Score a heart-healthy game day

By Haley Burton

January 28, 2014 Updated Jan 27, 2015 at 6:05 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Action News kicked off the Healthy Heart 2014 campaign with tips on how how to score big with healthy Super Bowl snacks.

Beth Stark, Weis Dietitian, shared four gameday tips from her playbook to help us score a heart-healthy celebration.

First, sideline fried crunchy snacks and choose baked, whole grain crackers, pita chips or air-popped popcorn instead. All of these options are lower in calories and fat than other snacks and if they’re made from whole grains you get an added boost of fiber, said Stark.

Don't get blindsided by unhealthy dips and scoop up creamy Greek yogurt based dips, hummus and guacamole for a heart smart option.

Use lower sodium, premium turkey, chicken or ham from the deli to make mini pinwheel bites and submarine sandwiches.

Also, fill up on plenty of fresh veggies like crisp raw carrots, celery and broccoli. Steamed edamame are virtually salt free and low in calories.

Stark said even with healthy options available it’s important to practice portion control and eating mindfully. Mindful eating means slowing down, chewing thoroughly and really enjoying the flavors of your food.

A trick is to help yourself to a serving of 49 in-shell pistachios instead of eating from an endless bowl of chips. Shelling nuts may help slow you down and may make you more conscious of your portion. It may also help you eat fewer calories.

Pistachios supply monounsaturated fats—known as the “good fats” that are also found in salmon, olive oil and avocados. They’re also a good source of fiber and protein.

Drink plenty of water, sparkling seltzer and calorie-free or low calorie beverages. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

For more heart healthy tips pick up volume 65 of Healthy Bites magazine at Weis Markets stores and online at weismarkets.com. Tune in next Tuesday for more of the Weis Healthy Heart series.

Healthy Heart 2014 is sponsored by the American Heart Association, United Health Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension, all Weis Markets, and WBNG-TV.

You can reach the American Heart Association at (607) 723-0208.

For medical questions, you can call UHS Nurse Direct at (607) 763-5555, or toll free at 1-800-295-8088.

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