banana-nilla pie

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The Overstuffed-Buffet Table Get Together

What You Already Know to Avoid
- Candied nuts: A half-cup can cost you 450 calories, says Middleberg.

- Cheese logs: Sure, they can be made with low-fat cheeses, but don't count on a calorie-conscious host. Plus, they're usually rolled in nuts or even bacon for added crunch.

- Rich, creamy dips like spinach artichoke and, of course, buffalo chicken.

- Baked Brie wrapped in puff pastry: Brie on its own isn't terrible, at 57 calories per inch-size cube. But puff pastry makes the calorie count climb, and it'll go even higher if there's a layer of jam or jelly between the two.

But Be Careful With These Too
- Pull-apart breads: They're popping up on food blogs, and they tend to come in two categories: extra cheesy and extra sugary. And no one is using whole grain bread for the base.

- Charcuterie plate: Per ounce, salami has 106 calories and nearly 9 grams of fat, including more than 3 grams of saturated fat. You don't have to walk away empty-handed: The same amount of prosciutto has 60 calories, and only 1 of its 3.5 grams of fat is saturated.

Fair Game
- Mixed olives: Full of healthy fats and relatively low-calorie, at 5 for a large one.

- Fruit and cheese, as long as you watch the cheese portion. Parmesan is a good choice here, with 40 calories for an inch cube. It's also at the top of the cheese list for calcium content—a cube has more than 12 percent of your calcium RDA. (Beware dried fruits, though, as they're much higher in calories than the un-dried versions.)

- Veggies and dips that aren't cream-based, like hummus or Greek-yogurt dips. Put a portion on your plate to avoid mindless dipping.