6 Health Tips When Dining Mexican

A beef tostada on a plate with refried beans, ...

A beef tostada on a plate with refried beans, rice, and a salad as served by Los Compadres Mexican Restaurant at 944 C Street in Hayward, California, USA. The photographer describes the scene as: “A crispy flat corn tortilla shell topped with beef, beans, lettuce, taco sauce and cheese. All platters served with rice, beans and salad with house dressing.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know about you but I LOVE Mexican food.  All the guacamole, chips, cheese, steak you can get please.  Oh yes an extra large glass of Sangria would be nice too!  BUT I also know how deadly in terms of calories consumed in one meal, it can be.  Nonetheless, that shouldn’t stop you or me from going to a Mexican Restaurant, we just need to know a few key details to help us make better decisions while we’re there.

1.Do Not Avoid Eating During the Day Of:  No matter what you may have heard it is never ok to skip your lunch or not eat all day to “save” room for the big, fat meal you’re having later.  I know, it sounds like a great idea.  Save a few calories earlier max out later NEVER WORKS.   One major side effect of trying that approach is that you way over consume dinner because your starving when you finally do eat.  Another side effect is that your brain thinks that it’s ok to eat more or not worry about your choices because you “saved those calories earlier in the day.  Additionally, your metabolism can take a hit because it goes into starvation mode like the rest of the processes in your body and once there are no more calories left to burn from the recent meal you ate it starts hacking at your muscle calories and over time of using this approach makes your metabolism even slower!

2. Skip the Chips –  Restaurant tortilla chips are not the same thing as that bag of El Miagro chips you have in your cabinet.  Restaurant tortilla chips are deep fried.  With the words “deep fried” that means they’re loaded with calories.  For instance, Chipotle lovers (myself included), one bag of the chips they give you is 500 calories!   Add that to the guacamole and burrito you just ordered and you’ve just signed yourself up for a good two hour plus gym session!

3. Avoid the Wraps – burritos’ and large quesadilla’s come in large flour tortilla’s.  Having just one of those suckers stacks 250 plus calories on to your meal.  If you must have a burrito skip the wrap and eat it as a “bowl”.

4. Cheesy Moderation – We all love cheese, in fact I may have a little over a feeling of love for cheese. BUT calories can quickly add up fast so pick your poison.  Think about your average package of shredded cheese at home 1/4 cup equals approx 100 calories.  NOW remember that and apply the same principle when out at the restaurant.  Quesadilla’s are a death sentence between all the cheese, large tortilla, and oil it’s cooked in you’re looking at upwards 600 (I’m being nice) calories.  I’ve seen Mexican restaurant chains as high as 1,000 calories for one!  Now add the pork tamale that you just ate to this quesadilla plus a glass of Sangria and chips and you’ve more than likely met close to your days worth of calories.

5. Skip the Refried Beans – Beans are healthy for you just not when they’re refried. There are about 300 calories in your refried beans.  Restaurants cook the beans in lard and usually sprinkled with cheese.  skip them if you can if not perhaps there’s a better option like the actual black or pinto beans.

6. NO TACO SALADS – The word salad does not mean healthy.  A large percentage of the time there are more calories in that silly salad you ate than if you would have had a side of black beans and 3 chicken taco’s.  How can you make it healthier?  Tell the waiter no shell, no sour cream,light on the cheese, fresh avocado not guacamole, add salsa, and go with chicken or steak not ground beef for your topping.

What are some “safer” options to pick?  Ceviche (often seen in the appetizer section), plated chicken meals with lots of veggies light and beans (not refried), fajita’s can be very healthy just stick to 1-2 corn tortilla’s and have the server take the rest, eat your tacos el fresco style


One thought on “6 Health Tips When Dining Mexican

  1. Pingback: Cinco de Mayo Celebration Guilt Free | Honey Crunched

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