dave-zinczenko

Best and worst Super Bowl foods

Jan. 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM ET

By Dave Zinczenko

Men's Health

Whether it’s the game, the commercials, the snacks, or some combination of all three, everyone has a reason to tune in for the Super Bowl. The downside? All of those traditional football foods can leave you looking like the last-pick linebacker in the draft. And with the average airtime for a football game being 185 minutes—just over three hours—there’s plenty of time to commit food-related fumbles. Here’s your defensive lineup, courtesy of "Eat This, Not That! 2012."

NOT THAT:

Lay’s Natural Classic Potato Chips, Sea Salted (3 oz, 51 chips)

450 calories

27 g fat (3 g saturated)

540 mg sodium

+

Lay’s French Onion Dip (6 Tbsp)

180 calories

15 g fat (0 g saturated)

690 mg sodium

Total:

630 calories

42 g fat (3 g saturated)

1,230 mg sodium

FAT EQUIVALENT: 9 Twinkies!

When Courtyard Hotel (an official Super Bowl sponsor) commissioned a survey of America’s favorite Super Bowl snacks, chips and dip took first place. With all that collective dunking at stake, you’d best have a strong play prepped and ready. Natural Lay’s wholesome packaging is deceptive—each serving only cuts a single gram of fat and a mere 10 calories from regular Lay’s, and the first listed ingredient in this dip (other than water) is oil! Instead, go with Tostitos Scoops!, which are the perfect vehicle for spicy, metabolism-stoking salsa.

EAT THIS INSTEAD!

Baked! Tostitos Scoops (3 oz, 42 chips)

360 calories

9 g fat (1.5 g saturated)

420 mg sodium

+

Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa (6 Tbsp)

45 calories

0 g fat (0 g saturated)

630 mg sodium

Total:

405 calories

9 g fat (1.5 g saturated)

1,050 mg sodium“CHIP”-WRECKED: Chips have the potential to be a solid snack, but choose wisely—The Worst Chips and Dips will leave you drowning in calories and fat.

 

NOT THAT:

Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder (2 cups/1 can)

420 calories

20 g fat (3 g saturated)

1,780 mg sodium

CALORIE EQUIVALENT: More than 2 cups of Extra Creamy Cool Whip—the chowder is more calorie-dense by volume!

Here we have the official soup showdown of the Super Bowl, and if the quality of the chowder is any indication of the outcome of the game, then it looks like the Giants are going to win—again. New England clam chowder is cream based, whereas the Giants’ home-field chowder—Manhattan clam chowder—is made from a tomato-based broth. As such, New England clam chowder is loaded with fat, and Manhattan clam chowder is loaded with antioxidants.

EAT THIS INSTEAD!

Campbell’s Chunky Manhattan Clam Chowder (2 cups/1 can)

260 calories

7 g fat (2 g saturated)

1,600 mg sodium

CALORIC CANS: There are supposed to be two servings of soup in every can, but most of us just heat ‘n eat the whole thing—check out 9 Other Serving Size Rip-offsthat pack on the pounds.

NOT THAT:

Sam Adams Imperial Stout (3 beers, 36 oz)

924 calories

9.2% ABV

CALORIE EQUIVALENT: More than 6 cans of Coke

With the Patriots in the Super Bowl, you can be sure someone’s bringing Sam Adams to the party. It’s no stretch to assume you’ll sip your way through three beers over the course of the game, but if you choose blindly, you might end up wiping out nearly half your day’s calories in the process. Beer is especially dangerous, because unlike food packagers, brewers aren’t required to list calories on their labels. One tip-off here is the word “imperial.” That means that this beer is heavier than your average brew. So skip the stout and go with Sam Adams Light—It’s not the lowest-calorie light option on the market, but it maintains a complexity and fullness of flavor that most light beers lack, and in this case, it saves you an astonishing 564 calories.

DRINK THIS INSTEAD!

Sam Adams Light (3 beers, 36 oz)

357 calories

4.3% ABV

LEAN LIBATIONS: Not all mixed drinks are saccharine, calorie-packed concoctions—sip one of The World’s 4 Healthiest Cocktailsinstead.

NOT THAT:

Applebee’s Boneless Wings, Honey BBQ

1,250 calories

55 g fat (11 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)

3,060 mg sodium

SODIUM EQUIVALENT: 13 orders of Taco Bell Cheesy Nachos

Thanks to a deluge of sugary sauce and thick spackle of breading, these wings contain as many carbs as 10 slices of sandwich bread! They also manage to contain more than a day’s worth of sodium per order, and roughly 100 calories per nugget! Always opt for bone-in wings instead—they’re unquestionably less caloric, and still pack a solid punch of protein.

EAT THIS INSTEAD!

Applebee’s Classic Wings, Southern BBQ

660 calories

35 g fat (9 g saturated)

1,060 mg sodium

FELONIOUS FOWL: Guard your waistline against every one of the egregious Worst Chicken Dishes in America.

NOT THAT:

Domino’s Hand-Tossed Buffalo Chicken Specialty Pizza

700 calories

34 g fat (17 g saturated)

1,760 mg sodium

FAT EQUIVALENT: 7 scoops of Breyer’s Original Strawberry ice cream

This specialty pie from Domino’s starts strong with lean protein and heat-packed sauce, but smothers them between layers of cheese and a thick, oily crust. The result? Two slices that make up 85 percent of your day’s saturated fat allowance. Instead, build a custom pie on a thin crust, and load it with chicken and fiber-rich veggies. Then, if it’s a spicy kick you crave, ask Domino’s to add wing sauce on top. That contributes a ton of heat in a negligible number of calories. Same flavors, but without the excess cheese and bread running interference on your waistline.

EAT THIS INSTEAD!

Domino’s Thin-Crust Pizza with Grilled Chicken, Onion, Mushrooms, Green Chile Peppers, and Wing Sauce (Large pie, 2 slices)

420 calories

19 g fat (7 g saturated)

1,140 mg sodium

Related links:

The 8 NEW Saltiest Foods in America

8 “Scary” Food Myths—Busted

Lose 3 Pounds in 6 Meals!

6 Worst Frozen Diet Foods

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