Mexican cuisine is delicious and easy to make at home. It does have pitfalls for those who are on a diet, however with some small changes, you can avoid them and create healthy, diet food that’s Mexican.
Bake or Grill It
Fried food is one of the main dieting dangers in Mexican cuisine. Tacos, re-fried beans, chimichangas, chalupas, tortilla chips and anything else that has been fried ought to be avoided. However, there’s no need to give them up entirely. Tortilla chips, for example, can be made at home and baked or cooked on a dry griddle for a much lower fat content.
Try to stick to the baked or grilled equivalents of all your favourite Mexican meals. Use black beans instead of re-fried beans. Soft tortilla wraps are lower in fat than fried taco shells, and grilled chicken or fish is better than fried ground beef.
Avoid the Extras
Some of the more fattening aspects of Mexican food are the extra toppings that always seem to come with it. Using low fat cheese and sour cream or cut them out all together. Salsa is a delicious, low fat and healthy alternative to these toppings. It should be made fresh at home from organic produce for the best flavor. Guacamole is very calorie dense, but it is full of vitamins and good fats, so make it at home and use it sparingly.
If you are on a low carb diet, why not try a burrito bowl? This is more like a salad with all the ingredients of a burrito on a dish, without the tortilla wrap. You might want to have it with a bit of rice and black beans.
Try the Exotic
Many households only use a handful of dishes when cooking Mexican food. However, many less well known traditional Mexican recipes are healthy and delicious as well. For example, ceviche is fresh seafood marinated in a combination of citric juice and spices that is served on a toasted tortilla base. Anaheim peppers or tomatoes can be stuffed with rice and spicy, grilled meat to make a healthy, filling snack.
Many traditional Mexican soups like gazpacho are made with tomatoes, or other vegetables making them a tasty, low fat treat. Other broth based soups, or those based around beans or lentils are also excellent, filling options. However, try to avoid soups with added sour cream or cheese.
Don’t Skimp on the Spices
Some of the herbs and spices used in Mexican cooking are full of health giving qualities and can also help you lose weight. Chili peppers, in particular, contain capsaicin, which is known to help speed up the metabolism and burn fat, as well as have cancer fighting properties and reduce cholesterol. Cilantro is another Mexican flavor you can add for its cholesterol lowering ability. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and fight free radicals.
Mexican might seem to be a difficult cuisine to incorporate into a diet, however, it has many options for low fat and healthy meals. Traditional dishes can be delicious, nutritious and satisfying and, with a few adjustments, guilt free as well.