Score a touchdown with food choices from TOPS

There are many different perspectives on what America’s favorite pastime truly is. This time of year, watching football tends to top the list. With Sunday’s schedule including “the big game,” Take Off Pounds Sensibly, the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers tips to help keep nutrition on track when cheering on your favorite team.

• Have a small snack before you arrive at a party to curb your appetite. Overeating can be avoided if you don’t arrive hungry.

• Start out with foods that will leave you feeling fuller faster, like nuts. A handful of almonds, containing about 160 calories, is a smart choice.

• Offer to bring a fruit platter or veggie tray, broth-based soup made with fresh or frozen vegetables, flour tortillas sprinkled with parmesan cheese and baked, or sugar-free pudding to the buffet. Then you’ll have a healthy option to snack on.

• Go easy on anything with a thick, creamy consistency like dips or casseroles. Most often these foods are high in calories and not very filling.

• Take a walk around the buffet and consider your choices before putting anything on your plate. If you choose to have a high-fat or high-calorie item (wings, pizza or nachos), take only a small amount and put it on your plate last, after you’ve filled up the space with healthier options.

• Consider guacamole! Guacamole is high in the “good” types of fat – mono and polyunsaturated. Guacamole is also high in beta carotene, fiber, folate and potassium, making this a relatively guilt-free option.

• Limit alcohol. Not only is it high in calories, alcohol causes blood sugar to drop, which leads to hunger. If you do imbibe, consider light beer and stagger alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones.

• Pick filling protein over high-carb offerings, including shrimp with cocktail sauce or smoked salmon served with cocktail rye.

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