonnaise-based dishes.

Modify your favorite recipes.

Small changes can save calories and fat.Try using these substitutions when recreating your favorite recipes.

  • Bean chips have more fiber and protein than baked potato chips — and they’re great for nacho dishes.
  • Wheat bread has more fiber than white bread.
  • Use extra-lean ground turkey breast in chili and burgers to reduce fat and calories.
  • Chicken sausage has fewer calories than smoked pork sausage.
  • Use reduced-fat cream cheese, which is lower in calories than regular cream cheese.
  • Canadian bacon has fewer calories than traditional bacon.

Drink low-calorie beverages.

If you’re consuming alcohol, always drink in moderation. Alcohol — especially wine — has healthy antioxidants, but too much increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Consider adding these drinks to your tailgate or cookout menu:

  • Mixed drinks – Use seltzer water or diet sodas. Choose seltzer water over tonic, which contains a lot of calories and sugar. Add lemon and lime for flavor.
  • Wine – Pinot noir has a high concentration of antioxidants — including polyphenols, flavonoids and resveratrol.
  • Beer – Choose from low-calorie or low-carbohydrate beers instead of full-bodied beers.

Indulge in healthy desserts.

You can cut calories and fat from almost any baked goods without sacrificing flavor.Check out these substitutions.

  • Instead of using buttercream, frost your cakes with nonfat whipped topping or sifted powdered sugar.
  • Use two egg whites or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes.
  • Replace one cup of white flour with whole-wheat flour for added fiber.
  • Use nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Now that you have the plays you need for a healthy game day menu remember to pace yourself. Never start tailgating or cooking out while hungry, and avoid mindless munching.

And when mealtime arrives, start with lean proteins before eating side dishes. When it comes to eating healthy, moderation is key.

For more healthy lifestyle tips, visit GetHealthyLiveWell.org.

Get Healthy, Live Well

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