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March Madness is Upon Us – Game Time Foods

#229 Chicken Fingersphoto © 2009 Like_the_Grand_Canyon | more info (via: Wylio) With March Madness setting in (and St. Patrick’s Day festivities), you may find yourself at the local bar and happen to get hungry while you are there. Most bars have food available for you to order while you are sipping your drinks. However, bar food is not known for its healthy qualities and nutritional value. Instead it is often comprised of fatty, fried foods. Luckily, though, more bars and pubs are leaning toward some healthy alternatives so you may have a slightly better chance of finding something that will keep you on your healthy nutrition plan. If you are looking for healthier bar food, here are some options you may want to try:

1. Salads are always a good choice and most bars nowadays have some semblance of a salad available. Where you need to be careful is with the dressing. If you have low or no fat options, opt for those. Salsa is a great substitute also. If you have no low/no fat options, get the dressing on the side and dip instead of pouring the dressing over the salad. Approximately 100 calories with 0 fat calories.

2. For those who are enjoying sake, sake bombs or saketini’s at their favorite Japanese sushi bar, sushi is one of the healthiest types of bar food available. Three pieces of a tuna roll is 20 calories with only 5 calories from fat. If you add soy sauce that contains 10 calories and 0 from fat you are still ahead of the game. However, choose the low sodium option.

3. Popcorn is a great healthy snack often found in a bar. This is plain popcorn people, not movie theatre style dripping in butter or cheese. Add some salt or spice to the popcorn for added flavor but the calories are contained in the butter so avoid that. Approximately 45 calories and 25 fat calories.

4. Spinach artichoke dip is a good option to cut both calories and fat. Where you can get into trouble, though, is when you add in the greasy chips that are typically served with them. Avoid using these whenever possible. Small amounts of baked bread is a decent alternative but fresh vegetables to dip are even better. Approximately 45 calories with 30 fat calories.

5. Chicken wings are a great choice at a bar especially if it is baked. They are filling and flavorful. However, they are often served with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Avoid these unless there are no fat options available. Approximately 94 calories with 57 from fat.

6. Soft tacos with no sour cream, plenty of salsa and grilled chicken will be filling and delicious. Skip the cheese to reduce the calorie and fat count even further. 150 calories with 60 fat calories for one taco.

7. Mozzarella sticks may seem like they are loaded with calories but if they are baked instead of fried they can be a decent alternative. Approximately 110 calories, 60 from fat.

8. An individual cheese pizza may be a tad on the greasy side depending on where you get it but is can be a decently healthy choice. Avoid pepperoni and if you are able to add on some vegetables, even better. 200 calories is what you are looking at with 70 from fat.

9. Chicken tenders that are baked are best but if you have fried, it is still a better option than some other items on the menu. Chicken tenders have 204 calories with 90 from fat.

10. Want to go for a burger? You can order one but instead of as-is, make a few modifications to make it healthier. If turkey or veggie burgers are available go for those. If not, load up on the lettuce, tomato and onion toppers but reduce the condiments especially mayo and nix the cheese and bacon. Instead of a bun try the burger wrapped in lettuce, or only eat it with half the bun. Approximately 280 calories, 180 from fat.

In general, you want to try to stay away from fried, cheese, heavy creams and sauces. You can still enjoy bar food if you bring it down a notch and don’t order the most fully loaded item on the menu.

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