Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Mexican Food

I love love love Mexican food but what is the right thing to eat? I recently posted a blog about Chipolte and the unhealthy burritos they make, but is all Mexican food bad?
First, I walk into a mexican restaurant and sit down. Immediately, you get FREE chips and salsa. Who doesn’t like free food? But you have to be careful when eating these because they are high in fat/calories/ and sodium.. and fried.
So when you actually order your meal, here are a few suggestions for ordering.

1. Rice, beans, and salsa make for good selections
2. Meat is not a bad thing, but be careful the portion isn’t too large
3. Try to stay away from fried options, and stick to grilled vegetables and low fat tortillas

Here is a chart for further suggestions…

The Big Taco Chains

Less healthy choices

  1. Crispy shell chicken taco
  2. Refried beans
  3. Steak Chalupa
  4. Crunch wraps or gordita-type burritos
  5. Nachos with refried beans
  6. Adding sour cream or cheese
Healthier choices

  1. Grilled chicken soft taco
  2. Black beans
  3. Shrimp ensalada
  4. Grilled “fresco” style steak burrito
  5. Veggie and bean burrito
  6. Limiting sour cream or cheese
Torie Nicholas

  1. Torie,
    I’m with you. I love Mexican food. Mexican food from a chain is usually more fattening than some local mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants. Thanks for that helpful chart.

    More suggestions:
    Not all refried beans are made with lard; some are made with canola oil which is still a “fat” but a good fat.

    Order a tostada but don’t eat the shell.

    Eat albondigas soup (meatball soup) or chicken tortilla soup (don’t eat all the tortillas).

    When I go to Chipotle, I get the bowl without the rice. So instead I am eating the meat (usually chicken), black beans, salsa, some cheese, and lettuce. I’m still satisfied and I’m not stuffed.

    If an entree comes with rice and beans, ask if you can substitute salad instead.

    If I decide to eat the chips, I don’t eat the tortilla or vice versa.

  2. I love refried beans and you can buy them at the grocery store where they are fat free and low in calories without any loss in flavor, in my opinion. Why the chains feel they need to add fat when there is no added flavor is beyond me.

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