Thursday, January 31, 2008

Super Bowls and Super Snacks

As we go into Super Bowl weekend, some thoughts on super bowls and chip dipping, plus some suggestions for healthier alternatives.
Americans are estimated to eat a grand total of 30 million pounds of snacks during the Super Bowl. Calorie Control Council and the Snack Food Association, NewsDaily
Beware of Super-Sized Bowls
Dr. Brian Wansink of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab has done some great work on portion size and eating. One project, “Super Bowls: Serving Bowl Size and Food Consumption,” (Research Letter, JAMA April 2005 ) demonstrated that large serving bowls of typical party snacks led participants to eat a whopping 56% more food than participants who were served snacks in smaller bowls.
Lesson: Break out some modest-sized bowls for your chips.

Dip Once or Dip Twice?
This NYT article revisits to the classic Seinfeld episode in which George is taken to task for “double-dipping.” That is, he has dipped his chip in the bowl again, after he’s taken the first bite, potentially spreading germs. Prof. Paul Dawson, a food microbiologist at Clemson University, recently tested this claim in terms of food safety. He found that there is, in fact, a contamination threat, though small, and mitigated by the type of dip. My kids are always trying to catch someone in the process of a "double-dip." I think it's from camp, not Seinfeld, for them.
Lesson: Not sure...either, stop worrying, no dip at all, or small, individual plates so you can dip at will? You decide.

Healthy Super Bowl snack alternatives abound. We often have a take-out sushi fest for the Super Bowl. Or if you have a crowd, you can serve a hearty chili or soup. Here are more traditional tips and recipes for low-fat snack alternatives.

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