Eating healthy is not the easiest thing to do, especially when it comes to dining out. With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, you should know that there are ways to enjoy all of those lovely Mexican flavors without restricting yourself. Check out our tips:
- Avoid anything “crispy” or fried.
As delicious as they might taste, menu options such as taquitos and chimichangas are best to be avoided. Since fried foods are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, consuming them does more harm than good. In a long-term study, it was reported that people who frequently eat fried foods may have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Watch your chip intake.
Many Mexican restaurants serve complimentary chips & salsa or offer it on their appetizer menu. If you are someone who has self-control, indulging in a handful of chips wouldn’t be the worst thing to do. However, if you are someone who can’t keep your hands out of the bowl, think of ordering a light soup or gazpacho instead.
- Stick to the healthy fats.
Cheese and sour cream are two high-fat ingredients used in Mexican-style dining that can take a dish from 500 to 800 calories. Instead, try substituting avocado or guacamole which contain healthy unsaturated fats and fatty acids. One of those fatty acids in particular, oleic acid, is known to promote heart health and have a beneficial effect on cancer.
- Opt for a meal loaded with veggies.
Fill up on the peppers! Whether it’s bell peppers or chile, both boast incredible vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C and carotenoids. Chile peppers also contain a compound called capsaicin that is responsible for the fiery sensation it leaves on your taste buds. In a report by the American Institute for Cancer Research, it is stated that the consumption of capsaicin can lead to the death of cancer cells while being harmless to normal cells.
- Skip the margarita.
Aside from being a source of empty calories, numerous studies associate alcohol consumption with the increased risk of certain cancers. Try out an agua fresca instead, a non-alcoholic fresh fruit beverage that is sure to satisfy.