Super Bowl foods the doc won't recommend

January 30, 2009 9:56:51 AM PST
Game-day foods that can ruin your waistline

This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday -- one of the biggest non-national holiday excuses for gorging oneself.

If you're looking for the healthiest Super Bowl recipes, proceed with caution. Here is the anti-healthy list of Super Bowl foods. You can, if you choose, check out the caloric intake of each item (not to discourage you) so you'll know just how many miles you'll have to run, steps you'll have to climb and laps you'll have to swim to work off Sunday's gluttony. We calculated the exercise by a table designed for a 160-pound person, so if you weigh less you'll have to work more.

First up is the Big Daddy item of all things meat, or as its creators named it, the Bacon Explosion. We've never seen anything like it. The explosion was born in Roeland Park, Kan., in Jason Day's kitchen. Day and Aaron Chronister, who are members of the Burnt Finger BBQ team, received a Twitter challenge: What could the barbecuers do with bacon? Here is what they came up with.

This whopping log of pork will launch your calorie count into space. One roll clocks in at about 5,000 calories, and if you eat a hefty chunk of it, let's say about a tenth of it, this will put you at 500 calories. Step up to that stairclimber and get climbing for 45 minutes if you want to work off the bacon.

If you're going for more standard fare, we have some expert advice to keep the pounds gained to a minimum.

"That day is going to be about quantity," said Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian and an associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. When serving your Super Bowl buffet, keep the naughty items to a minimum.

"Variety breeds intake," said Ayoob. "So pick one and serve it."

Nothing says football like chicken wings. Good news -- the savory combo of butter, cayenne pepper sauce and chicken actually isn't so bad for you, compared to other items on our list.

But don't eat too many. At 294 calories per average serving of four wings, a few extra wings can add extra calories in your stomach.

In order to work off four Buffalo chicken wings, you would have to participate in high-impact aerobics for 35 minutes.

As your chip dips down deeper and deeper into Seven-Layer Dip, another favorite Super Bowl dish, one might imagine a doctor shaking her head harder and harder. Not exactly. Ayoob said that while seven-layer dip does have a lot of fat, it's the right kind of fat, and the dip is packed with protein-rich beans.

"Is it high in calories? Yes, but the ingredients are pretty decent. Beans get four thumbs up," said Ayoob. "Dip it with some veggies and you're going to have way less to worry about the next day," said Ayoob. "If they balk at vegetables, say 'man-up and eat some peppers!'"

In order to work off about one cup, or ten dips, of seven-layer dip, you'd have to do about 65 minutes of water aerobics or, in other words, about nine minutes per layer.

A quick way to make that macaroni and cheese even tastier is to freeze it. Yes, freeze it, then cut it up and throw it in the deep fryer for a minute. Regular macaroni and cheese costs you about 405 calories per cup. Who knows what happens when it's deep fried.

If baby back ribs are your thing, try to stick to just four of them. Chew on each and every rib slowly and chew to the bone. By the time you get to four, you've racked up 496 calories.

It will take you about an hour and 40 minutes of leisurely biking to ride these ribs off. Better yet, head to a spinning class for some intense biking and cut the time in half.

Southern or not, everyone loves them some fried chicken. If you have two drumsticks, expect to have to swim for about an hour in the pool to work off the calories.

Fried Chicken is an easy bet to bring to a Super Bowl party -- especially since you can order it in a bucket. But that chicken's a costly treat. Grab two large drumsticks and you've put on 508 calories.

Not everyone can down deviled eggs, but if you pop them in your mouth like candy, this is probably the most harmless Super Bowl food of the bunch.

Despite the name, deviled eggs may actually be the angel on the Super Bowl buffet table. "The best thing on this list is probably the deviled eggs," said Ayoob. Although high in calories, Ayoob said they're full of protein goodness.

"The mayonnaise gives it some extra fat, so use some light mayo and plain yogurt and throw some mustard in there for flavor and you've got a decent snack," he said. "We're talking real food there."

Eat three and you'll have to walk for about 35 minutes at a 3.5 mph pace in order for the 169 calories to stay off your waistline.

If ever there was a Super Bowl-worthy dessert it's peanut butter pie. And it's so simple. Get a bowl and get a blender. Add one 8 ounce package of cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup milk, 1 packaged of whipped topping. Blend it all together, then throw it in a pie crust and put it in the freezer.

Don't worry about eating those leftover slices right out of the freezer. The extra fat gained from each 422-calorie slice will keep you warm.

It may be easy to make, but it's not so easy to work off. If you plan on eating a piece of the PB pie, find a mountain and go hiking for an hour.

It wouldn't be a Super Bowl party without beer. If you're heading to the keg, keep in mind that the equivalent of two and a half cans, just 30 ounces, will put you on the treadmill, jogging at 5 mph, for roughly 40 minutes. Does this inspire you to run the other way? Me neither.

Beer, as most know, is not the healthiest of beverages. The average 2.5 cans of regular beer will slide down an extra 369 calories. Imagine how much you're drinking when there's a keg at your party. But calories are not the whole of it.

"These foods are full of salt," said Ayoob. "Between that and the beer, and boy these guys are going to be retaining [water]."

Keep in mind that you could take a reasonable sampling of our Super Bowl foods and eat about 5,000 calories that day. Or you could just take a glass of water and sit down with the bacon explosion roll and pack on the same amount.

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