It's started already. The blitz of invitations to parties filled with holiday cheer and trays of tempting hors d'oeuvre – decadent cheese balls, miniature stuffed pastries, bite-size quiches and Swedish meatballs. And when you're entertaining at home, heating up store-bought frozen appetizers can be a welcome time saver.
If you're a health conscious hostess, it's not easy to find hors d'oeuvre that don't cram a meal's worth of calories, fat and sodium into a few little bites. Sure, they're baked in your oven, but most are pre-fried in oil or loaded with butter and shortening. That said, some products are better than others. (Of course, you still need to watch how many you pop in your mouth.)
Heinz Hot Bites Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
Among the worst in nutrition is Heinz's Hot Bites Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers, peppers filled with creamy cheese in a crispy breading (a.k.a. fried). Two poppers will set you back 186 calories and 12 grams of total fat, of which 5 grams are saturated fat – a quarter of a day's worth. (Blame the first ingredient: cream cheese.) You'll also find a quarter of your daily sodium (400 milligrams) in two pieces thanks to the numerous times (seven) salt and sodium are mentioned on the ingredient list.
Nutritional value of two Heinz Hot Bites Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers (65 g)
12 grams fat
5 grams saturated fat
20 milligrams cholesterol
400 milligrams sodium
15 grams carbohydrate
3.3 grams protein
President's Choice Vegetable Samosas Hors D'oeuvres
A better choice: President's Choice Vegetable Samosas Hors D'oeuvres, pastries filled with potatoes, carrots, peas and spices. While they are browned in canola oil, two samosas deliver 100 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and less than half a gram of cholesterol-raising saturated fat. What's more, two of these hors d'oeuvre have half as much sodium (210 milligrams) as two Heinz Hot Bites. If you skip the dipping sauce, you'll consume even less sodium.
Nutritional value of two President's Choice Vegetable Samosas Hors D'oeuvres (46 g)
3.5 grams fat
0.3 grams saturated fat
0 grams trans fat
0 milligrams cholesterol
210 milligrams sodium
15 grams carbohydrate
2 grams protein