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Extreme makeover: Crackers, cheese and dips

Extreme makeover: Crackers, cheese and dips

What a great combo these are: high-fat (and high saturated fat) foods that taste great together! Some tips to lighten the load.

While many crackers can be 20-30% fat, there are also plenty of crackers with less than 10% fat. And if crackers are a regular snack for you, we recommend you find ones you like that are less than 5% fat. How to choose: Crackers has more information.

Standard cheddar cheese is around 35% fat (22% saturated); edam is lower at 26% fat (17% saturated); and reduced-fat cheddar still has around 24% fat (16% saturated).

For our heart health we're encouraged to reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diets, so these cheeses should be consumed in moderation. The good news is there are some alternatives that give a lower-fat, lower-kilojoule cheesy fix:

  • While standard feta is around 20% fat, there are now reduced-fat varieties with only 13.5% fat.
  • Most processed cheese slices are less than 10% fat, with some much lower. 
  • Cottage cheese is made from skim milk so is naturally a low-fat cheese.
  • Standard cottage cheese has only 3-4% fat and reduced-fat varieties are just 1% fat or less.

The bottom line

Standard cheeses, even edam, are too high in fat to be happily slapping wedges on a cracker every day. For different cheesy flavours, try a little reduced-fat feta or even lashings of cottage cheese instead. Or if you want the cheddar cheese flavour, try processed cheese like Bega super slim slices.

The good old reduced cream and onion dip is a staple in many households, and isn't it easy to demolish the whole bowlful? If you do, you'll get through a hefty amount of fat and kilojoules.

Try these quick alternatives to onion dip or bought creamy dips:

  • Combine a can of white or butter beans with lemon juice, a
    little olive oil and fresh herbs. Whiz in a blender for a delicious
    creamy bean dip.
  • Do the same with a can of chickpeas and a clove of garlic for homemade hummus.
  • For a creamy seafood dip, whiz together some lite cottage cheese, a small can of tuna or salmon and a good squeeze of lemon.
  • For a cheesy dip, mix together 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta, 1/2 cup cottage cheese and a tablespoon of grated parmesan.



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