Registered dietitian Jean Harvey-Berino ranks the healthiness of 10 popular appetizers.

Best: Hummus

An obvious choice, especially if it’s served with vegetables. Hummus is high in fiber, so it will also fill you up.

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp are low in calories, and you usually eat them with nothing more than a bit of cocktail sauce.

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Smoked Salmon
Ranked below shrimp simply because you are more likely to eat it on a piece of bread, possibly with cream cheese.

UOWB (Unidentified Object Wrapped in Bacon)

It’s probably a vegetable, a date, or a scallop. And a half slice of bacon isn’t so bad.

Stuffed Mushrooms

These are almost always stuffed with cheese. The savior is the mushroom, which is better for you than a pastry shell.


These could move up a notch if made with turkey. They’re filling, so you can maybe, just maybe, stop at two.

Mixed Nuts
Heart-healthy fat? Yes.
Protein? Check.
Portion control? Forget about it.

Miniature Tarts or Quiches

Anything in a pie or a pastry shell can be deadly, even if the item is said to contain fruit or vegetables.

Pigs in a Blanket

It's tough to find merits in a hot dog wrapped in a buttery crust. (But, oh boy, did we try.)

Worst: Spinach-Artichoke Dip

It's hard to know what―and how much―you're eating with most cheesy dips. Can't resist? Scoop it up with some crudités.

See more smart eating tips at Real Simple

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