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Eating Healthy at Mexican Restaurants

By Sara Butler

You can't throw a stone in most major Texas cities and suburbs without hitting a Mexican restaurant. They're everywhere because they're delicious, they're fast, and they actually can offer some pretty healthy fare. If you want to focus on eating healthy, then here are a few tips you should follow when eating out at Mexican restaurants.

What to Avoid

There are definitely some major health bombs on the menu at these types of restaurants. As a general rule you may want to avoid these dishes due to their calorie and fat content:

  • Fried foods - Anything that is fried such as a chimichanga, tostada, chalupa, taquitos, or chile rellenos has been deep fried, so you will want to give them a pass or ask for a version that hasn't been fried
  • Taco salad shells - You may think that a taco salad is a good choice but if you're eating the shell, then it's really not. Skip the shell and save yourself from a lot of fat and calories to keep your meal healthier.
  • Queso - Cheese is delicious but starting your meal off with a big vat of melted cheeses probably isn't the way to start off healthy! Stick to salsa with your chips.
  • Extras - Many entrees are served with extra toppings on the side such as sour cream. Avoid these and opt for fresh salsa or pico de gallo instead.

What You Should Order

There are some healthy gems to be found on the menu. You should feel safe and sound that you're making healthy choices if you order:

  • Fajitas - As long as you don't go overboard with the toppings, fajitas are simply meat and vegetables that have been grilled
  • Soup - If you can find some tortilla soup or posole on the menu, they're both lighter soups to enjoy
  • Salads - Many entrees come with a simple salad of shredded lettuce, guacamole, and tomato; it's a filling and healthy accompaniment to any meal
  • Enchiladas and burritos - These are not fried and are often available in corn tortillas over the flour, which is a better choice for you

A word to the wise about swaps: Any time you can substitute pico, black beans, or steak for heavier dips, refried beans, and ground beef, it's the healthier swap. Make them where you can.

You can eat healthy when you eat out -- it's simply a matter of knowing what to look for!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dallas, Tex.

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