Are you hoping to stick to your goals for better health and fitness this year? You can still eat out at your favorite Mexican restaurants if you know what to order. Mexican food can sometimes have a bad reputation for being unhealthy because of additions like cheese, extra oil, and sauces high in sodium. However, you can avoid any potential diet-busters by being mindful when you order and keeping the following tips in mind.
Ask for Corn Instead of Flour
Many dishes at Mexican restaurants come with a stack of tortillas. Your piping-hot plate of fajitas, for example, is served with tortillas. At most places, you'll have the option of corn or flour tortillas. Instead of choosing flour, go for corn when you looking for a healthier option. Flour tortillas are more refined and are higher in fat. Corn tortillas are made from whole grains, they are very filling, and are much higher in fiber. Corn tortillas are smaller as well, so you end up eating fewer tortillas with your meal, saving you hundreds of extra calories.
Get Sauces on the Side
When ordering food that comes with sauces, like smothered burritos, ask for the sauce to be on the side. This way, you can control how much you eat. Sauces hold a lot of the sodium and fat that comes "hidden" with a meal, and you may not use as much as the restaurant would normally put on. If you're concerned that you'd still use too much, as an alternative, you could ask for house salsa to eat with your meal instead, as these are typically low in calories.
Consider Vegetable-Based Dishes
Many people enjoy eating deliciously prepared meats at Mexican restaurants, including seared steak or pulled chicken dishes. However, take a look at the vegetarian options before choosing your order. Some restaurants offer some delicious veggie based meals that are naturally lower in calories. Beans and rice served with the meal bring you the protein you need. For example, you might choose to get bean-stuffed poblano peppers, or you might order a quesadilla made with seasoned mushrooms, peppers, and onions.
Choose Whole Beans
Many restaurants offer a variety of bean dishes or sides because beans are a Mexican staple. If possible, skip the refried beans, which can be mixed with cheese and oil for the silky texture, and choose a side dish made from whole beans instead. These will typically have plenty of flavor without the added calories.
For more ideas about healthy menu options, contact a local Mexican restaurant like El Molinito Restaurant & Catering.