If you were scared away from Mexican food by the Center for Disease Control’s last report about it-and even if you weren’t-you may be wondering if there are any healthy choices in Mexican cuisine. Mexican food is an American favorite-even if it is just the Taco Bell variety. The key to eating healthy and enjoying Mexican cuisine is to make simple changes in the ingredients that you use and to change your preparation techniques. Before “civilization” came, centuries ago, Mexican food was very healthful. By using the key elements of beans, corn, fresh vegetables, and lean meats you can make your Mexican food healthy.
Enchiladas are a favorite Mexican dish-but they are usually loaded with fat as well. Just eliminate dipping the corn tortillas in the hot oil and soften them with a tomato or low fat broth based sauce and you can cut out a lot of calories.
Your choice of dairy products also greatly affects the fat content of your Mexican food dishes. There are lots of low fat and non fat dairy choices on the market today that you can substitute in your dishes. If you love sour cream, and don’t want to leave it out, use nonfat sour cream or nonfat plain yogurt as an alternative.
The cooking of Mexican food is where a lot of fat comes in. Look for dishes which are not fried-stay away from chimichangas and chile rellenos. Fajitas and soft tacos are good choices if they have lean meats and not a lot of dairy.
Choose corn tortillas and soften them by putting them for just a short time on a heated griddle. There are also many wheat flour tortillas on the market which are low fat, or nonfat and high fiber choices.
Believe it or not, refried beans can contain as much as a day’s worth of saturated fat in them because of lard and cheese. Make them a low fat alternative by mashing beans with a little bean juice, spices, and possibly even your favorite salsa. They taste great and are very healthy.
You can eat Mexican and eat healthy just choose well.