Nutrition Action Healthletter
Center for Science in the Public InterestMay 2000 — U.S. Edition 

Right StuffFood Porn

Cheese dip isn’t usually thought of as one of the building blocks of a healthy diet. Then again, Jardine’s Queso Amarillo is no ordinary cheese dip.
   For a start, it isn’t neon orange. And it doesn’t taste like liquified American cheese with some hot pepper flakes. One dip and you know you’re a long way from Cheez Whiz and Velveeta.
   Maybe it’s the diced tomatoes and fresh onion or the combination of cheddar and blue cheese. Maybe it’s the roasted poblano, jalapeño, and red and green bell peppers.
   Whatever the reason, you won’t be shy about serving Jardine’s to your toughest-to-impress friends. Surround it with bell pepper strips, raw broccoli, baked tortilla chips, or other dippers. Spoon some over your baked potato or steamed asparagus.
   Why not? Two tablespoons have only 2 1 /2 grams of fat-hardly any of it saturated. That’s par for the low-fat or light cheese sauce course. But Jardine’s 210 milligrams of sodium are less than you’ll find in other cheese dips or sauces.
   The hardest thing about eating Jardine’s? Stopping at two tablespoons. That should be your worst problem.

Jardine Foods: (800) 544-1880.

The next time you find yourself in the dairy aisle at your supermarket, check out the cream cheese display. You may find a new inhabitant: Philadelphia Snack Bars.
   What the heck are snack bars doing in the dairy case? They’ve already taken over a good chunk of the cereal aisle (dressed up as granola and cereal bars). The way things are going, it won’t be long before banana-flavored snack bars show up in the produce department.
   Of course, these aren’t any ordinary snack bars. They’re cheesecake “in a convenient on-the-go package.” With cream cheese as the first ingredient, each 200-calorie, 1.5-oz. bar has 13 grams of fat, five of them saturated. Attention, coronary arteries: Incoming!
   And, unlike foods made of other (non-cream) cheeses, these bars have only two percent of a day’s worth of calcium and just two grams of protein.
   Cheesecake used to be a rich, indulgent dessert reserved for special occasions. It’s not clear why Kraft (Philadelphia’s owner) thinks that Americans need “indulgence on the go.” Are we so short on indulgence that we need to keep a stash of it in the fridge?

Kraft: (800) 543-5335.
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