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Healthy Dips Menu

There is something irresistible about scooping up a dollop of dip with a crunchy chip. But the creamy concoctions and their crisp counterparts are often high in saturated fat and sodium, and both foods are usually low in redeeming nutritional value.

Modify their ingredients, however, and the dips and their partners can take a healthy turn and still be enticing, says Miriam Pappo Klein, director of clinical nutrition at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. She suggests replacing the standard full-fat base with one made with nonfat or low-fat dairy products, or with olive oil, beans, or tofu -- ingredients that yield satiny dips but have less or no saturated fat. Further improve the dips by stirring in nutritious, flavorful ingredients, such as nuts or vegetables.

Healthful, crunchy chip stand-ins include vegetable spears and whole-wheat baguette slices. If potato or tortilla chips beckon, choose a baked variety with as little sodium as you can find (ideally, one hundred milligrams or fewer per serving); then stay with a handful. That's the scoop -- now dip in.

Immersion Course
A healthful dip can bring flavor and nutrition to the table. Fiber-rich artichokes are the base of this vegetable-cheese mix -- and its "chips."

Do You Know?
Dips high in protein and fiber and made with healthful fats can keep you feeling fuller longer and prevent overindulging at meals.

Artichoke-Spinach Dip
Spicy-Red-Pepper-and-Walnut Dip
Corn Dip with Tomatoes and Basil
Salmon Dip
Red Bean Dip

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