Love Super Bowl parties but hate how the snack table spells certain death for your New Years' diet? It's all too easy to snarf down hundreds of calories as the tension mounts, and this year's contest between the Packers and Steelers should prove to be a nail-biting grudge match.
We've compiled a list of 10 delicious and healthy treats to help you keep your hands off the pizza, wings and onion dip. Many are also gluten-free and vegan, so even those who couldn't indulge normally won't be left starving. Most are available at your local health food store, co-op, or online at the provided websites.
1. Salba Smart Natural Snacks
If on a mission to lose weight the healthy way this year, sit far from the snack table and grub down on Salba Smart natural snacks. The brand makes a huge variety of finger foods, ranging from tortilla chips and salsa to potato chips and pretzels. Salba is an ancient grain popular in the distant past as a high energy "running food" that was also prized as a trade commodity. Salba Smart snacks are gluten-free, raw, vegetarian/vegan, non-allergenic and loaded with heart-friendly Omega-3s. You can buy a bag or jar at most health food stores.
2. Pizza Fusion
This eco-friendly company offers healthy, non-gluten pies made with fresh, all-natural and organic ingredients, including roasted steak, free-range chicken, Portobello mushrooms, soy cheese and more. Pizza Fusion has 18 locations across the country, most of which are in Florida and California.
3. Fiber Gourmet's Lite Cheese Snacks
They look and taste like the addictive Cheez-It's but have -- literally -- half the calories! At $0.72 per ounce, they're actually cheaper than the commercial cheese snacks, which cost $0.99 per ounce. Can't beat saving cash and your wiastline.
4. Pirate's Booty Bermuda Onion
If you love Funyuns, this puffed rice and corn snack makes a great alternative. Savor the flavor of green chives, garlic and sweet Bermuda onions for 130 calories per one-ounce bag (That's half the calories of Funyuns). These snacks are baked (as opposed to fried in oil), vegan-friendly, all-natural and free of trans-fat and gluten.
5. Yoplait Yoplus Light Yogurt
Yogurt is a genius and delicious snack as long as you stay away from the sugar-drenched varieties. Yoplait has been leading the pack with healthy offerings since they introduced Yoplus Light, a blend with the smooth creaminess of regular yogurt but with one-third the calories. It comes in six fruit-infused varieties, including blackberry pomegranate and blueberry acai. Use a Yoplait coupon to get $1 of a pack of six.
6. Pop Chips
Pop Chips is the next generation of potato chips. Instead of frying or baking, the manufacturer (of course) pops them by combining heat and pressure. These all-natural snacks contain no grease, artificial colors or preservatives. Pop Chips are available in grocery and health stores and come in seven different flavors. The Parmesan Garlic variety is delectable.
7. Sonoma Crisps Apple Sticks
Dried fruits remind many of digestive problems (whether as a cure or cause), but these puppies are much more fulfilling as a snack. They're slow baked, not fried, dehydrated or generally sucked of all flavor. There's not a single drop of oil in any of the products and each bag contains the equivalent of 1-1/2 large apples.
8. Good Health Humbles
Store-made hummus is a hit or miss -- but more often a bland, watery miss. Good Health has the right idea, though, turning the finnicky spread into a stand-alone snack, sans fat-laden chips. The health maven's line of Humble Baked Hummus Chips are baked to a crispy-crunchy golden brown and contain only 4 or 4.5 grams of fat per serving. Flavors include Olive Oil, Lemon and Feta; Roasted Red Pepper; Sesame Garlic; and Sea Salt.
9. Sweets Under 50 Calories
Heart Healthy Living lists 20 sweet snacks for 50 calories or less. The sensible article details, "the calorie, cholesterol, fat,and sodium facts for each snack, plus brand names to make your shopping super simple." Eats range from common sense, like raspberries and jello, to surprising, such as root beer floats. Who knew a reasonable size was only 50 calories?
10. WildSide Bite-Size Salmon Dog Treats
Don't forget all those pups roaming the party and back yard. If you don't want them begging for steaks from the barbecue, stock up on these all-natural, wild salmon treats. They're hypoallergenic and suitable for the most sensitive of dogs, including those with special diets. Treats by the Seattle-based company can occasionally be found in local pet stores, but it offers a full-service online catalog.