Super Bowl Snacks: A Few Interesting Facts
Football frenzy is in full swing and the anticipation for Super Bowl Sunday is at an all time high. One of the highlights of a great party is the snack area. While some parties would be fine with a variety of chips and dips, a great party puts some effort into snacking. Snacks that aren’t too fussy, too liquid, or requiring much more than a bowl and spoon are great choices. Snacks should be flavorful, portable as possible, and complement beer. They should not take days or hours to prepare, and if they end up on the carpet or in the upholstery, it’s a plus if they aren’t too fatty since greasy stains are difficult to remove, as are tomato, chocolate, and red wine spills.
Savory snacks are traditionally more popular than sweet because savory offerings are typically more full flavored. For example, chips are fatty, salty, and many times are enhanced with barbeque, ranch, or vinegar flavors; dips are full of onions, bacon, cheese which provide a wide range of flavor satisfaction; snack meats like wings, and ribs hit all the satisfying notes of fatty, salty, grilled or smoked. When looking at sweet snacks, well, they are typically sweet. While many food manufacturers have enhanced their sweet offerings with salt, it isn’t the same as eating a savory snack with much more salt, and typically laced with fatty goodness.
Face it, fat is part of game day. Chicken wings, crispy chips, dips, and spreads are all at their finest when loaded with cheese, butter, and oil. Recently, researchers discovered that fat plays a part in football wins and losses. The day after a favorite team loses, football fans eat more than 16% more fat the day after a loss; whereas, a winning team’s fans actually ate better. The conclusion is game outcomes affect food preferences more than the quantity of food consumption. In other words, we don’t eat more when our team loses, we eat worse.
Most people were unaware they were making poor food choices after a loss. Researchers conclude that fans identify with their teams especially if they live in the same city as the team. It becomes an issue of ‘am I identifying with losers’?
For that reason, they subconsciously make poor food choices in an effort to fortify their self-esteem. Fat in food is comforting, as is sugar, and salt. There is a way to counteract this through self affirmation. Fans, who took a moment after a football loss to write down what truly matters to them, completely eliminated the negative effects of eating poorly the day after. Since most people are totally unaware they are making poor food choices, taking a moment to actually think about what matters, writing it down, creates an environment of positivity versus the underlying negativity they were feeling after a loss.
While a host can’t be responsible for a fan’s food choices the day after a Super Bowl party, clearly, the snack planner plays an important role in helping guests feel better when their team wins or loses. The US Calorie Control Council shows that the average person will eat a day’s worth of calories at a Super Bowl party. Managing salt, sugar, and fat of traditional favorites, while offering healthier choices can make everyone a winner on Super Bowl Sunday.