13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (2024)

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Barnes, RDN

On game day, there’s nothing better than enjoying your favorite sport while surrounded by friends, family, and your favorite Super Bowl snacks.

While some Super Bowl foods, like veggies and hummus and baked wings, are packed with satiating protein and fiber, other game-day eats aren’t as nutritious.

Although you don’t have to completely avoid your Super Bowl favorites, learning more about certain dishes and how they impact your health can help you make better decisions on game day.

Here are 13Super Bowl foods, including healthy options and game day foods that should be limited.

Healthy Choices for Game Day

1. Vegetable and Dip Platter

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (1)

Though vegetables aren’t usually the star of the show on game day, adding some veggies to your plate can provide much-needed fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your Super Bowl meal.

Vegetable platters are easy to make and can be paired with nutritious dips like hummus and Greek yogurt dip. Combining crunchy vegetables, like celery, peppers, carrots, and broccoli, which are high in fiber, with a protein-rich dip, like hummus, is a much more nutritious way to satisfy your salty cravings than less healthy Super Bowl staples, like chips.

Fiber and protein slow down digestion and stimulate the release of satiety hormones, like peptide YY (PYY), which tell your body that you've had enough to eat. This is why choosing high-fiber, high-protein snacks at Super Bowl bashes can help you keep your calorie intake in check.

2. Baked Wings

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (2)

Deep-fried wings are delicious, but they’re high in calories and harmful compounds generated during the frying process called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are molecules created through reactions between sugars and proteins or fat that trigger oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which can increase disease risk.

Choosing wings prepared using healthier cooking methods that produce fewer AGEs, like baking, is a better choice for overall health. In addition to being lower in calories and AGEs than fried wings, baked chicken wings are a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, zinc, and selenium, plus protein, which can help you feel satisfied after eating.

3. Shrimp Cocktail

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (3)

If you're looking for a savory Super Bowl snack that's low in calories and carbs yet high in filling protein, look no further than shrimp cocktail. A 3-ounce serving of shrimp provides just 84.2 calories but is packed with over 20 grams (g) of protein, making it a perfect choice to satisfy hunger on game day.

In addition to protein, shrimp is high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, and vitamin B12, plus anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Shrimp cocktail is a friendly choice for people following different dietary patterns such as low-carb, paleo, and keto diets, as well as those simply looking for a nutritious, high-protein Super Bowl snacking choice. Studies show thatchoosing high-protein snacks over those low in protein can help reduce appetite, improve feelings of fullness, and help you eat fewer calories at subsequent meals.

4. Fruit and Cheese Plate

If you need a last-minute idea for a Super Bowl snacking board, consider preparing a fruit and cheese platter. Fruits, such as berries, pineapple, and sliced apples, are easy to prepare and packed with nutrients like fiber and vitamin C.

Pairing fruit with protein-rich cheese provides the perfect combination of salty and sweet flavors that many Super Bowl party-goers crave. In addition to protein, cheeses are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, a mineral that's required for skeletal health, muscle function, and many other critical functions in the body.

Try a combination of your favorite fruits and cheeses, including soft and hard cheeses like parmesan, goat cheese, cheddar, and brie, for a satisfying array of textures and flavors.

5. Chicken or Vegetarian Chili

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (5)

Chili is a Super Bowl staple that's made with nutritious ingredients like beans, onions, and peppers. Chili is amongst the few Super Bowl foods that provide a complete, filling meal, making it a good choice for hungry football fans.

While beef chili can be a healthy choice, many health experts recommend cutting back on red meat whenever possible, as diets high in red meat have been associated with a greater risk of developing certain health conditions, like stomach cancer.

If you'd like to cut back on your red meat intake, consider whipping up a pot of chicken or vegetarian chili packed with fiber-rich beans.

6. Stuffed Mushrooms

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (6)

Stuffed mushrooms are a fan favorite that can be made to suit a variety of dietary preferences. For example, mushrooms can be stuffed with veggies and ground turkey for a high-protein, low-carb appetizer or made with beans and cheese for a vegetarian-friendly option.

In addition to being low in carbs and calories and high in fiber, studies show that regularly consuming mushrooms is an easy and delicious way to boost your intake of essential nutrients like copper, potassium, zinc, B vitamins, and selenium, a mineral that’s necessary for thyroid function and also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body.

