By Quad-City Nutrition Expert Jeni Tackett RD, LD
The Quad Cities is home to fantastic Mexican restaurants.
Eating healthier and staying within calorie goals while still enjoying some of your favorite local Mexican food is possible. You don’t have to leave the table on Cinco de Mayo feeling stuffed or even sick.
But you will have to navigate some tough obstacles!
1. The Chip and Salsa Basket
Any time you are given a bottomless high fat snack when you arrive at a restaurant, you are being tested.
To avoid this mindless eating trap, ask for a small plate and count out 5-10 chips (75-150 calories) to dip in the salsa.
2. The Alcohol
Alcohol acts as a double whammy. Not only does it contain calories (one 8 oz. Margarita packs 250 calories, and a regular beer is 145 calories), it increases your appetite!
3. The Platter
Mexican restaurants typically serve 3 of something (tacos, tostados, enchiladas) with beans and rice. These meals add up to over a 1,000 calories and lots of fat!
Order just 1-2 tacos and beans or rice but not both.
And if you do order an entire entrée, ask for a take home container when you get the meal and save at least 1/2 for a meal the next day before you take a single bite.
Typical Mexican Meal: Better Choices:
20 tortilla chips with salsa: 300 calories 5 tortilla chips with salsa: 75 calories
3 beef tacos: 816 calories 1 beef taco: 272 calories
½ cup refried bean: 150 calories ½ cup Mexican rice: 120 calories
1 margarita: 250 calories Lite beer: 100 calories
Total: 1366 calories Total: 567 calories
You can still reach your nutrition goals eating out at a Mexican restaurant, but you need to be savvy and avoid the temptations along the way!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Rock Valley Health. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|