Potlucks are a great idea when you want to get together with your friends and enjoy a meal inexpensively with less work on your part. Preparing just one dish and enjoying the entire meal has many benefits. It can, however, be a caloric overload, especially if the other cooks aren't conscious of the fat and calorie count. Instead of sacrificing your diet to a high calorie feast, try some of these more healthy alternatives:

  • Taco Bar: always a popular choice, Mexican foods can be high in fat and calories. Instead of starting with ground beef, swap out ground chicken or  turkey. Use fat-free refried beans instead of full fat. Load your plate with crunchy veggies, such as lettuce and tomato, and add grilled veggies like squash and zucchini. Salsa adds lots of flavor, but not high calories. Low-fat cheeses and reduced- or fat-free sour cream complete the selection. Tortillas are often high in fat, but low-fat and whole-wheat versions can make for a healthier choice, as well as baked chips in place of fried. You can supply the meat and assign a topping to each of your guests.
  • Salad Bar: Especially in the warm weather, salads are a yummy choice, since they don't require any cooking. As the host, you can supply a large bowl of mixed dark greens. Ask your guests to provide healthy toppings, such as chopped tomatoes, red and green peppers, grapes or mandarin oranges, nuts, sliced beef, cucumber spears, broccoli florets, grilled chicken breast, or shrimp. Offer two low-fat dressing choices and you've created a wonderful, flavorful salad.
  • Baked Potato Bar: Serve large baked potatoes and have your guest bring low fat cheese and sour cream, chopped veggies, fajita vegetables, and protein toppings such as turkey chili, black beans, grilled chicken, or ground beef - well drained of all fat.
  • Soup: Have each of your guest bring a healthy soup, like chicken noodle, vegetable beef, grilled veggie soup,  turkey chili or barley beef and vegetable, and provide whole grain bread bowls.

Reprinted from Dietsinreview