Choosing a healthier diet doesn't mean you have to skip visits to your favorite restaurants. If you love Mexican food, you will be relieved to find out that there are many healthy options available. These options may not be listed on the menu. Instead, be prepared to ask for a few swaps so you can turn your meal into something with lower calories. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Check for seafood items
More and more Mexican restaurants are beginning to offer some cuisine from coastal regions, as opposed only Tex-Mex style offerings. This means you can look for healthy options like chile-lime prawns. Another shrimp delight is camarones Mexicanos. This dish features shrimp sauteed with green peppers and onions and then served doused in salsa.
Tip #2: Look at the soup menu
There are many tasty soups with Mexican flair, and many of them are relatively healthy and low calorie. This is in part becausse most Mexican-style soups are broth based instead of cream based. One option is tortilla soup, which generally features chicken, chiles, and vegetables in a flavorful broth. There are a few crisp tortilla chips sprinkled in, but not enough to pack on too many categories. A green chile stew or posole would also make a low-calorie choice.
Tip #3: Choose veggies and beans
If you are set on ordering one of your favorite tacos or burritos, skip the meat and go for lower calorie and healthy vegetable and beans instead. It's also a good idea to opt for flour tortillas or soft corn tortillas instead of hard taco shells, since the hard shells are often deep fried. If you want some meat, a chicken taco salad is an excellent choice if you don't eat the taco shell it's served in and go light on the dressing and cheese.
Tip #4: Know your healthy sides
There are a few healthy side dish options at most Mexican restaurants. You can often order plain black beans instead of refried beans, for example. You may also be able to order fajita-style vegetables, even though they may not be listed on the menu. These are simply sauteed onions and peppers. Some restaurants also offer brown rice instead of Spanish rice, which is a lower calorie option that also gives and extra nutritional punch.
Contact a Mexican restaurant near you (like Mexican restaurants near Tucson Arizona) to get an idea of the healthy options they have available.