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Hear Ellen Jaffe on 101.5 LITE FM and weekdays 5:00-9:00 p.m. ET
 E-Mail Ellen              Twitter: @JaffeEllen              Read all posts from Ellen's blog
Heart-healthy Bowl party
Posted 2/1/2013 6:50:00 AM

February is Heart Month and the 10th anniversary of the Go Red For Women movement. Undoubtedly thousands of lives have been saved because of Go Red, and still, heart disease is the #1 killer of women. With contributing factors like obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, we have the ability to reduce our risk for heart disease, if we're willing to make a few lifestyle changes. Losing weight, reducing sodium intake and eating less fatty foods are some key changes in the fight against heart disease. But when the 3rd day of Heart Month - Super Bowl Sunday - is the 2nd largest food consumption day in the U.S., well, the changes may be a challenge.

So I thought I'd share a few tips I've seen about how to makeover your Super Bowl party spread so it's a little more heart-healthy, while still being plenty taste-pleasing.

Startng with the wings. Oh, the chicken wings. According to statistics, Americans will chow down on 1.25 BILLION wings this Sunday. Holy chicken, that's a lot of wings. So health experts recommend baking your chicken wings instead of frying them, and if you really want to commit to a healthy heart regiment, try removing the skin & fat first.

Of course if you're picking up your wings from Bru's Room or Wings Plus, or one of the many other great wing places in South Florida, the cooking modifications might not be an option. So here's another way to make the overall menu healthier: serve lots of cut-up fruit & vegetables. They're delicious when they're fresh, and if you put out more f&v and fewer c&c (chips & cheese), you create an opportunity for people to eat healthier without even thinking about it.

A few more simple changes:

If you're ordering pizza, switch to vegetable toppings instead of fatty meats like sausage & pepperoni.

Instead of potato chips & dip, serve pita chips & salsa.

Instead of regular soda loaded with calories, serve diet soda, iced tea and water.

Drink that water in between every alcoholic beverage. It'll help dilute the alcohol in your system, and you'll likely drink less, taking in fewer empty calories.

To add a little exercise into the mix, keep the food & beverages in a different room from where you're watching the game so everyone will have to get up and walk to replenish their supplies; take a lap around the house every time a team scores; play some backyard football with the kids before the game - now you're turning the 'drudgery of exercise' into the 'fun of play', and some great quality family time.

For more ways to care for your heart, visit the Go Red For Women website.

Have a great weekend, and may the best Harbaugh's team win!

Posted By: Ellen Jaffe  

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