Smart Snacking Substitutions for a Healthier 2015

Mild salsa

This is the time of year when many people resolve to lose weight or at least be generally healthier in their eating habits. But often, these resolutions don’t last long, soon forgotten in the hustle and bustle of starting a new year. And actually, people who make extreme commitments — such as to cleanses and very restrictive diets — are less likely to follow through. The easiest way to eat healthier is to make smart switches, especially when it comes to snacking, rather than depriving yourself altogether. Consider these differences between two equally tasty dip choices: A sour cream-based French Onion dip and a classic mild salsa dip.

  • Option 1: French Onion Dips

    French onion dip might be creamy and delicious, but it’s also full of fat and calories. Two tablespoons of dip have around 60 calories. That would take almost 20 minutes of walking to burn off. Moreover, 45 of those calories are from fat. And considering how hard it is to stick to just a couple tablespoons — what might go on just a handful of chips, for many people — this dip could derail any diet plan in a hurry.

  • Option 2: Classic Mild Salsa Dips

    Of course salsa nutritional facts will differ slightly, since there are so many different types of salsa. But in general, any fresh salsa calories’ impact on your diet is likely to be slight: An average, classic mild salsa dip has only about 10 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, with zero calories from fat. And since salsa is basically vegetables and nothing else, it even gives you a little boost of Vitamin C (about 5% of your daily needs, but every little bit helps). The only thing to worry about here is how many tortilla chips you’re having along with your salsa.

  • Snacking Tips for 2015

    Clearly, salsa can offer some serious nutritional savings over onion dip when you’re deciding on the perfect accompaniment for your chips. But if you really can’t sacrifice the creaminess, consider hummus or a yogurt-based dip paired with veggies, instead. No matter what kind of snack you choose, be mindful of portion size and fill up with veggies, protein and whole grains at mealtime so you won’t be tempted by nutritionally valueless calories during snack time. Drinking a full glass of water before you start eating is also a good idea, since your body has a tough time telling the difference between hunger and thirst — you might be scarfing down snacks when what your body really needs is plain old H20.

Will you be using salsa to go healthy with your snacking in 2015? Share your ideas for healthy substitutions in the comments.

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