Three healthy tailgating tips
Football season is tailgating time, but don’t worry. You can have fun and stay healthy. Stephanie Peterson, RDN, offered three tips on how to tailgate the healthy way.
Make your own foods to bring tailgating. Store-bought foods tend to be high in sodium, fat and sugar. We also have no control over the ingredients in store-bought foods. By cooking foods at home, you can control the quality of ingredients you put into your foods. Try doing your own spin on some popular tailgating foods. For example, make your own turkey chili at home. Instead of using high-fat ground beef, substitute lean ground turkey and try cutting the salt in half (or less). Bulk up your version of the recipe with vegetables to provide more nutrients and increase fullness after eating the meal. Another way to get creative is to grill kabobs instead of hot dogs, brats and burgers. By cooking kabobs, you can include a variety of vegetables and small portions of lean protein, such as shrimp or chicken.
Be smart with your sides. Common sides found at tailgating events, such as potato chips, pasta salad, potato salad and baked beans, can be replaced with healthier options that offer many more nutrients and are much lower in fat and sugar. Try bringing a fruit salad made with a combination of all your favorite fruits or a vegetable platter. Instead of pasta salad, bring a mixed green salad with your favorite toppings. If you absolutely cannot go without the pasta salad, use 100% whole wheat pasta and add chopped veggies. If you are someone who loves to bring dips to tailgating parties, consider swapping out your cream cheese or cheese-based dips for a homemade Greek yogurt-based dip.
Limit alcohol consumption. It is smart to limit your alcohol intake and avoid any high-calorie alcoholic beverages. Remember, if you’ve had weight loss surgery, do not consume alcohol until a full year after surgery. If you have taken time to get to know your body again, we are not here to tell you that you cannot consume alcohol ever again. Be mindful of your calorie intake and how that can affect your long-term weight loss. Keep in mind, high sugar drinks will cause dumping syndrome and can cause you to miss out on a lot of your tailgating fun.
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