Six Chip Dips to Avoid at Holiday Parties

Chances are, you've already planned out your Thanksgiving battle plan to minimize calories and maximize satisfaction. You probably know how insidious those scalloped potatoes are and that it might not be worth it to take a third piece of pumpkin pie. But calories are sneaky—and you probably haven't made accommodations for those predinner snacks in your calculations. Especially unhealthy? Party dips for the tortilla chips, pita triangles and pieces of bread your hosts are almost sure to lay out. Try to aim for the guacamole, hummus or plain salsa, but if you must indulge, here's how to tally the damage.

1. Sour cream dip: Sour cream is used as a base ingredient in many dips. Watch out: A quarter cup of it (the measurement most recipes use to gauge a single serving) has 123 calories and 12 grams of fat, according to And that's before all the add-ons.

2. Cheese dip: These dips are nacho lovers' go-to's, but that doesn't mean they're any good for the waistline. A recipe that calls for onions, chilis, tomatoes and garlic—along with cream cheese and cheddar or jack cheese—serves up 145 calories and 12 grams of fat in a quarter cup, according to

3. French onion dip: This chip-dunking staple is composed of onions or onion powder mixed with various combinations of sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise. And one commercial brand estimates that each serving can hold as much as 200 calories and 15 grams of fat.

4. Spinach and artichoke dip: Don't let the green specks fool you into thinking this tasty topping is any healthier than it is: one popular recipe for homemade dip calls for cream cheese, heavy cream and two types of cheese along with the veggies and seasonings. That adds up—the recipe, on, estimates that one serving (a quarter cup of dip) packs 235 calories and 21 grams of fat.

5. Crab dip: Think of all the fatty, creamy foods you can imagine. Odds are, most of them find their way into crab dip, which packs mayonnaise, cheddar cheese and cream cheese into the same little bowl. One serving will rack up 372 calories and 37 grams of fat, according to

6. Five-layer dip: On their own, refried beans aren't so bad; a quarter cup of them has almost 60 calories and 0.8 grams of fat, according to But add salsa, guacamole, cheese and sour cream and you're heading toward trouble. One popular online recipe substitutes cream cheese for guacamole and ends up packing a whopping 519 calories and 35.1 grams of fat into a single serving, according to