7. Tortilla Chips, Guacamole, and Salsa

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (7)

Rather than dunking potato chips in ultra-processed dips, consider snacking on corn-based tortilla chips or plantain chips paired with freshly made guacamole and salsa. Unlike most store-bought dips, like French onion dip, guacamole and salsa are packed with nutritious ingredients known to support health.

For example, guacamole is made with avocados, which are rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.

Salsa is another nutritious choice and is packed with carotenoid antioxidants, such as lycopene. Lycopene has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body and studies show that regularly consuming lycopene-rich foods, like tomato-based products, could help reduce the risk of common health conditions, like heart disease.

8. Deviled Eggs

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (8)

Eggs are often referred to as "nature's multivitamin," and for good reason. Eggs are an excellent source of filling protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals such as choline, selenium, and B12.

Deviled eggs are made with simple ingredients and are tasty and easy to make, which is why they're a popular snack at Super Bowl parties. Deviled eggs pair perfectly with other healthy Super Bowl noshes, like veggies and hummus or fruit and cheese, and are a convenient and delicious game day snacking choice.

Super Bowl Favorites to Limit

9. Stuffed Crust Pizza

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (9)

Pizza is one of the most common foods served at Super Bowl parties. While pizza isn't inherently bad for you, the types of pizza served on game day, like takeout stuffed crust pies, are usually very high in calories, refined carbs, added salt, processed meats, and other ingredients that should be limited in any healthy diet.

For example, a slice of Papa John's Epic Stuffed Crust Pepperoni, Sausage, & Six Cheese pizza contains 480 calories and 1,220 milligrams (mg) of sodium, making it a high-calorie, high-sodium food. Many pizzas are also topped with processed meats, like pepperoni, sausage, and bacon, which may harm health if consumed too often.

For a healthier spin on traditional pizza, choose thin-crust pizza and pile on the veggies, or make your own pizza at home using nutritious ingredients.

10. Cupcakes, Brownies, and Cookies

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (10)

Though Super Bowl-themed treats like cupcakes, brownies, and cookies are hard to resist, it's best to limit your intake of desserts and other sugary foods. Consuming too much added sugar can harm your health by increasing your blood sugar and body fat levels and raising your risk for developing a number of health conditions, including fatty liver, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

While enjoying an occasional sweet treat won't significantly impact your health, it's best to choose more nutritious, naturally sweet options, like a plate of fruit and cheese, over sugar-laden desserts whenever possible. There are also plenty of ways to create lower sugar, higher protein and fiber versions of your favorite desserts by using ingredients like monk fruit and almond or coconut flour.

11. Bacon-Wrapped Meatballs

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (11)

If you're a bacon lover, you may want to think about cutting back on this uber-popular processed meat product. According to research studies, bacon has one of the highest concentrations of AGEs of any other food. Plus, diets high in processed meats, like bacon, are significantly associated with a number of cancers, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer.

Bacon is often used to "wrap" other animal proteins, including meatballs, sausages, and hot dogs. Because bacon and other processed meat products are known to harm health when consumed regularly, it's best to pass on bacon-themed Super Bowl snacks. Instead, opt for chicken or turkey sliders or meatballs or plant-based options, like black bean burgers.

12. Fried Mac and Cheese Bites

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (12)

With its gooey texture and salty taste, mac and cheese is a football fan favorite. Like many foods at Super Bowl parties, mac and cheese is often deep-fried and shaped into bite-sized morsels for easy snacking.

Deep-fried foods are high in calories and are often low in satiating nutrients like protein and fiber. Plus, fried foods are high in AGEs, which can harm health if consumed in large amounts.

To satisfy your cheesy cravings, snack on cheese and fruit or make a lighter, protein-rich version of mac and cheese by adding cottage cheese to your recipe, which packs 24 grams of satiating protein per cup.

13. Soda and Other Sweetened Beverages

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (13)

To cut back on your added sugar intake on game day, consider skipping soda, sweetened cocktails, and other sugary beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake has been linked to a host of health issues and can harm your liver, teeth, and more.

Stay hydrated during the game by sipping on water flavored with fresh lemon or lime juice and choose low-sugar cocktails and beverages whenever possible.

A Quick Review

While most Super Bowl parties and get-togethers revolve around spreads consisting of sugary desserts, deep-fried foods, and pizza, there are healthier options to nosh on while enjoying the game.

In general, it's best to pass on popular game day treats like cupcakes, cookies, deep-fried foods, and processed meat dishes and instead fill your plate with healthier options like baked wings, veggies and hummus, and fruit and cheese.

