The most popular style of food in the United States is Mexican. One out of every ten restaurants serves some Mexican cuisine items.. There were at least 38,000 Mexican restaurants in the country in 2011. Ingredients for Mexican food can be found in more than 71% of American homes. Many people think eating it is unhealthy but it does not have to be. Here are some ways to enjoy going to the local Mexican restaurant and getting a healthy meal.
- Skip the chips and salsa. Many of us enjoy the hot chips and tasty salsa that is ubiquitous at most Mexican restaurants but they can add a ton of fat and calories to our meal. The best way to not eat the chips and salsa is to ask the waiter not to bring it. The chips are loaded with fat, salt and calories. It is far too easy to eat an entree’s worth of salt, fat and calories before you even get your meal. Just skip this part of the Mexican restaurant experience.
- Go with a soft shell. When you get a hard shell for your taco or other dish, you are getting something that has been deep fried. The frying process adds a lot of fat and calories that cannot be part of any healthy diet plan. If you go with smaller tortillas and you will get a tasty meal that is a lot healthier.
- Go for beans that are not refried. Beans can be a very healthy option but not if they are refried. When you are at the Mexican restaurant, ask for pinto beans instead of the refried option and you will have a really tasty dish that is a lot healthier an option. Beans are excellent for protein, iron and are a complex carbohydrate that can help regulate your blood sugar to keep you less hungry throughout the day.
- Keep your portions of guacamole and sour cream to a minimum. These are yummy and you would be hard pressed to find a Mexican restaurant that did not add them to almost everything but you add a lot of fat and calories when you heap on the guacamole and sour cream. If you are trying to cut down on your calories, you should know that your entree without the guacamole and sour cream will already have more calories than you want. You can help yourself a lot by not adding to that with guacamole and sour cream. Avocados may have the kind of fat that is better for you than other kinds but they still add a lot of calories. If you want to add more flavor to your food, add salsa and more vegetables. They add flavor but not as much in the way of calories. Salsa has a lot of flavor but also is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. It is a very healthy thing to add to any food.
- Skip the margaritas. For many people, no trip to the Mexican restaurant is complete without a pitcher of margaritas. They love that is salty, icy and incredibly tasty. Adding these drinks to your meal will send your calorie count higher than you want it to be if you are trying to keep your calories down. You may not be able to control the calories in your entree but you can select beverages that have fewer calories than what is in a margarita.
- Be careful about the protein you pick. When you are out having the best Mexican restaurants, you will have multiple options for our protein. Some proteins are better than others in terms of fat and calories. You can have the best Mexican food with lean protein. Many great Mexican restaurants make chicken that is delicious. Chicken is often a better option than beef or pork. It has less fat and is often less processed than your other options. If you can get fish that has not been breaded or deep fried, fish can be a great option, too. Ask your waiter about how the different proteins are prepared to help you make your choice.
With a little thought, you can make your Mexican dining experience very healthy and very tasty at the same time.