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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Holiday Entertaining

We are now in full swing of holiday parties! Are you doing any entertaining this year or are you just being entertained?

It is really easy to substitute lower fat and lower sugar ingredients to cut calories. Your guests will not even know!

Beans make a great base for dips. You can puree the beans as a creamy base or you can leave them in whole for a tasty chunky dip. Check out this recipe for chunky black bean and avocado dip. It took me 5 minutes to put together. Easy! Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium, Vitamin E, fiber, and cholesterol lowering plant sterols. If you are an avid Diet Dish reader, you already know about my obsession with beans! They are low glycemic and full of fiber and protein! This dip goes really well with tortilla chips.

Another way to cut fat in dips is to use reduced fat or fat free sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo. There is no reason to use the full fat varieties. You can also use plain yogurt in the place of some of the sour cream. Here is a recipe for some yummy red pepper dip. Again it only took me about 5 minutes to whip up this dip!

You can't have dip without something to pick it up with! Raw veggies are great for creamy dips, but the chunky dips need a good chip. You may be surprised, but chips are really not bad for you. Frito Lay uses 3 simple ingredients in their chips: either corn or potato, sunflower or corn oil, and salt. They have 0 grams trans fat, too! Did you know that you can get 32 Fritos for one serving? Not bad for the volume eaters out there!

No holiday party is complete without a bowl of nuts. Shake it up this year with TrueNorth nuts! They have amazing nut clusters and nut crisps. I love, love, love the pistachio crisps. OMG! They are so good! They have a darn good holiday flavor of nut cluster that is only available for a limited time: Almond Cranberry Vanilla clusters. Trust me when I tell you that these are wonderful little clusters of yum.

Desserts add up very quickly in calories. One of my faves this holiday season is to use Truvia natural sweetener instead of sugar in recipes. You can substitute 12 packets for every half cup of sugar in a recipe. Not all zero calorie sweeteners taste great in recipes after baking, but Truvia is awesome! You can check out their website for lots of recipes. They have recipes for some fun holiday cocktails and mocktails that they developed with Martha Stewart, too!

Speaking of alcohol, I do have to put a word in for being safe this holiday season. Remember to appoint a designated driver at the beginning of the night so everyone gets home safe!

Watch this segment that I just did on the Daily Buzz this morning for more info on all of the above!

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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