Published on June 21, 2016

Enjoy chips and dips the healthy way

Here are healthier options that you'll feel good about eating.

It's no surprise that chips and dips are some of the most popular party foods. But if you're watching your salt, carbs and fat intake, these snack foods can be a diet disaster.

So how do you enjoy your favorite fiesta snacks in a healthier way?

Chips

Made from corn tortillas, a one ounce serving of regular tortilla chips – only 7 to 10 chips - contains 140 calories and 7 grams of fat. The amount of sodium per serving can vary widely from a low of 50 milligrams to as much as 290 milligrams.

Here are some healthier options:

  • Choose high-fiber chips - Fiber improves GI regularity and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Buy tortilla chips made from wheat bran, whole wheat, black beans, steel cut oats or flaxseed, which have 2 – 3 grams of fiber.
  • Select low-sodium varieties - The American Diabetes Association recommends that you limit sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower your blood pressure. A one ounce serving of tortilla chips should contain about 90 to 120 milligrams of sodium.
  • Be wary of baked and reduced-fat products - These options often contain more salt and carbs than regular chips to improve their taste. Look for options that limit carbs to 18 grams per ounce.
  • Dip with veggies - Skip the tortilla chips and reach for heart-healthy fresh veggies like cauliflower, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and bell peppers to keep calories, salt and carbs in check. Crunchy veggies still allow you to enjoy your favorite dips and are easy-to-eat finger foods.

Dips

When it comes to dips, salsa is usually your healthiest option. Most varieties have only 10 calories and less than 2 – 3 grams of carbs per serving. Guacamole, made from avocado, contains healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. However, the calories in this creamy spread can add up quickly. A quarter cup of guacamole contains about 90 calories and over 8 grams of fat. Bean dips can vary widely in nutrition, sodium and calories. Steer clear of options loaded with cheese and sour cream.

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