Most people think that Mexican food is delicious, and that’s the truth. If you hate it, you’re obviously not in that category. But generally, most people wouldn’t refuse a Mexican-inspired meal if they had the opportunity to try it out.
Unfortunately, not all gastronomic specialties from this type of cuisine are truly healthy. Either it’s too much oil, or it’s too much cheese -- the fact of the matter is that some of the dishes can end up packing a lot of calories. Let’s look at some interesting facts about Mexican food and try to find out whether it can really be healthy.
What are the calories in some of your favorite Mexican foods?
First off, an important distinction must be made between genuine Mexican food and that which you can find in the United States. If we were to make a comparison between the two, we’d probably find that the original alternative is far healthier compared to its American counterpart.
Most Mexican eateries in the States are high in sodium, fat, and overall calories, and they use less of the fresh ingredients that any traditional Mexican dish relies on. So, what’s the calorie intake of some of your favorite Mexican dishes from the US?
A steak quesadilla from Baja Fresh has 1,450 calories while a beef burrito from Chipotle has 1,026 calories. If you want something lighter, you can get a Carne Asada Taco from Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill as it has just 710 calories. And a portion of Nachos Bell Grande from Taco Bell comes with as many as 760 calories.
Make the Americanized versions better for you
If you were born in the United States, you’ve probably eaten a quesadilla at some point. You probably still enjoy it regularly. While it might not be particularly unhealthy, it can become so if you add too much stuff to it. For healthy quesadillas, always use a maker that allows you not to use any oil at all or just a small amount. Make your dippings from fresh avocado instead of getting store-bought one.
Other great things you can eat from the Mexican cuisine range from beans, which are right in protein and fiber, to tomatoes, which have a high lycopene content and contain lots of potassium, as well as vitamins A and C. Make your own salsa at home with fresh tomatoes. Don’t use those from a can because they might have too much sodium.
Black beans are better than the white, and that’s because they have more fiber. Don’t fry them, if you can, just use them as nutritious fillings to your tacos. Chilies have capsaicin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
What’s the bottom line?
The truth about Mexican food is that it’s both healthy and unhealthy. Some specialties you might have the opportunity to try out if you go and visit Mexico can really be harmless. Those that can be found in fast food chains across the United States are anything but.
The point we’re trying to make is that if you want to eat healthy Mexican food, you need to make it in your kitchen.