Win big with healthy Super Bowl snacking

Football party

It’s coming! Two powerhouse football teams are getting ready to square off on February 2 for a Super Bowl victory. But why not make it a winning day for yourself too?

Oftentimes, the Super Bowl means super bowls — of guacamole, chips, chicken wings, mac & cheese, you name it. They’re fun to eat, but you may pay the price later that night with digestive issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Gastroenterologists at NewYork-Presbyterian caution that fatty and spicy foods, alcohol, and carbonated beverages can be hard on the gastrointestinal tract. Snacking close to bedtime can exacerbate the situation — especially for those who suffer from acid reflux. They advise people who are prone to acid reflux to avoid eating within an hour of going to bed.

Yet there’s no need to entirely pass on game day snacking. The keys are moderation and control. Consider using a smaller plate when selecting your snacks. This will help you to eat less. In addition, pace yourself, especially when consuming alcohol. And finally, keep this in mind: we tend to eat more when we are in the company of others, so pay more attention to the action on the football field than the action at the buffet table.

With this in mind, here are some Super Bowl snacking tips that your digestive system may thank you for later:

  1. Limit spicy foods that can trigger conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and acid reflux.
    1. Instead of: wings, nachos and chili
    2. Try: pitas, hummus and yogurt and chili made with chicken and zucchini and carrots.
  2. Limit dairy, as lactose can be a problem for many.
    1. Instead of: boxed mac and cheese
    2. Try: mac and cheese made with whole grain pasta and cheeses that are low in lactose, like brie, parmesan, and aged cheddar.
  3. Beware of beans as overindulgence can lead to gas and indigestion.
    1. Instead of: chili and chipotles made with hamburger meat and beans
    2. Try: chili made with veggies like cubed potato, turnip, daikon radish or pieces of cauliflower.
  4. Limit fat, as it takes longer to digest — eating a lot of fatty food can lead to indigestion.
    1. Instead of:  fried wings, potatoes and burgers
    2. Try: grilled chicken skewers, or consider making potato skins with low-fat cheese and turkey bacon bits. Make an effort to bake, not fry, food. 
  5. Have choices. Make sure you complement your traditional Super Bowl smorgasbord with nutritional options. Examples include: yogurt dip, nuts, fruits (especially berries), multigrain or whole-grain crackers and chips, non-spicy guacamole, baked (not fried) chicken or fish, salads, fresh vegetables, and water with lemon or citrus garnishes.

For more healthy eating tips, visit To find a gastroenterologists, call 877-697-9355.