Have you found yourself scanning the menu and wondering about the healthiest choices at Mexican restaurants? We all know that eating out will nearly always involve consuming more fat, sugar, and salt than a homemade dish. That said, it can’t all be bad for us, right? Which options should we choose if we’re trying to be reasonable about our diet without skipping the chance to indulge or to enjoy a meal with friends and family?
Finding the Healthiest Choices at Mexican Restaurants
Some foods are obviously not the healthiest choices at Mexican restaurants. Anything deep fried or drowning in cheese and sour cream is certainly not going to be at the top of your “light and nutritious” list. All this, when topped off with a side of taco chips and salsa can lead to a calorie nightmare.
However, there are lots of options that you can choose to keep things on the more nutritious side. And don’t forget that some of the healthiest choices at Mexican restaurants aren’t a matter of what’s on the menu, but how much you eat. Many dishes are packed with veggies, but also come with some heavier components. There’s no reason to have to clean your plate. Once you’ve had enough, stop eating. Even better, if you can bring it home, you’ll have a lunch already prepared!
The Secret’s in the Sauce…and Toppings
As you peruse your options for the healthiest choices at Mexican restaurants, have a look at which modifications you can choose. Naturally, you can’t ask for a deep-fried food to be baked. That said, you often have the choice of sauces and toppings. Those can make an incredible difference. By going light on cheese – or skipping it entirely – sour cream and other high-calorie condiments, sauces and toppings, you’ll save hundreds of toppings without having to opt for a different dish.
When you’ve saved hundreds of calories just through your toppings, you’ll make an incredible difference to the impact of your meal on your nutrition and weight control. So while you know that you’ll likely be skipping that chimichanga or plate of taquitos, you’ll still have a long list of options available to you as long as you make your selection wisely and eat a reasonable portion.
Set Your Rules Before Opening the Menu
Whether you’re getting take-out or are eating at the location, choosing the healthiest choices at Mexican restaurants often has to do with the decisions you make even before you open the menu. Set some rules for yourself before eating out. This way, you’ll be able to skip the most problematic options right off the bat. This is not to say that if a chimichanga is your favorite meal, you can’t have it on your birthday, but when you’re focused on nutrition, you’ll need to set some boundaries for yourself.
The items you’ll want to be the wariest of should include anything deep fried, alcohol, especially fatty toppings, and high-calorie extras like apps and desserts. If you’re going to indulge in any of those options, you’ll need to decide what and how much, and where you’ll balance out that choice by choosing smaller portions or making the rest of your meal lighter.
Some find that it is easier to stick to the healthiest choices at Mexican restaurants by allowing one treat only. For instance, if you really want that rice and bean side dish, you’ll drink water and won’t have dessert. If you feel that this type of meal isn’t worth having without a margarita, bring the side dish home for your lunch tomorrow and leave the churros for the rest of the table.