Negate What You Ate: Nachos

By , By Karen Ansel, RD, of Woman's Day
What would it take to burn off a heaping plate of Nachos?

To burn it off, you’ll have to:
  • Walk for 5 hours and 40 minutes at a moderate pace.
  • Climb stairs for 3 hours and 4 minutes.
  • Ballroom dance for 8 hours and 7 minutes.
  • Shovel snow for 4 hours and 4 minutes.
  • Play the piano for 8 hours and 54 minutes.

Next time, make it healthier:


Bake your own tortilla chips to cut calories and fat. Spray 100% corn tortillas with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper; and bake in a 400°F oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden. Then break into pieces. No time to DIY? Look for baked chips or ones with just a few ingredients like ground corn, oil and salt. Many of these are higher in fiber, which will keep you fuller longer.

Save: 92 Calories!


Go with 2% shredded cheese instead of regular. Don’t worry, your taste buds won’t know the difference.

Save: 300 calories!


Use black beans, not chili. This cuts the fat, saturated fat and calories while keeping the protein and adding fiber.

Save: 40 calories!


Use nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. You’ll get the same creamy texture for fewer calories plus extra protein.

Save: 270 calories!

Total calories saved: 702!

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Do you use healthier options when making snacks like this? What tips do you have for making nachos healthier (and less calories)?

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I love the idea of a healthier version of my favorite "unhealthy" recipes! I definitely agree with SCHWAYTHIN about using greek yogurt instead of sour cream and of course my favorite Wasa crackers instead of chips. They are a great alternative for bread and other crackers and are really tasty! I actually do some work with the brand and there are great recipes and healthy snacking options always available on their Facebook page ( ), even more necessary with the Super Bowl coming up! Report
I didn't realize black beans are better for you than chili beans! Guess I am learning. Report
Any time I'm faced with a bowl of tortilla chips, such as at a restaurant, I take just a few and then as I eat I break each chip into a number of smaller pieces. This way, I feel like I'm having more than I am. This really only works, however, when you are dipping into something that's not fattening, such as salsa, because you end up getting a lot more dip than chip. Report
This would have meant a lot more to me with the calorie count of the "heaping" plate of nachos and revised version for comparison. When I make my heaping plate of nachos I use less than 300 calories of regular cheese in the first place so I'm wondering who puts more than 2 cups of cheese on their nachos? Report
Interesting all the exercise it takes to burn off one plate of snacks. Report
That sounds very tasty! I laughed at playing piano for 8 hours, your fingers would hurt after that haha.
I always use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, now. I also use Wasa Rye Crispbread instead of chips to dip things like hummus and guacamole. Report
That stinks! Report
WOW - talk about a Reality Check on favorite foods. I need to keep this tattooed on my hand or something. Not that I'm eating that kind of food these days BUT one would think I will be faced with the option down the road. It WAS a favorite throw together meal on any given day. So Long, Fare Well original Loaded Nachos. phewww cause there is no way I am climbing stairs for 3 hours. Report
This not that's are great! Report
Low fat, lactose free sour cream has fewer calories than regular for those with lactose intolerance and can not eat yogurt. Report
Thanks for the tips! Report
It's nice that calorie "savings" numbers are included, but there's no information on what the total calories were, to begin with. So how much exercise would you need to do, to burn off the "improved" version? Report
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