Authors: Registered Dietitians
(HealthCastle.com) Even though the BC Lions won't be playing in this weekend's Grey Cup, many Vancouverites are sure to be watching the big game. That means an afternoon of typical TV snacks, which can add up to a ton of fat and calories - and that awful, greasy feeling that comes from eating too much junk food. If you want to make your Grey Cup day a little lighter, but don't want to miss out on all the typical game-day snacks on your coffee table, check out the tips below for healthier takes on your favourite football foods.
Top Simple Switches to Lighten Up Game-Day Snacks
- Nachos: Their salty, crunchy taste is a game-day classic, but with packaged chips and salsa and a ton of gooey cheese, nachos can leave you feeling a little weighed down and bloated. For a healthier version, try using chips that are baked instead of fried, and make you own fresh-cut salsa (just mix chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro and toss with lime juice) to skip the salt and preservatives you'll find in jarred versions. If you're just too busy to make that happen, try using Herdez salsa, the closest thing on local grocery stores to homemade.
- Peanuts: Rather than a bowl of honey-roasted or heavily salted peanuts, serve up a big bowl of peanuts in the shell. Having to shell each nut slows you down, and you'll skip all the artificial flavorings and sugar used in flavoured nuts. The bonus? Peanuts are actually a very healthy snack, as long as you don't eat too many. They're packed with protein. Remember to put out an extra big bowl for all those empty shells.
- Chicken skewers: Instead of frozen chicken wings - which are made up of more skin than meat - try grilling some chunks of skinless chicken breast to make chicken skewers. If the weather cooperates (or you're a die-hard barbecue fan) you could try some late-November barbecuing, but you could also cook the chicken on your stove or in the oven. A light glaze of teriyaki sauce adds easy flavour, or use a light coating of whatever sauce you enjoy.
- Fruit kabobs: While we're on the skewer theme, fruit kabobs are a surprisingly refreshing sweet treat between (or after) savory snacks. Cut one-inch cubes of whatever fruits you like and put them on a skewer. Melons, apples, grapes, and pineapple are all great candidates. You can even serve some fruit yogurt as a dip.
- Popcorn: Popcorn is a very healthy, low-calorie snack. Plus, it's even considered a whole grain. But microwave popcorn is loaded with artificial flavours, fat, and additives. Drag out your popcorn maker or pop some corn on the stove, then coat it with some salt and melted butter, or even a little grated cheddar cheese. When you eat the real thing, you'll be wondering why you've been eating that weird-tasting microwave version for so long.
There you have it - five simple ways to lighten up your Grey Cup game-day snacks and leave yourself feeling a little less overloaded with salt and fat after the final touchdown.
Tell us: Will you be watching the big game? Are you hosting friends? What will you be snacking on while you watch?