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Healthy Living: Think heart health when selecting Super Bowl menu

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February is American Heart Health Month and Food City is promoting a heart healthy menu for Sunday's Super Bowl. (MGN)

Even people who aren't particularly fond or knowledgeable of this year's teams or the sport itself are excited to hang out with friends and, most importantly, chow down on some food. The big game does not come at the most opportune time for those of us with healthy eating new year's resolutions or celebrating February as American Heart Month.

Most football snacks are fried, coated in cheese or a combination of both - not the best options for heart health. This year, follow these tips to avoid being tackled by calorie-heavy foods while watching the big game:

1. Include lighter options and heart healthy foods

- To support heart health, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, omega-3-rich fish and seafood, healthy fats, and watch the amount of salt you add to meals or that you consume in processed foods.

- Try to choose party appetizers that include these foods such as a fruit or veggie tray, sandwich or wrap tray or even a cheese and fruit tray with whole grain crackers. Party trays are customizable and can be ordered in advance online or in store.

- If you don't trust yourself to go shopping and stick to lighter options, order your groceries online and pick up curbside or have it delivered through home delivery! This will help you stick to your list and your budget.

2. Get creative with healthier alternatives to your party favorites: show your support of the sport and your favorite teams through your food!

- Include lighter foods like fruits and vegetables in your festive appetizers (veggie pizza hand pies, football shaped cheese/crackers, football strawberries, field goal avocado cupcakes)

- Switch out full-fat for low-fat milk.

- Utilize lean meats: chicken, turkey, fish, lean ground meat etc.

3. Be active!

- The average person will consume more than 6000 calories by the end of a big game party. On days when you know you will probably overdo it on calories, try to include some sort of activity to help balance those calories out.

- Go for a walk, play an active game outside, or hit the gym earlier in the day. Activity helps to boost metabolism and energy by forming more muscle mass which will help you burn more calories throughout the day.

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