Who says dips and spreads are taboo when you are dieting? Here are five ways to lighten up your favorite dip and spread recipes without sacrificing taste:

Lose the fat:

Traditional dips are fattening because either full-fat sour cream or mayonnaise is the base ingredient.

Case in point: a typical 16-ounce batch of sour cream onion dip can pack upwards of 900 calories and a whopping 80 grams of fat!

The good news is that by replacing sour cream for reduced fat cottage cheese you’ll save about 60 calories and 60 grams of fat. Plus, there’s a healthy bonus … nearly 50 grams of protein. Mayo-lovers, go lighter simply by using a low-fat brand.

Tip: Check out my favorite F-Factor skinny dip recipes: French onion and Garden Vegetable dip.

Nix the oil

Most dip recipes call for way too much oil. Sure, oil lends silkiness to your dip, but not so much that it’s worth the calories. Leave it out and you’ll hardly notice.

Add veggies

For extra flavor, nutrition, and a splash of color, toss some minced or pureed vegetables into your base dip. Crisp fresh veggies add a touch of sweetness and crunch that makes low-calorie dip heartier and great for spreading. 

Tip: Blend some pureed beets into your dip for a tangy, jewel-colored treat.


A little garlic adds plenty of flavor and health-promoting nutrition. It’s a snap to whip up some garlic dip: Roast 10 cloves of garlic (just 45 calories) and blend with reduced fat ricotta cheese.   

Herbs, spices, and more

Think of your base dip and a blank canvas and create your own taste sensation by mixing together a few flavorful, low-cal ingredients, such as onion powder, fresh chopped cilantro, dill, parsley, mint, lemon pepper, lemon juice, salsa, minced red onion, jalapenos, and more.

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Subscribe to Tanya’s free weekly newsletter and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,and LinkedIn


Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.

Subscribe to Tanya’s FREE Weekly Newsletter and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To learn more about Tanya’s private nutrition counseling services visit www.ffactor.com.