Janet Marshall is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Living section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter. She thinks most things are fine in moderation.
Subscribe to the Healthy Life Virginia newsletter: fredericksburg.com/gethealthy
Chips, dips and eating well
A few hours before the Super Bowl, I bumped into a friend who I knew I’d see at a party that night, and the talk pretty quickly turned to dip. Not just any dip, but a dip we recall fondly from our childhoods, when Little Debbie cakes seemed like wholesome snacks and we didn’t care about fat content or nutrition — we just wanted to eat tasty food. (And who doesn’t? But more on that later.)
My friend was planning to bring a bean dish to the party but she quickly offered to make the dip, too. The dip, the magical, glorious dip, is made with sour cream and a package of Lipton’s French Onion soup. When it’s mixed together, it takes on a strange-yet-comforting beige/gray hue.
I have a love-hate relationship with that dip, and I spent the first part of the party savoring it and the second part willing myself to avoid it. It’s hard to resist tempting foods, especially at parties.
So how can you strike a balance between indulging and overdoing it? Here are some tips dietitians Jennifer Motl and Nancy Farrell give for eating in moderation when you’re surrounded by lip-smacking foods:
- Consider how you want to feel when you’re done eating.
- Eat healthy foods first. (I ate two servings of salad when the party first started so I wouldn’t be starving when the dip arrived.)
- Indulge only in the foods you really love, rather than on the things you don’t actually crave.
- Grab a small plate from the buffet table, and then move away from the table.
For lots more tips on how to enjoy big gatherings without stuffing yourself, click here. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to sour cream-based dips, buy some hummus (a great chickpea-based dip) or try recipes like these:
Everybody wants to enjoy tasty foods. But tasty and sugary don’t have to be synonymous. Same with tasty and ultra-salty. If you’re in the habit of eating highly processed, not-so-nutritious foods and would like to develop a taste for fresher, healthier foods, check out Jennifer Motl’s column on this topic here.