Closer!Creative Commons License Nothing is quite as satisfying as a snack you can dip and dunk. That explains why Americans are in love with chips and dip, spending billions a year on chips alone. We all know the chips are loaded with calories, fat, and salt, but even the dip can be deadly. A half cup of regular guacamole has almost 200 calories, 86% of which comes from fat. Add a handful of chips and you are downing the calorie equivalent of a Quarter Pounder. Hey, there’s no law that says a dip-feast has to be unhealthy. In fact,  you can have your dip and eat it too, yet leave the guilt and calories behind. Just substituting fat-free mayo, sour cream, or cottage cheese for those full-fat items in your favorite dip can make a huge dent in the calories and fat.  Replace the chips with healthier dunkables, such as:

1) Cut whole wheat bagels into thin strips and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, or until crisp.

2) Split whole wheat pitas and cut each half into 8 wedges, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes or until crisp.

3) Cut corn tortillas into 8 wedges, place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes, or until crisp.

4) Scoop your favorite dip with a platter full of cut up veggies – raw broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, jicama, radishes, mushrooms, celery, or lightly steamed asparagus.

5) A perfect way to get your 4+ servings of fruit is to use them as dunkables, such as strawberries, sliced persimmons or apples, watermelon chunks, orange sections, or mango strips.  Photo credit: Marcelo Alves via Compfight