Mexican restaurants can be some of the most difficult places to find a healthy meal. Cheese, avocado, and fried foods are everywhere–even in the desserts! But don’t fret. This guide will provide you with some healthy, delicious items that you can find at most Mexican restaurants. They’re as nutritious as they are delicious!
Soft-Shell Bean Burritos
Burritos are typically a better choice than tacos, because burritos are made with soft shells while tacos traditionally used hard, fried shells. Ask for your burrito to be made with a corn tortilla instead of flour to get an even healthier meal. Beans are a great choice as a filler for burritos. Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, which helps to keep you feeling fuller, longer. In addition, beans provide a healthy source of carbohydrates, which provide the energy you need to make it through the day. Finally, beans also contain protein, which is a great non-meat source for vegan or vegetarians.
When prepared properly, chicken fajitas can be surprisingly healthy. Start by requesting that your chicken is grilled with no added salt. Salt intake makes you retain water, resulting in a bloated feeling. Secondly, replace the cheese that traditionally is served with fajitas with tomato salsa. Next, ask to trade the sour cream for some fresh beans. While sour cream does contain calcium, it is loaded with fat and calories. Finally, ask for an extra helping of peppers. Fajitas usually come with red or green peppers, which are loaded with vitamins and minerals and contain fiber. As we discussed earlier, fiber makes you feel full and prevents feelings of hunger. In addition, fiber has been found to be effective in the treatment and prevention of some types of cancer, including colon cancer. By making these changes to a traditional order of chicken fajitas, you can get a meal that is as delicious as it is nutritious.
If you are not familiar with the traditional Mexican dish known as ceviche, give it a try. It is one of the healthiest items you can find at a Mexican restaurant. Traditional ceviche is made by soaking cod, shrimp, or other mild-flavored seafood in lime juice overnight. The fish is then drained and mixed with freshly cut tomatoes, onions, avocado, cilantro and other herbs and served with rice. Be aware that the avocado traditionally served with ceviche does contain high amounts of fat–and while the fat is a “healthy” fat and can actual help maintain and promote optimal health, it will still add unneeded calories. Ask for half of a serving of avocado for an even healthier Mexican dish. Finally, make sure to ask for plain, steamed rice instead of fried rice. You’ll cut your calorie intake by half or even more!
For dessert, most Mexican restaurants will offer a fruit platter of some type that will usually contain papaya, mango, pineapple, and other traditional Mexican fruits. While fruit is high in sugar, it is much healthier for you than typically desserts offered at Mexican restaurants, such as flan. You can enjoy dessert without dieting for the rest of the week!