Thanks to the relatively high amount of fat in avocados, guacamole has gotten a bad rap in certain diet circles. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, though, which is actually a "healthy" fat that may contribute to improved cholesterol levels. Avocados also provide significant amounts of fiber, potassium and numerous vitamins. For a healthy appetizer or a pick-me-up between mealtimes, enjoy a moderately-sized portion of guacamole with nutritious, low-fat dipping snacks.
Slice up your favorite vegetables into 2-inch to 3-inch strips for easy dipping. Carrots, celery and bell peppers work nicely. They taste yummy with guacamole and, arranged together, make an attractive, colorful appetizer dish. Veggie spears are not only a delicious source of crunchy flavor, but also provide an array of vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories, which make them a perfect pairing option for dense dips such as guacamole.
Replace traditional fried tortilla chips with baked, whole grain crackers. Not only will you eliminate a considerable amount of fat from your dish, but you will also reap the benefits of a whole grain ingredient. Whole, or unrefined, grains are excellent sources of fiber and potassium. They provide your body with energizing complex carbohydrates and have even been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Shrimp, like avocados, have been wrongly accused of having adverse affects on an otherwise well-balanced diet. They also contain "healthy" fats -- in this case, omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce numerous health risks such as heart disease and arthritis. Shrimp is also an excellent source of protein, selenium and various vitamins. Prepare the shrimp as though you plan to serve traditional shrimp cocktail; then simply replace the red stuff with the green stuff.
Enjoy a dollop of guacamole on homemade quesadilla wedges. These serve as heartier, more substantial snacks but are still full of good nutrition. Fill a whole grain tortilla with healthy ingredients of your choice. If you include meat, be sure it is completely pre-cooked. Fold the tortilla in half, brush the top with olive oil, and bake the quesadilla until it is just slightly crispy. Cut it into wedges to use for dipping. Keep the fat to a minimum by using lean meat cooked in oil instead of butter.