Chances are good that you’ll be encountering plenty of finger foods on New Year’s Eve. While finger foods, or “party snacks”, should be a great way to satiate your hunger without overindulging, they are often foods that one would not consider healthy.
In order to eat properly, you should be able to identify whether or not foods are appropriate for your diet in real time rather than having to consult a predetermined list. Much of this depends on knowing some simple details about the foods, such as how it is prepared and with what specific ingredients. You will not always have nutritional info in front of you, so use the following clues to avoid foods that tend to be high in calories and fat.
Frozen Finger Foods
Foods that are made from scratch tend to be healthy for a variety of reasons. They don’t require as many calories and additives to taste good, they are usually made with higher quality ingredients, and they tend to be significantly lower in sodium that their frozen counterparts.
The worst perpetrators are high in trans-fats, which have been proven to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers exponentially. Foods that look like they just came out of a microwave or oven should be avoided. Unless your host is an exceptionally skilled cook, the mini quiche being served probably just spent a month in the freezer.
These are amongst the worst foods you can possibly eat. Puff pastries tend to be high in saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars. Most are practically doused in cheese and butter. Others can consist entirely of refined flours that will spike your blood sugar and signal your body to begin storing fat. Cheese puffs, crescent rolls, and Spanakopita are all good examples of foods to avoid if you are watching your waistline.
Fried foods should be avoided in general if you are watching what you eat, but fried finger foods are even worse because their relatively small size means that there is even more surface area for the fat to attach itself to per serving size. Fried shrimp, egg rolls, and chicken fingers are all prime examples of foods with high fat content and little nutritional value.
Sometimes the assortment looks fairly innocuous, like cheese and crackers. Yet you are essentially eating a block of saturated fat on top of a smaller block of refined carbohydrates. High calorie spreads are often added to the mix. Avoid these spreads, and you’ll be well on your way to eating healthy.
Luckily, there are plenty of finger foods that you can still eat. One of the most common such items is a vegetable assortment. Eat all of the broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower your heart desires, as they are high in fiber and vitamins. You don’t have to ignore the ranch altogether, but don’t overdo it. It can quickly ruin the nutritional value of your meal. Look for lean proteins, such as chicken skewers or grilled shrimp. Even olives are high in monounsaturated fat and can quickly fill you up.