Superbowl Foods: My How Those Calories Add UpRegardless of which team you are cheering for this Sunday, chances are you will be watching the big game while enjoying food. This event has grown from a football game to the second biggest eating day of the year, right after Thanksgiving. In a regular day, an American will eat about 2000 calories but during Superbowl, the average American eats that amount of calories in about three hours.
TEXARKANA, Ark. – Regardless of which team you are cheering for this Sunday, chances are you will be watching the big game while enjoying food. The first Super Bowl was January 15, 1967 and the event has grown from a football game to the second biggest eating day of the year, right after Thanksgiving. In a regular day, an American will eat about 2000 calories worth of food, but during the Super Bowl, the average American eats that amount of calories in about three hours.
Think you couldn't possibly be eating that much? Let’s add it up. For many, chicken wings will be on the party menu. It is estimated that for Super Bowl XLIX, over 1.25 billion wings will be devoured. While there are approximately 81 calories in 1 small chicken wing, it also comes with 62% fat, 0% carbs, 38% protein. If you have 6 wings that is 486 calories and you haven’t even added the chips, dip, and other goodies yet.
Game day is as American as a slice of large, thin crust cheese pizza. You can guess that it has around 285 calories per slice, depending upon the brand and toppings.
The standard non-light beer has about 140 calories and more than 10 grams of carbohydrates while a light beer can still have 110 calories and 6.6 carbs. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define moderate drinking as no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. So 2 regular beers will add 280 calories, and more than 20 carbohydrates.
Next let’s add the tortilla chips. Just seven restaurant style tortilla chips will add up to 140 calories. Honestly, are you going to put just seven chips on your plate or will you pile it high and smother it with cheese or dip? And the dip, two tablespoons of cheese dip equals roughly 80 calories.
Who can resist those cute little pigs in a blanket? So you add 4 to your plate; hey, they are small, they can’t have that many calories. You just added roughly 270 calories, and 660 mg of sodium (28 percent of your daily value), and 14 grams of fat.
Those seven tortilla chips weren’t quite enough, so you add 12 potato chips, adding another 160 calories, 10 g of fat and 1 g of saturated fat.
You get to feeling guilty so you add veggies with just 2 tablespoons of dip. Vegetables are healthy, right? It’s not the vegetables that sabotage the plan; it’s the dip. Two tablespoons make a serving, but each tablespoon has 70 calories and 7.5 grams of fat. MSG, which has been linked to adverse health effects such as headache and nausea, also makes the ingredient list.
We need something sweet right? Those cupcakes in team colors look great. It can’t have a lot of calories; it’s so small. On average a small cupcake runs about 220 calories apiece; remember that some bakery brands are much larger.
Add your entire plate together of 6 wings, 2 regular beers, two tablespoons of cheese dip with 7 tortilla chips, 4 pigs in a blanket, 12 potato chips with dip, 1 slice of large, thin crust cheese pizza and a small cupcake for dessert and you have consumed 1,991 calories!
Wow and the game isn’t even over yet. What can you do? Know that it’s ok to indulge every once in a while, and don’t skip meals. Try to work out earlier in the day if possible. The game doesn’t start until 5:30 so there is plenty of time.
Excessive calories can come from beverages, so try to limit the beer or anything with calories with a lighter or diet version, and try to alternate between a drink that has calories in it and water.
Simple, smart choices make a huge difference so we can win the battle of the bulge, no matter who wins on the field. For the dips, serve hummus instead of a bean dip. It will give you a little more fiber. Definitely have vegetables to dip with the hummus. Offer no-salt/low-salt nuts as a substitute for those watching their sodium. Try a cheese tray with a variety of whole-wheat crackers and a fruit tray with low-fat fruit dip.
You can contact me at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in the Miller County Courthouse, call 870-779-3609, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.uaex.uada.edu/counties/miller/ on facebook at MillerCountyFCS or twitter #MillerCountyFCS.
By Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service