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Holy Guacamole: Tips For Eating Mexican

Mexican food is not only one of my favorites, but my kids love it as well — a working mother's dream come true. While beans, a staple of the Mexican diet, are super healthy a super burrito is not. Here are my tips on how to eat healthy and low cal when eating foods from south of the Rio Grande.

  • Avoid refried beans: That creaminess comes at a caloric price. Choose black beans or whole pinto beans instead.
  • Go grilled: Choose lean meats like pollo asado (grilled chicken) or grilled fish. The sauces in Mexican food can add unwanted calories and fats.
  • Salsa not sour cream: Salsa is fat free and flavorful making it tasty a substitution for saturated fat and calorie laden sour cream or crema.
  • Set a chip limit: As much as I love corn chips, they are fried in oil and loaded with calories. Grab a handful and limit yourself to that handful. You can always request no chips with your order too.

To see if you should order corn or flour tortillas, just


  • Get corny: Corn tortillas are smaller than flour tortillas, which will help keep your portions smaller. Corn tortillas generally have more fiber and are closer to a whole grain product than tortillas made from white flour.
  • Ditch the tostada: Order your taco salad without the fried tortilla. Those "edible" bowls are chock full of fat and empty calories.
  • Choose avocado: Some restaurants add ingredients like mayo to their guacamole. If you suspect this is the case, order whole avocado on your burrito. Ditch the cheese on your next burrito and just go avo instead since it has fiber and heart healthy monounsaturated fat.

Your best low cal option is a chicken fajita meal with extra veggies or grilled chicken tacos with black beans. Just remember that drinking alcohol can lower your willpower and make those tempting chips that much easier to eat, so reconsider ordering that margarita or Corona.

Image Source: Getty
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
gabiushka...Most of us have only had TexMex. Very few authentic restaurants compared to texmex restaurants. I had my TexMex every day living in Dallas but I didn't gain any weight. My Mexican roomie used to inform me of what real Mexican food really was. That was the only reason I knew different.
shepptacular shepptacular 9 years
I adore guacamole but it's so's always the greatest homemade although I opt out of the tomatoes when I make my own.
cmill38 cmill38 9 years
yes refried beans taste amazing but i can't stand the thought of that stuff clogging my arteries! eck!
sldc sldc 9 years
Yellow melted cheese on everything is totally an American thing. Much of the more authentic Mexican dishes are full of rice, veggies and lean protein. If it is fried, creamy and/or cheesey it will have lots of calories (duh), so eat sparingly! Most places do not actually refry the beans the way god intended... with bacon fat and I cannot remember the last time I have seen oil puddles from vegetable oil, so what is put in them to make them fattening? FYI, when they are actually refried and not just mashed, they tend to be darker. Mayo in guacamole is for thinning it down and making it cheaper. I like canola mayo on sandwiches, but not in my beloved guacamole!
javsmav javsmav 9 years
oh no!!! Mayo in guacamole! This is the worst news I've heard in years. Guacamole might be my most favorite food in the world.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Let me just say burritos and taco salads are not mexican food, no matter what has been said. Anyway, we are free to eat whatever we want...
nancita nancita 9 years
Great idea about ditching guac for plain avocado. to me it's almost as good! Also, I tend to leave off the cheese, because if you have enough avocado, beans, and other goodies, you hardly notice it.
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
once that chip basket get on the mind goes blank...and by the time I come too...the basket it empty...its a curse
Swen Swen 9 years
Thanks, this helps a lot. I love Mexican, but I am sort of clueless when I'm trying to pick something healthy from it.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 9 years
as a messican... i can say the key here is to know what and how a food is prepared. let's take lard as a traditional ingredent.. i know in this country we don't consider using it because of the cholesterol in it, but i can tell you that lard is only unhealthy because most who eat it now days do not exercise or are active.. i know i can eat lard everyday and be healthy because i know i can metabolize it, unlike other fats.. trans fats.. and also my body can that kind if fat for production of testosterone and well energy... i'm pretty sure our cholesterol levels are not a direct relation to cholesterol intake.. rather more of a function of amount of fat and sugar and anything else we take in as energy, and what we store up, and how much our own body produces as a result.. most of the staples in mexico are grains, veggies, and some meat.. depending on the region of mexico.. but here we have an abundace of foods, so we can sample many different dished from mexico. i'm kinda sad that sour cream was X'd on the list.. i mean look at the label of sour cream and tell me if your culprit was too much sour cream.. :p hahaha high5 tlsgirl! i think i need to cook for everyone here ;) yay! oh and don't forget the garlic! :D
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
Hehe, I love sour cream. My boyfriend makes fun of me for taking the half the container whenever we do fajitas or tacos. Guess it's a good thing that I buy low- or non-fat.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
Never order a taco salad. It is always unhealthy unless you make it yourself. Just get grilled protein. Hehe...Anyone remember the Taco salad Budweiser commercial? I still think it's all about the calories. If you eat tons of healthy food you will still get fat. I'm all about the Law of Conservation of Energy...then again, I'm an engineer so numbers mean more to me. But a good healthy fat is probably way better than nasty sour cream. I love latin food and for some reason I hate everything that is unhealthy. I hate sour cream, refried beans, and chips. I'm still trying to figure out how people like sour cream...
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
its not about about the calories, but the content of what you are eating...thats why avocados, olive oil, nuts are high in cals & fat, but its the type of fat that matters (in those cases, the kind you do want in your body, unsaturated, which is completely different from saturated fat in how your body metabolizes it)
imLissy imLissy 9 years
but avocados are very healthy for you. Lots of good fat
sunnynight sunnynight 9 years
I thought avocado was loaded with calories?
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