You don't have to leave it out this year -- just address the ingredient list. Since spinach dip is so heavy on flavor, switching out the heavy base can go unnoticed. Use light sour cream, light mayonnaise or reduced-fat cream cheese instead of the full-fat stuff, and that fat content drops to about 7 grams [source: Dr. Oz]. Replace some of that base with Greek yogurt, and you're also adding loads of extra protein and calcium.
You can do this with practically any party dip, but that's just the beginning. Try lightening up other classics with these healthy variations:
- Pigs in a blanket: Replace pigs with low-fat turkey or chicken sausage
- Deviled eggs: Replace regular mayo with light
- Oysters Rockefeller: Oysters mignonette
- Goose-liver pâté: Chicken-liver pâté
- Fried potato chips: Baked veggie chips (see sidebar)
And what about the "healthy choice" at last year's holiday parties? Salted nuts, as far as nutrients go, typically have you covered with plenty of protein, healthy fats, fiber and vitamins. The problem on last year's party circuit? Ten percent of your daily sodium allowance per handful. Make your mixed nuts the unsalted ones. Done.
And this holiday season, may you eat well, drink up, give generously and fit into the pants you wore beforehand.
For more information on party food, healthy options and holiday classics, check out the links below.
- Dorn, Emily. "The 10 Healthiest Party Foods: A Holiday Party Guide." Fitness Magazine. (Sept. 24, 2012) http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/healthiest-party-foods-holiday-party-guide/
- "Healthy Dips." Cooking Light. (Sept. 28, 2012) http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/healthy-dips-00412000073294/
- Gallary, Christine. "Make Your Own Veggie Chips." Chow. May 10, 2011. (Sept. 28, 2012) http://www.chow.com/food-news/80400/make-your-own-veggie-chips/
- Layton, Julia. "5 Low-Sodium Cheeses." TLC Cooking. (Sept. 28, 2012) https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/fresh-ideas/low-sodium-dinners/5-low-sodium-cheeses.htm
- "Nutrition Facts: Hummus, commercial." SELF Nutrition Data. (Sept. 28, 2012) http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4407/2
- Parker-Pope, Tara. "The Skinny on Holiday Weight Gain." The New York Time. Nov. 22, 2007. (Sept. 28, 2012) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/the-skinny-on-holiday-weight-gain/
- "Ranking Seafood: Which Fish are Most Nutritious?" Ask Dr. Sears. (Sept. 28, 2012) http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/family-nutrition/fish/ranking-seafood-which-fish-are-most-nutritious
- "Todd Wilbur's Reduced-Calorie, Reduced-Fat Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip." Dr. Oz. (Sept. 28, 2012) http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/todd-wilburs-reduced-calorie-hot-artichoke-spinach-dip
- "Top-Rated Party Appetizers." Cooking Light. (Sept. 24, 2012) http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/menus-for-entertaining/five-star-party-appetizers-00400000039522/
- Zimmerman, Mike and Joel Weber. "14 Healthy Cheeses You'll Love." Men's Health (via MSN Fitbie). (Sept. 24, 2012) http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/14-healthy-cheeses-youll-love