Warning: Not all salsa con queso is a calorie bargain

 

One of these jars contains twice as much fat and calories as the  other. Can you guess which one?

One of these jars contains twice as much fat and calories as the other. Can you guess which one?

So I’m needing to peel off a few pounds for about the gazillionth time since my 2010 weight loss, and when I need to be strict I usually pick up a jar of salsa conqueso because it packs so much flavor into 45 calories and barely any fat per serving. (I dunk broccoli or celery in it instead of chips.)

Trouble is, I thought it was easy enough to distinguish between “cheese dip” and “salsa con queso” (a salsa blend that’s much lighter on the cheese) on the store shelves, but no: Turns out the Taco Bell version I brought home the other day is much fattier – with twice as many calories – as my usual brand.

It’s not too surprising when you look at the ingredients list: The first three ingredients in the Taco Bell version are whey, canola oil and cheddar cheese, which explains the 90 calories and 7 grams of fat per 2 T. serving. In my mind, that makes it more of a “cheese dip.”

The first three ingredients in the Chi-Chi’s brand, on the other hand, are water, nonfat milk and Monterrey Jack cheese.  It’s plenty tasty, but a lot less dangerous.

So now I know: Just because something is called “salsa con queso” doesn’t mean it’s fair game. Always check the label.

 

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