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Healthy Snacks for Soccer Watching

When the football season draws near, soccer fans will soon be watching the World Cup matches on TV, and very likely snacking at the same time for better fun. Popular snacks on these occasions are usually potato chips, prawn crackers, soft drinks, beer, etc. They are all high in energy. Over-consumption of these food items may result in overweight and obesity, which will lead to health problems in the long run. If you don’t want to develop a pot-belly after the matches, follow the healthy eating tips below:
  • Snack in moderation only

Do not change your regular routine of having three main meals a day despite watching the ball matches. Main meals provide better satiety and help avoid over-consumption of snacks due to hunger caused by skipping meal, which will result in excessive intake of energy, fat and sugar. Also, we should only take snack when feeling hungry but not just for nibbling.
We should have snack in moderation. To avoid excessive energy intake, we can save the mid-afternoon snacks to mid-night when watching the matches or reduce the dinner portion.
  • Be smart on choosing crispy snacks

Some football fans love crispy snacks such as potato chips, shrimp strips and cheese balls, that are high in fat and salt, for better fun while watching the matches. But a large pack (about 100 g) of potato chips already provides approximately 540 kcal and 36g fat, which is equivalent to 2.5 bowls of rice and 7 teaspoons of oil. To enjoy delicious yet healthy crispy snacks, we can go for oven-baked or non deep-fried options, such as baked potato chips, baked sweet potato chips, corn flakes, unsalted nuts and low-fat popcorn, etc. so as to reduce the intake of energy, fat and salt. To replace the large pack or family size by small pack of crisps or share a pack of snacks with friends also helps to control the amount of our intake.
  • To give fresh fruit a go

Everybody knows fruit is a healthy snack as it is low in fat and energy. Taking advantages of its wide variety and abundant in nutrients – rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, why not give fresh fruit a go when watching the matches? This indeed helps us to achieve the healthy eating target of at least taking 2 servings of fruit a day.
  • To avoid alcohol or alcoholic drinks

Football and beer often go hand-in-hand. However, alcohol has been classified as Group 1 carcinogens, belonging to the highest risk category just as tobacco smoke and asbestos, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The more one drinks, the higher is one’s cancer risk; in terms of cancer risk, there is no safe level for alcohol consumption. Thus, for the sake of our own health, we should avoid taking any alcohol or alcoholic drinks.
In addition, beer does not contain fat and yet a can (330 ml) of it can provide approximately 140 kcal, which is equivalent to 2/3 bowl of rice. Drinking 3-4 cans of beer provides additional energy which is equivalent to a main meal and this also explains why beer lovers often come with a pot-belly.
  • Healthier alternatives for drinks

Football fans also love potato chips with soft drinks. A can (about 330ml) of soft drink can provide 135 kcal and 35g sugar, which is equivalent to 7 teaspoons of sugar, nearly the upper limit of an adult’s daily sugar intake (10 teaspoons of sugar). To enjoy a delicious and refreshing drink, we can try a home-made lemonade by mixing the lime and soda water together that is not just fizzy and tasty but also low in energy and sugar (only having 20kcal and 1.1g sugar). What’s more? No sugar added vegetable juice or sugar-free tea are also some healthier alternatives to soft drink for our World Cup nights.