Eating at a Mexican restaurant can be difficult, as it can be hard to pick a healthy item, and servers typically can't tell you to "Eat This, not That" for a healthy meal. This article helps you sort through a Mexican menu, and offers several alternatives to unhealthy food choices at a Mexican restaurant.
Guacamole, Not Queso
When looking for a pre-meal appetizer, be sure to choose guacamole instead of queso. Queso is typically just a combination of melted cheeses and salt, and therefore, very high in both fat and calories. Guacamole contains tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and avocados. While avocados have been found to contain high amounts of fat, the fat found in these fruits is actually unsaturated, which is important for good health and is actually promoted as a food that should be consumed on a regular basis. Olive oil, similarly, has high amounts of unsaturated fat, making it a great addition to guacamole. It is important to be aware that while guacamole does contain foods that are essential for good health, it is still a relatively calorically dense food--and therefore, should be eaten in moderation.
Fajitas, Not Quesadillas
Quesadillas are typically composed of highly seasoned chicken, layers of cheese, and sour cream--all of which contain lots of fat, calories and salt. If you are craving this kind of dish, a fajita will provide you with the same flavors at a much lower calorie and fat content. Fajitas typically contain grilled chicken, peppers and onions served on a corn tortilla. While there is often a side of sour cream, it is more often than not served in a small bowl on the side--which you can easily ignore.
Burritos, Not Tacos
This food substitution may seem strange--the author is not talking about the contents of the taco or burrito, but the actual shell itself. In this case, burrito shells are the soft version of a hard taco shell--and in reality, the two items are nearly identical aside from their texture. Hard taco shells are often made by placing a soft shell in a pan of hot oil, and frying it until it hardens. Therefore, by choosing a soft taco shell--otherwise known as a burrito shell--you will be decreasing the amount of fat and calories from the hot oil.
Wine, Not Margarita
While margaritas are delicious, they often contain high amounts of calories and sugar. Unless the margarita is homemade, chances are likely that the bartender is using a packaged margarita mix, which is like drinking candy. On the other hand, wine is relatively low in calories compared to a margarita, and the antioxidants found in the grapes used to make wine have been found to be essential for good health and optimal growth. In this case, it's good to go ahead and have another drink!