You might think all appetizers are a bad idea. You might think a couple bites won?t hurt your diet. Maybe you choose healthy starters; maybe you choose fat and calorie packed, deep fried ones. The truth is, you really can nibble on some healthy appetizers without blowing your diet. In fact, it may even be good for you. If you arm yourself with the right info, you?ll be well on your way to appetizer heaven.
Appetizers Can Save You Calories
It?s true. Eating before your main dish arrives may mean you?ll eat less of your entree. In fact, it could reduce your total caloric intake by as much as 12 percent, according to a study in the Journal of American Dietetic Association. That is, if the appetizer you choose is 100 calories. Surprisingly, you can enjoy delicious dishes, such as crab and celery root r?moulade or deviled eggs with smoked salmon without breaking that 100-calorie cap.
Go for Shareable Appetizers
Choose an appetizer that?s easy to grab and share with friends. With others digging in, you?ll eat less yourself. If you order appetizers with messy sauces or soups, you?re likely to be eating the whole thing yourself. Think appetizers, such as grilled shrimp or chips and a dip, like guacamole con frutas.
Watch out for the Salad
Surely you already know that not all salads are created equal. Have you ever considered that eating an appetizer instead of a salad might be even healthier for you? This is especially true in restaurants who toss a salad with dressing, then bring the finished product to your table. A single serving of salad served that was can cost you upwards of 300 calories per serving.
Stay Away from Fried Starters
They?re easy to pick up and nibble on, usually tasty, and almost always packed with fat and calories. French fries and fritters are obvious bad guys, but you might be surprised to learn that most buffalo wings are deep fried, too. If you can choose a grilled alternative to your fried favorites. Grilled chicken wings have under 100 calories per serving, while their deep fried counterparts can have as many as 160 calories per individual wing.
Pick the Healthy Crunch
Some people say that if you crave something crunchy, you?re probably stressed out. Being around salty and crispy foods can give you a taste for something with a crunch to it, too. If you find yourself longing for loaded nachos or crispy french fries, be strong. Find something with a crunch that?s a bit healthier, such as sweet potato chips or roasted chickpeas. You?ll get the salt and the crunch without the truckload of fat and calories.
Nuts are your Friend
Though many nuts have a high fat content, they?re little packets of health you should not avoid. If you find yourself having to choose between fried hors d’oeuvres or a bowl of almonds; go for the almonds. They have many health benefits, including probably reducing the risk of heart disease by helping to lower bad cholesterol (LDL). Walnuts and peanuts are also super healthy choices. The former is high in Omega-3s and the later has a low glycemic index.
Now you know that eating appetizers isn?t all bad news. You can indulge if you choose the right foods and stick to the right portions. If you don?t know whether a certain dish is healthy or not, skip it and choose one you?re sure of. Picking a great appetizer will let your taste buds have their fun while helping you avoid overeating during your meal.