For more Health.com news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Health.com.

Super Bowl Foods and Their Impact on Health

When it comes to enjoying the Super Bowl, many people indulge in their favorite game day snacks. However, it's important to be mindful of the impact these foods can have on our health. In this article, we will explore the different Super Bowl foods mentioned and discuss their nutritional value and potential health effects.

Healthy Choices for Game Day

  1. Vegetable and Dip Platter: Adding vegetables to your Super Bowl meal can provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Pairing crunchy vegetables like celery, peppers, carrots, and broccoli with nutritious dips like hummus and Greek yogurt dip is a healthier alternative to less nutritious options like chips. Fiber and protein in these snacks can help you feel satisfied and keep your calorie intake in check [[1]].

  2. Baked Wings: Deep-fried wings are high in calories and harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These compounds can trigger oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Choosing baked wings over fried ones can reduce calorie intake and AGEs while still providing vitamins, minerals, and protein [[2]].

  3. Shrimp Cocktail: Shrimp cocktail is a low-calorie, low-carb snack packed with protein. It is also high in vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Shrimp cocktail is suitable for various dietary patterns and can help reduce appetite and calorie intake [[3]].

  4. Fruit and Cheese Plate: A fruit and cheese platter is a nutritious option that combines fiber-rich fruits with protein-rich cheese. Fruits provide essential nutrients like fiber and vitamin C, while cheeses offer vitamins, minerals, and calcium. It's a satisfying combination of flavors and textures [[4]].

  5. Chicken or Vegetarian Chili: Chili made with beans, onions, and peppers can be a filling and nutritious choice. While beef chili can be healthy, it's recommended to limit red meat intake. Chicken or vegetarian chili packed with fiber-rich beans can be a healthier alternative [[5]].

  6. Stuffed Mushrooms: Stuffed mushrooms can be customized to suit different dietary preferences. They can be made with veggies and ground turkey for a high-protein, low-carb option or with beans and cheese for a vegetarian-friendly choice. Mushrooms themselves are low in carbs and calories but rich in fiber and essential nutrients [[6]].

  7. Tortilla Chips, Guacamole, and Salsa: Instead of potato chips and processed dips, opt for corn-based tortilla chips paired with freshly made guacamole and salsa. Guacamole is rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. Salsa is packed with carotenoid antioxidants. These choices provide a healthier alternative to store-bought dips [[7]].

  8. Deviled Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Deviled eggs are a popular and convenient snack at Super Bowl parties. They can be paired with other healthy options like veggies and hummus or fruit and cheese [[8]].

Super Bowl Favorites to Limit

  1. Stuffed Crust Pizza: While pizza itself is not inherently bad for you, certain types of pizza served on game day, like stuffed crust pies, can be high in calories, refined carbs, added salt, and processed meats. Opt for thin-crust pizza with plenty of veggies or make your own pizza at home using nutritious ingredients [[9]].

  2. Cupcakes, Brownies, and Cookies: Desserts and sugary foods should be consumed in moderation. Too much added sugar can have negative health effects, including increased blood sugar levels and body fat. Choose more nutritious, naturally sweet options like fruit and cheese whenever possible [[10]].

  3. Bacon-Wrapped Meatballs: Bacon and other processed meats have been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. Processed meats are often used to wrap other proteins like meatballs. It's best to choose alternatives like chicken or turkey sliders, meatballs, or plant-based options [[11]].

  4. Fried Mac and Cheese Bites: Deep-fried foods like mac and cheese bites are high in calories and low in satiating nutrients. They can also contain harmful compounds like AGEs. Consider healthier alternatives like cheese and fruit or a lighter version of mac and cheese with added cottage cheese for protein [[12]].

  5. Soda and Other Sweetened Beverages: Sugar-sweetened beverages can have negative effects on health, including liver damage and increased risk of certain conditions. Opt for water flavored with fresh lemon or lime juice and choose low-sugar cocktails and beverages [[13]].

In summary, while Super Bowl parties often feature indulgent foods, there are healthier options available. Choosing nutrient-rich snacks like vegetables and dips, baked wings, shrimp cocktail, fruit and cheese, and other healthier alternatives can help you enjoy the game while making better decisions for your health.

Note: The information provided is based on the article from Health.com, which was medically reviewed by Elizabeth Barnes, RDN [[14]].

13 Super Bowl Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Health (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6337

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.