chipThere’s an observance for everything. And today is no exception – it’s National Chip and Dip Day! As one of America’s favorite food pairings, we believe it is our duty to help you celebrate responsibly.

Registered Dietitian Tammy Baranowski compiled a list of snack ideas that will keep you healthy, guilt-free and full.

Bon appétit!

  1. Choose your chips wisely.

Most chips are high in saturated and trans fat – also called trans-fatty acids – which we know are bad for us. Instead, be open-minded about what you use to dip by using bruschetta, naan bread, baked pita chips, or veggie coins such as radishes or carrots.

  1. Give legumes some love.

Beans, lentils, and peas make great dips, from Cowboy Caviar to Hummus or White Bean Dip, these dips are high in fiber, low in cholesterol and saturated fat, making them filling and healthy for you.

  1. Stick with salsas.

Tomato or fruit-based salsas are going to be the lowest in calories of all dips out there, as well as high in cancer-fighting antioxidants!

  1. Pack a flavor punch.

Citrus fruits such as lemon and lime, herbs such as cilantro and parsley, and spices like garlic, cumin, and chili powder allow you to reduce your sodium intake as well as avoid highly processed dip mixes which can also be high in preservatives and fillers.

  1. 5. Fill up on heart-healthy fats.

Using avocado for guacamole or making a simple olive oil and herb dip is going to be high in monounsaturated heart-healthy fats, as opposed to heavy creamy or cheese-based dips that can clog your arteries. Just remember all fats have 9 calories per gram, which leads us to our final tip.

  1. Pay attention to portions.

Typically we are enjoying our dips at parties or in other social settings, where it can be easy to mindlessly eat several servings before we know it. Be sure to be mindful of the amount of chips and dips you are putting on your plate in order to thrill your taste buds while still being kind to your waistline.

Tammy Baranowski is the clinical nutrition manager at Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Fla. Orange Park Medical is an affiliate of HCA Healthcare and a member of HCA’s South Atlantic Division.