Are you hosting or attending an open house or buffet? Make healthy choices, and you can keep these soirées happy and fit occasions.
Fitness magazine recommends sticking to the following appetizers to keep things light at your next party:
- Bruschetta. This crisp bread is topped with vegetables, usually mixed with some heart-healthy olive oil. It’s even better for you if the bread is whole-grain.
- Smoked salmon. It provides you with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Eat just a little if you are watching your sodium.
- Salsa. Salsa’s main ingredients – tomatoes, onions, peppers, and lime – are packed with vitamins A and C, loaded with fiber, and extremely low in calories.
- Guacamole. The avocado gives you omega-3s and is considered a heart-healthy fat. Eat it in moderation, and go easy on the chips.
- Shrimp cocktail. Shrimp is a low-calorie, low-fat protein that contains zinc to help promote a healthy immune system. Don’t overdo it, though, because shrimp is high in cholesterol.
- Vegetables and dip. Eat a variety of colors for lots of vitamins. You don’t have to completely give up the creamy ranch dip. Have just a little for dipping, because studies show that a small amount of fat can help your body absorb the nutrients in the vegetables. Try our low-fat ranch recipe below.
- Chicken kabobs. Grilled versions are usually skinless and low-fat and give you 9 grams of protein per ounce. And many marinades are low-calorie while adding a lot of flavor.
- Sushi rolls. They’re low-fat, and varieties with salmon or tuna give you omega-3s. Most also contain vegetables. In addition, seaweed is a rich source of minerals.
- Cheese and fruit. Cheese has calcium, and most fruits give you vitamin C and other nutrients. Limit yourself to a couple of ounces of cheese.
- Nuts. Mixed roasted nuts give you vitamins, fiber, and protein. If the mix contains pumpkin or sunflower seeds, that’s even better – the vitamin E is good for your skin and circulation. Just skip the candied or honey-roasted nuts. If you are watching your sodium intake, limit yourself to a small handful of nuts.
Other ideas for guilt-free nibbles:
- Edamame. Lightly salted soybeans in the pod can satisfy your craving for a salty snack and provide protein and fiber.
- Hummus. On vegetables or whole-grain crackers or pita bread, it’s a low-fat alternative to other dips and spreads.
- Lettuce wraps. A lettuce leaf becomes a low-calorie shell to hold a variety of healthy ingredients – grilled chicken, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, or other vegetables. Just keep the sauce light. Try our recipes below.
- Dark chocolate-dipped strawberries. Strawberries for vitamin C and dark chocolate for antioxidants make this treat a healthy indulgence.
Low-Fat Herbed Ranch Dressing
Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
Red Radish and Cucumber Salad
Oven-Fried Squash Sticks