The Super Bowl may just be Americans’ second favorite day of engorging, behind Thanksgiving. Not only is it acceptable to eat unhealthy foods on game day, but it’s also expected that you indulge nonstop—all day long. With this kind of mindset, it’s easy to forget about how many calories you’re consuming, especially after you’ve claimed your spot in front of the TV.
Before you start prepping your menu for this weekend, it may be helpful to at least be aware of just how many calories are lurking within your spread of epic Super Bowl snack recipes. Based on some of the appetizers and treats we plan to snack on this weekend, we did our own calculations to get an estimate of just how many calories are packed into some of our game-day favorites. To our surprise, our calculations clocked in at about 3,330 calories.
Here’s how we got that gargantuan number. Using data from the USDA’s FoodData Central, we were able to pinpoint the nutritional breakdown of 14 popular Super Bowl snacks that most Americans are going to chow down on with friends this Sunday. In our list, we included: chips, chicken wings, beer, soda, slices of cheese pizza, milk chocolate, buttered popcorn, one order of nachos, a hamburger, French fries, buffalo chicken dip, a serving of ranch, a chocolate chip cookie, and a brownie. (Related: 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make).
But there was one exception. Due to the vast variety of chicken wing flavors and preparations out there, we chose to pull the calorie count of a classic restaurant order: Buffalo Wild Wings’s original buffalo boneless wings, one serving (six wings) of which contains 530 calories. Every snack we took into consideration was calculated for one serving, excluding the pizza (we calculated for two slices), milk chocolate bar (we accounted for half of the bar), buffalo chicken dip (we added the calorie count of 7 tablespoons), and beer (we included two 12-ounce cans). Now, can you see how that total number exceeds 3,000 calories?
While each person’s calorie needs vary, the typical American is recommended to consume an estimated 2,000 calories each day, which means that you could surpass your daily intake by at least 1,300 calories this Sunday. The good news? There are plenty of healthful swaps you can make to your snack spread that mirror the classics while keeping those calories in check.
We’re not suggesting you should sacrifice those saucy chicken wings, but it may be in your best interest to opt for a healthier recipe—especially because there’s no shortage of options! Not to mention, there are dozens of easy-to-make appetizers that won’t cost your whole day’s worth of calories (and then some).
So, now that you know what damage can be done on game day, consider putting more thought into your Super Bowl menu and practice a bit more mindfulness while snacking on your fave recipes. And may the best team win!
For more, be sure to check out The Best Healthy Eating Tips For 2021, According to Dietitians.