Mexican food is a favourite for many. The trouble is that it is very easy to consume a calorie bomb if you are not armed with a little bit of knowledge. Read on for my tips on how to stay healthy when ordering Mexican.
Start with a base of either grilled chicken or shrimp/prawns. Many Mexican restaurants offer prawn skewers with chimmichuri. These are a great light option, packed with lean protein.
Pair your protein with some vegetables – Mexican favourites are grilled or roasted peppers or pickled vegetables, which by the way, are great for gut health.
Mexican is very legume heavy, so choose black beans for a protein hit as well as a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates, which will release energy slowly over a longer period of time, ensuring you miss that spike in blood sugar levels.
Refried beans are a popular method of eating beans in Mexico. Refried beans are actually easier on the body to digest, as they are fermented first, then cooked over low heat, before being fried.
They are tricky though as they can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on how they are prepared. Many restaurants cook with copious amounts of canola oil, which can quickly escalate this into a poor health choice. If you can, stick to black beans in a salad or as a side.
Pile on the guacamole until your heart’s content. The good fat in the avocado will keep you satiated (full) for longer and will make your skin and hair glow.
If you do decide to go down the taco/tortilla road, choose corn-flour tortillas filled with the above, and perhaps topped off with a little salsa. The corn tortillas are gluten-free and provide some fibre. They are also the least minimally processed.
Like Indian food, Mexican get quickly get very carb-heavy. Avoid the white rice – it is simply a filler and won’t provide you with any nutritional value.
This is an obvious one, but pass too on the nachos. Health-wise, this is one of the worst things you can eat – packed sky high with carbs, fat and sodium, this meal should be avoided at all costs.
Skip the heavy sour cream. It is loaded with fat and adds an unnecessary level of calories to your meal. Ditto with cheese.
When next navigating a Mexican menu, choose wisely. There are healthy options, you just have to be savvy. Remember, if it looks and sounds unhealthy, it likely is. Stick with the least processed options and you can stay on track with healthy eating.