Expect to see seafood in the starting lineup at any New Orleans-themed get-together. Again, the criminal is the cooking style, which turns otherwise-innocent shrimp into a dietary disaster. Deep-fried shrimp is typically coated in a batter made from egg and milk before it's floured and tossed into the fryer.
Better: Spicy Creole Shrimp Skewers
Shrimp skewers are low in calories, high in protein, plus easy to prep and serve, says Zuckerbrot. Cook the shrimp for 5 to 7 minutes in a skillet with non-stick cooking spray, tobacco sauce, white wine, and freshly chopped parsley. The best part? The snack clocks in at only 53 calories and 0 grams of fat per 5 large shrimp.
The last thing you want is a sugar low when tempting snacks are at arm's reach—and onscreen during each commercial break. But you can bet on low energy and the grumbles if you spend the first quarter of the game filling up on gummies, chocolate bars, or other sugary sweets; they're full of empty calories without the fiber and protein that keep you full.
Better: Trail Mix
A trail mix is a standard crowd-pleaser for good reason: It caters to fans of both sweet and salty. Make your own mix with almonds, microwave popcorn, dried fruit such as raisins or chopped apricots, and dark chocolate chips. Almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber for fullness, and healthy unsaturated fats. A handful of this DIY trail mix clocks in at about 100 nutritionally-dense calories, says Zuckerbrot.
Bad: Fully-Loaded Nachos
According to Zuckerbrot, nachos topped with cheese and chili can be over 1,000 calories, 107 grams of fat, and 40 grams of saturated fat.
Better: Turkey Chili
Instead of making chips the main attraction, opt for warm turkey chili made with lean ground turkey instead of ground beef, red kidney beans, green pepper, onion, and celery. Then garnish with the chips, and top with diced onion, a tablespoon of low-fat sour cream or cheddar cheese. You'll save nearly 600 calories and 90 grams of fat, according to Zuckerbrot.
Bad: Crab Cakes
Classic crab cakes are often filled with fattening fillers and deep-fried, making them a less then healthy appetizer option. Just one fried crab cake will cost you 290 calories and 19g fat, and that's before the creamy dipping sauce, says Zuckerbrot.
Better: Shrimp Cocktail
Instead, reach for waistline-friendly shrimp cocktail. One serving (5 large shrimp and 2 tablespoons cocktail sauce) is only 45 calories and 0g fat. And it's a great source of lean protein, so it will keep you satisfied until dinner is served.
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