Whenever we think about parties and social occasions, we also tend to think about finger food, canapes and salty snacks – the dips, crackers, cheese and chips that we munch on as we enjoy a few drinks. While we may be aware that fried snacks and pastries are not that good for us, often we think that because a number of our favourite dips are made with vegetables, they are healthy options. Unfortunately this is not always the case, rather dips can be packed full of fat, salt and calories, as can the crackers we serve them with. For example, just a few Jatz crackers and pesto dip can contain more than 300 calories, or that of a small meal.
The biggest issue with dips is that they are not portion controlled – we keep dipping and dipping and before we know it we have eaten a meal worth of calories via dip and chips. For this reason, always portion out your dips before serving them; where possible look for 100% vegetable options that are low in fat such as Chris’s Egyptian Beetroot Dip and serve them with vegetables, not crackers.
*Dips choosen are a random mix from a Woolworths supermarket
** I am not paid by any of these companies.
Tzatziki is traditionally one of the best dip choices thanks to its relatively low fat content and high protein content thanks to yoghurt being its primary ingredient.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 89kJ (20cal), 1g protein, 1.2g fat and 1.6g carbs
Philadelphia Sweet Chilli Philly
Not as bad as some may think but the issue with Philly is that it is hard to keep portions small as it chunks when you dip it so spread it instead if you can.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 190kJ (45cal), 1.5g protein, 2.6g fat, 3.6g carbs.
Black Swan Fresh Guacamole
Often considered a ‘healthy’ choice, check your labels as avo dips as opposed to avocado may contain as little as 50% avocado and are bulked up with plenty of cream cheese and other additives.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 52kJ (13cal), 0.2g protein, 0.8g fat, 1.0g carbs
Bulla Cottage Cheese Onion and Chives
If you like cottage cheese, this is the dip for you as it is one of the few low calorie, high protein options
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 75kJ (18cal), 2g protein, 0.4g fat, 1g carbs.
Black Swan Skinny Hommus
Lower in calories and fat than regular hommus, one would argue that you are better to make your own or go for a natural hommus made from just chick peas, olive oil, lemon and sesame to avoid the additives and preservatives.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 97kJ (23cal), 0.5g protein, 1.6g fat, 1.8g carbs.
More cream cheese than avocado, with just 11% avocado – make your own with a fresh avo, lemon and a little olive oil and blend for a thinner consistency
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 217kJ (52cal), 1.0g protein, 4.9g fat, <1g carbs.
Macro Avocado Dip
With the primary ingredient listed as mayonnaise and 40% avocado, again make your own and get rid of the unnecessary extras.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 391kJ (93cal), <1g protein, 9.9g fat, 1.1g carbs.
Chris’ Egyptian Beetroot
My current market favourite with relatively clean ingredients and a low calorie load – you could make your own too but if you need to pick up something this is a good choice.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 82kJ (20cal), <1g protein, <1 g fat, 3.5g carbs
Philadelphia Mexican Salsa Philly
A new flavour to the market that does contain additives but is relatively low in calories and fat.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 176kJ (42cal), 1.6g protein, 2.6g fat, 3.1g carbs.
Wattle Valley Chunky Basil with Cashew and Parmesan
Who does not love this dip but it is packed with calories and fat so it is much better used occasionally as a spread because you will demolish that entire container before you even realise it.
Per 20g serve (1 tbsp.): 426kJ (102cal), 2.0g protein, 8.3g fat, 4.0 g carbs.
Image source: helloglow.co