No matter which team you're rooting for in the big game, chances are you're going to rack up calories faster than a running back. Aside from Thanksgiving, we eat more on big game Sunday than on any other day of the year--an estimated 1,200 extra calories and 50 grams of fat on top of our usual three squares. (Search: How many calories should I eat on a regular day?) But that's not the only disgusting food fact behind football's biggest day of the year. For example, Americans eat millions of pounds of guacamole and build "snackadiums" containing more than 45,000 calories a pop. Here, we've rounded up cringe-worthy big game food stats that might push you to the sidelines. (What was your most indulgent big game snack? Tell us on Facebook!)
Try Instead: Healthier Big Game Foods
The Hass Avocado Board estimates that 71.4 million pounds of Hass avocados will be consumed on Sunday, mostly in the form of guacamole. Stack those avocados on top of one another and you'd have enough to cover a football field 27.5 feet deep. (Video: Burn off those calories while you watch Super Bowl commercials) Yes, guac is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, but the sheer amount of the calorie-dense condiment eaten during the big game--a quarter cup contains 91 calories and 8.3 g of fat--may negate its benefits.
And where would guacamole be without chips to scoop it up? This big game Sunday, Americans will toss back 11.2 million pounds of potato chips and 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, according to the Calorie Control Council. The potato chips alone will account for 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat. Yikes!
The Calorie Control Council also calculates that football fans will eat a total of 4.3 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 2.5 million pounds of nuts while watching the game. Since nuts are calorie-dense--just a quarter cup of mixed nuts contains 219 calories--and because pretzels are full of insulin-spiking refined carbs, you're better off sticking to popcorn.
As far as beer sales go, big game Sunday ranks eighth, behind Labor Day, Christmas, and even Halloween. That being said, Americans consumed an estimated 49.3 million cases of beer during 2012's Packers/Steelers matchup. If you want to show the Pats your support by drinking Sam Adams, stay away from the Wee Heavy in the Imperial line. Twelve ounces of that brew adds up to 348 calories, while a regular Sam Adams lager contains just 175 calories.
The number of wings Americans consume during the big game is triple that any other Sunday. This weekend, an eye-popping 1.23 billion wings will be consumed, estimates the National Chicken Council's 2012 Wing Report. That's more than 100 million pounds of chicken and 90 billion calories! If you're one of the 1 in 5 watchers who plans on noshing on a few, a friendly caution: Just six wings add up to 432 calories, 30 g of fat, and 396 mg of sodium. And that's before you dip them in Ranch dressing (140 calories and 14 g of fat in 2 tablespoons).
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After dips, spreads, and chicken wings, pizza is the next most popular food to serve at big game parties, according to the third annual SUPERVALU Snack Down Survey by Harris Interactive. The survey found that 14% of viewers said they'd chow down on a slice. But eat two pieces of New York-style pizza in honor of the Giants and you've already consumed 723 calories, 36.6 g of fat, and 1,716 mg of sodium.
Two pounds of bacon. Two pounds of sausage. A whole lot of calories. This bacon-wrapped-in-sausage-wrapped-in-bacon behemoth came on the market in December 2008--just in time for Super Bowl XLIII--and is now marketed as the "ultimate" game day food. Tread cautiously: One slice of Bacon Explosion will set you back about 500 calories; the entire log has at least 5,000 calories and 500 g of fat.
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The mother of all big game monstrosities, snackadiums have taken food architecture to a whole new level. Using snacks to build mini stadiums--stands made out of sandwiches, chips as spectators, beef jerky goal posts, 7-bean-dip field turf--they're as bad as you can build them. In fact, one nicknamed the "Snack Mahal" clocked in at a whopping 45,000 calories.
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