Diet Destroying Appetizers

Photo Credit: Public Domain
Dining out in America often includes an appetizer that stimulates your taste buds with something to munch while waiting on the main course. Have you ever stopped to consider how many calories you consume in a small appetizer? Those cheese sticks, fried vegetables and creamy dips can add hundreds of calories and undermine your diet and weight-loss goals. The occasional indulgence won’t destroy your weight-loss program, but making healthy choices should always be your first priority. 
Deep fried onions with a tasty dip are a popular appetizer in some “steak house” style restaurants. Onions are low in calories, but it’s the batter, oil and the dip that undo your diet. Not only are extra calories and fat added to your diet, there’s a lot of sodium in the batter and dip. Opt instead for celery sticks and a low-fat ranch dip if it’s available. If your’re counting calories, this appetizer will definitely take you over the limit. 
Spinach and artichokes are healthy, nutrient-rich foods that taste delicious. They contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals and can be prepared various ways as side dishes and in dips. Favorite appetizers are spinach and artichoke dips. The diet busting cream sauce that serves as the base for the dip can contain over 1,000 calories, more than 2,000 mg of sodium and about 100 grams of saturated fat. You are better off eating a spinach salad with a low-fat vinaigrette salad dressing. 
The shrimp cocktail is a favorite appetizer for many people. Shrimp alone is low in fat, has few calories and is a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for brain and other body functions. The cocktail sauce is the diet destroyer. Opt for a tomato-based sauce instead. Clams are also a good source of nutrients, but served in a chowder, the calories can add up. The cream base is the culprit. Try a bowl of  tomato-based vegetable soup instead of the chowder. 
Mozzarella cheese is a healthy food, but when it is battered and deep fried, the calories and fat can go off the chart. One serving of deep fried cheese sticks can contain nearly 1,000 calories and almost 3,000 mg of sodium. Sodium can cause your body to retain water, adding pounds. The loaded baked potato and loaded potato skins are not only loaded with flavor, they are loaded with fat and calories that can undermine your weight loss goals. Try some stuffed mushrooms instead. Mushrooms stuffed with breadcrumbs and cheese contain about 50 calories each. 

For more information about diet-busting appetizers, see:
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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