This one is all about apps! You know you love them, you know you can’t live with out them… just as my cousin Sam and how she feels about the Beef Lolly Pops at Wine30! HAHA…
Welp, here’s the sad sad truth about what you should, and shouldn’t eat as an app!
WORST: Onion Blossom – otherwise known as good old BLOOOOMIN Onion… yum.
It may be your waistline that blossoms if you’re a fan of fried onions. “It’s good to start off with a vegetable,” says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But once you fry it, you’re frying in calories.” The onion blossom at one popular restaurant has 1,949 calories, 161 g of fat, and 4,100 mg of sodium — more than double the daily sodium limit for healthy adults.
BEST: Vegetable Kabobs – These are delish!
Grilled vegetable kabobs offer a nutritious, low-calorie alternative to fried onions. If this isn’t on the menu, ask for a side of grilled vegetables as your appetizer. Veggie kabobs are also easy to make — try skewering onions, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini. Brush with a lower-fat garlic and herb marinade. Two large kabobs will have about 75 calories.
WORST: Spinach Artichoke Dip – Why isn’t it healthy? It’s got spinach! haha
Don’t let the word “spinach” fool you. Traditional spinach artichoke dip is not a healthy starter. A typical order contains about 1,600 calories, 100 g of fat, and 2,500 mg of sodium. The trouble is the cream base, which is loaded with saturated fat. If you make this dip at home, try using a base of nonfat Greek yogurt instead.
BEST: Spinach Salad
The best appetizers are low in calories, but satisfying enough to curb how much you eat during the rest of your meal. Salads made with spinach or other leafy greens do this very well. Studies suggest you’ll eat about 10% less during a meal if you start off with salad. A cup of fresh spinach with a tablespoon of vinaigrette has about 80 calories.
Like many forms of seafood, squid can be nutritious. But when you bread it and fry it in oil, you’re drenching it with calories and fat. A typical restaurant portion contains about 900 calories, 54 g of fat, and 2,300 mg of sodium — not including any sauce.
Shrimp cocktail is very low in saturated fat and calories. It’s also a refreshing source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote healthy circulation. To keep the calorie count low, stick to tomato-based sauce. A serving of shrimp with cocktail sauce has about 140 calories.
A typical appetizer portion of buffalo chicken wings has more than 700 calories and 40 g of fat. Ranch sauce adds another 200 calories and 20 g of fat. That’s 900 calories and 60 g of fat — not to mention more than 2,000 mg of sodium — before you even get to your main meal.
BEST: Lettuce Wraps – bland, but will have to do!
If you’re craving spicy chicken, skip the wings and try lettuce wraps. You can make these at home by wrapping diced spicy chicken and vegetables in a lettuce leaf. Each wrap has 160 calories and 7 g of fat. If you order this appetizer at a restaurant, be sure to share. A plate of four wraps has a total of 640 calories, 28 g of fat, and 650 mg sodium.
ms instead of potato skins helps keep the portion size down. Mushroom caps filled with cheese and breadcrumbs have less than 50 calories each. That means you can eat half a dozen and still keep your appetizer under 300 calories, along with 19 grams of fat, and 720 mg of sodium.
WORST: New England Clam Chowder
Clam chowder sounds like it should be healthy, especially as a way to take in some extra seafood. Unfortunately, the New England variety is made with a fattening cream base. A 12-ounce bowl contains about 630 calories, 54 g of fat, and 890 mg of sodium.
BEST: Vegetable Soup
Like salad, having a bowl of soup can curb how much you eat during the rest of the meal. The key is choosing a low-calorie option, such as a tomato-based vegetable soup. A 12-ounce bowl has about 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 1,240 mg sodium. Stay away from cream-based vegetable soups, which are higher in calories and saturated fats. When buying canned soup, look for those marked “low in sodium.”
FAT KID OUT!