When you're trying to eat healthily or stick to your diet, going out to eat can be challenging. Obviously, going to a fast-food Mexican restaurant isn't going to offer many wholesome choices, but you might be surprised to learn you can find many nutritious options at an authentic Mexican grill. Here are four tips for enjoying Mexican food while still keeping your goals.
1. Choose the Authentic Preparation
Many Mexican restaurants give their customers the options of traditional preparation or the Americanized version, sometimes called Tex-Mex. For example, if you order a Tex-Mex taco, you'll likely get the standard toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, shredded Cheddar cheese, and perhaps sour cream. Most people then cover it in taco sauce. That's a lot of extra calories and fat! With an authentic Mexican taco, you'll get chopped fresh cilantro and diced white onions. If you want a little extra zing, add a wedge of lime, pico de gallo — a fresh tomato and serrano pepper salsa — or salsa verde, a vibrant green sauce made from tomatillos.
Another big difference between a Tex-Mex taco and a traditional Mexican taco is the tortilla. A Tex-Mex taco is typically served on a deep-fried crunchy corn tortilla, with a soft flour tortilla as an alternative. Conversely, an authentic Mexican taco is served on an unfried corn tortilla.
2. Skip the Queso
Mexican cheese dip may be yummy, but it's laden with saturated fat and calories. Opt instead for fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, and bean dip. Avocados are a healthy fat, but their calories can still add up quickly. The calories in tortilla chips can also add up fast, so if you're really watching how you eat, ask for an unfried tortilla or vegetable plate instead.
3. Pick a Better Burrito
Meat and cheese burritos are high in fat and calories. A black bean burrito is a good healthy choice as it is lower in fat and calories and has fiber, which will help keep you full longer. A bean burrito also has a lot of protein. Pass on the refried beans, however.
4. Seafood Reigns I
f you need something meatier than beans, most authentic Mexican restaurants have plenty of fresh fish and seafood options. Shrimp, lobster, and various types of fish are usually on the menu. Of course, you'll still want to pay careful attention to the preparation. Look for grilled shellfish and fish with lots of veggies. For example, fish tacos or shrimp fajitas are good choices.
To learn more, contact a Mexican food restaurant.