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Tailgate Tushies

by John McGran & Becky Billingsley

Football season is at a frenzied peak, and gridiron fans have the spread-out behinds to prove it. What is it about football that inspires our worst snacking instincts?

Forget about carrot sticks and diet soda – we want Garlic Parmesan Wings and Miller Longnecks!

Mr. Bad Food shows us one food we might want to stay away from even if our snack lust is in high football frenzy, and Mrs. Good Food suggests a healthier munch that will fuel any fanatic’s game fun.

From Mr. Bad Food:

Totino’s Mega Pizza Rolls

Web site ad copy proudly proclaims: “Totino’s has taken the hot delicious pizza flavors your family loves… and stuffed them into a bite size rolls to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites! Totino’s MEGA Pizza Rolls pizza snacks are 2X bigger than regular Totino’s rolls…Pick up a bag or two today…”

The Good News: The nutritional numbers for one serving of the newer mega-sized snacks is basically the same as a single serving of the original pizza rolls.

The Bad News: A serving of the original rolls meant six pieces; a serving of the mega snacks is just three pieces.

Mr. Bad Food must confess that he loves Totino’s Pepperoni Pizza Rolls. I like everything from the crispy coating, to the lava-hot stuffing that oozes out when the rolls are ready to eat, to the taste of these spicy little suckers. But while sampling the mega snacks I found myself eating SIX pieces at a sitting, not three. Heck, the original ones are so darn tasty and small that I couldn’t stop with the six-piece serving of those either.

My point is that most red-blooded teens will blow by the suggested three-piece serving like they blow by a 35 MPH traffic sign. Unless you are on hand to divvy up the snacks and lord over the kids until they have eaten their three pieces and scattered, you can bet they’ll mindlessly munch a bunch too many while watching TV, talking on the phone or playing video games.

And then it’s a good bet that they’ll still be hungry for dinner!  

Oh, and here’s Bad News, Part 2: Both versions of Totino’s Pizza Rolls include the nasty trans fats. This is the scary stuff that is unhealthy in any amount.

The nutritional numbers for six original Pizza Rolls: 210 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2.5g of saturated fat, 1.5g of trans fat, 10milligrams cholesterol, 480mg sodium and 25g carbs.

Three Mega Rolls have 230 calories, 11g of fat, 3g saturated fat, 1.5g trans fat,  580mg sodium, and 25g carbs.

Chew on This: Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on hand and push that as the healthy snack. Yogurt, trail mix and low-fat string cheese will work as well…even if they’re put down in front of hungry football fans!


From Mrs. Good Food:

Set in his ways

Usually my husband is easy-going about sampling the healthy foods I write about. He tries the tofu, eats the flavored ices and downs the fat-free dressings. But for some reason he hesitated over Corazonas Heart Healthy Chips.

I think it was the flavors that made him pause: Cilantro Salsa Fresca, Margarita Lime and Baja Bean Dip. He yelled to me across the house, “Do we have any plain chips?”

What’s even more surprising is my two teenage sons didn’t mind the flavors at all. They ate them with lean cooked hamburger and melted nacho cheese without any complaints.

My husband ultimately had to eat the Corazonas because we didn’t have any other chips, and he liked them. The boys like them too; they said they enjoy the flavors and the “graininess” of them.

All three flavors are studded with whole oats; that’s the second ingredient listed on all the bags. The first ingredient is stone ground corn masa flour.

A serving size is 1 ounce, and a 7-ounce (198g) bag that costs $3 contains 7 servings. A serving of the Baja Bean Dip has 140 calories, 7g fat (0.5 saturated), zero cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (3 fiber) and 2g protein.

In comparison, a 1-ounce serving of Tostitos Scoops has 140 calories, 7g fat (1 saturated), zero cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (1 fiber) and 2g protein. So you get 2 extra grams of fiber with the Corazonas. On the back of the Corazonas bag a big deal is made out of the fact the chips contain plant sterols, which are supposed to help lower your cholesterol, but the plant sterols comprise less than 2 percent of the total ingredients.

For goodness’ sake: More fiber is a good thing, and flavored chips you can enjoy without high-fat dips are also beneficial to your health. Set out these chips with heart-healthy salsa and you score a winning snack!


Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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