Appetizers are foods that are served before a main course meal whether at a party or a restaurant. Appetizers are also known as starters and can be either simple or complex, depending on the occasion. Here, in this article, you will get to know about the best and worst appetizers.
While pairing onion rings with barbecue sauce and a cheese plate with some frozen mini burgers can take the stress out of entertaining, there are so many ways it can go wrong. Though home-made appetizers are considered healthy, you are basically serving fancy fast food.
Appetizers are the main hit of your house parties, and you would obviously want it to be fancy and healthy too. In general, starters are meant to be eaten by hand in a bite or two or at-least be capable of being cut with the side of a fork, rather than a knife.
So, here's the best and worst appetizers you need to know about. Take a look.
1. Best: Vegetable Kebabs
Vegetable kebabs, which are grilled, are very nutritious having low calories. Grilled vegetable kebabs are a healthy alternative to fried onion rings. If not taking kebabs into consideration, you can also go for grilled vegetables as starters. The kebabs are easy to prepare and you can add onions, red pepper, green pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes. 2 grilled vegetable kebabs will contain about 80 calories.
2. Best: Spinach Salad
Spinach salad is one of the best appetizers and contains low calories. This appetizer is good to kill your unwanted hunger pangs and reduces the amount of meals you eat. Salads which are prepared with spinach and other leafy vegetables are good for your health. Research shows that if you start eating a spinach salad before a full course meal, you will eat 10 percent less. 1 cup of spinach with 1 tablespoon of vinegar contains about 150 calories.
3. Best: Crab Cakes
The best appetizer among sea foods are crab cakes. Crab cakes are a good way to include sea food in your diet and it's a healthy appetizer too. Crab cakes taste good if served with chilli sauce and a normal crab cake contains about 300 calories, and 16 grams of fat. In general, crab meat is low in fat and calories and it's very good for your heart. They are also high in protein.
4. Worst: Fried Onion Blossom
The fried onion blossoms which you love gorging on has a whopping 1949 calories, 161 grams of fat and 4100 mg of sodium. Onion blossoms served with a dipping sauce are worse because they contain high amounts of fat, calories and sodium. This can lead to weight gain and various other heart-related diseases. Also, onion is a gas-producing vegetable and eating them will cause gas formation in the digestive tract, which can make you bloat, and feel discomfort in your stomach.
5. Best: Beef Skewers
Beef skewers is the best choice if you want to opt for some meaty appetizer. This starter is a smart way to control your portion size when you don't want to give up red meat. Serve beef kebabs with whole grains, which are good for your digestive system. Beef kebabs will go well with fruit salsa instead of having with dips and sauces.
6. Best: Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms are best starters instead of stuffed potatoes. Mushrooms filled with cheese and breadcrumbs contain less than 50 calories and eating half a dozen of mushrooms, is still less than 300 calories. Stuffed mushrooms contain 19 grams of fat and 720 mg of sodium. They also are low in calories and filled with vitamins and minerals.
7. Best: Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimps are low in calories and you can eat them with anything. Shrimp cocktail is low in fats and contains very less calories. It is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that regulate the circulation of blood in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids keep the rate of calories less too. Shrimp cocktail contains about 120 calories.
8. Vegetable Soup
Vegetable soup is also a good appetizer to start with. It kills off the unwanted hunger pangs within no time. Vegetable soup contains 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 1240 mg of sodium. Vegetable soup has more fibre, vitamins and minerals and fewer calories and fat. The soup is a great way to boost your vegetable intake. Try to avoid cream-based vegetable soups, as they are high in calories and fats.
9. Lettuce Wraps
Eat lettuce wraps for starters instead of chicken wings. Add some chicken, vegetables and lettuce and wrap it. A single wrap of lettuce may contain 160 calories and 7 grams of fat. Also, lettuce contains energy, protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre and sugars. The vitamins and minerals present in lettuce are potassium, sodium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, etc.
10. Worst: Chicken Wings
Chicken wings contain about 700 calories and 40 grams of fat. Sauce eaten with chicken wings add to the calories as well. So, is it really healthy to eat chicken wings? Well, to start with, the wings themselves are almost all skin and fat, which is not good for you. Also, they are deep fried in oil which amounts to 40 mg of cholesterol, 5.4 grams of saturated fat and ½ gram of trans fat.
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