Tips for Healthy Mexican Food
Sep 16, 2015

Tips for Healthy Mexican Food

Dining at a Mexican restaurant can be quite tricky if you aren’t aware of the healthy options available to you. It is easy to get lost in the extensive menu of cheesy, fried super-sized portions of food selections. Check out these tips for healthy mexican food listing the common culprits and the healthiest substitutes to eat at a Mexican restaurant.


Common Culprits

Big portions are a challenge you can overcome by ordering à la Carte. Or you can split the meal, or take it to go for lunch the next day.

Tortilla chips are deep-fried and a great way to get full on the wrong calories. This includes nacho dishes.

Cheese is used excessively in most Mexican dishes and queso dip often accompanies the tortillas before the main dish even comes out.

Avoid tacos, taquitos, burritos, tamales, quesadillas, enchiladas, flautas and chimichangas.

Avoid dishes made entirely of cheese and refried beans, such as the cheese and bean enchilada. Refried beans are just that, fried beans. Calorie overload. Do order pinto and black beans that haven’t been refried.

Avoid rice altogether. Stick with the main ingredients to fill you up, the veggies and protein.

Tortilla bowls housing large salads are deep-fried and abundant in calories, with about 400 calories found in the fried bowl alone.


Healthy Substitutes

Jicama is a root vegetable with a mildly sweet flavor and a pronounced crispy texture.

Ceviche consists of chopped raw fish marinated in lime, cilantro, and other spices.

Gazpacho is a soup that is served chilled with spicy vegetables.

Guacamole is full of healthy fats, with 1 serving having approximately 45 calories and 5 carbs.

Shrimp cocktail may be available and seasoned with Mexican spices.

Broth-based soups with vegetables are another healthy option most don’t know are available at Mexican restaurants’. Albóndigas Soup is a good choice with meatballs and veggies in a broth base, but watch the rice.

Grilled dishes made with beef, chicken, or fish are ideal. Fajitas are a great example and you can add vegetables and substitute the flour tortillas for corn tortillas, which are not made with refined white flour. You also have the option to eat the smoky dish sans tortillas.

Fish tacos made with corn tortillas and fresh fish are delicious. Top them off with a little salsa for a kick.

Salads served with lettuce and lean protein, like chicken or shrimp, topped with black or pinto beans are a good choice. Dress with a little salsa and you’ve got a healthy alternative over the cheese, sour cream and deep-fried ingredients usually paired with these dishes.


The Mexican restaurant is often associated with carb overload, but it doesn’t have to be if you order one of the healthy dishes mentioned above. You can leave feeling full of the right nutrients, without the abundance of calories.