We don’t know about you but we live for Taco Tuesday. That’s right, we are talking about Mexican food! The balance of spice, salt, acid, and freshness make this cuisine one of the most delicious and popular cuisines in the world!
Despite being delicious, Mexican restaurants and recipes typically fall low on the list of “healthy” food options. It’s true that the americanized versions of Mexican classics typically rely on more calorically dense ingredients such as cheese, sour cream, and salt to achieve a satisfying dining experience. These calorically dense ingredients tend to lead those trying to lose weight to skip the nachos and burritos for good.
However, it may surprise you that cooking and eating Mexican food can be delicious and allow you to work towards your health and weight loss goals!
Is Mexican food healthy?
Authentic Mexican food is rooted in spice, fresh vegetables, rice, beans, and slow cooked meat. It should be no surprise that these authentic staples can be a part of a healthy and balanced eating plan to help you reach any goal you have!
As mentioned earlier, typical americanized Mexican restaurants and recipes rely less on the spices and flavors of Mexico, and use more calorically dense ingredients such as sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, and salt! These ingredients tend to go over well with the typical American palate and can make eating Mexican food more difficult when attempting to lose weight.
Despite heavier ingredients at most Mexican restaurants, it is important to remember that a food’s inherent “health” is all dependent on the goals you are working towards! If you enjoy Mexican food and it helps stay on track and remain consistent in sticking to a certain calorie budget or eating style, than turning to homemade Mexican recipes can be healthy and valuable in your journey! By focusing on fresh ingredients such as corn tortillas, black beans, fresh vegetables, and homemade salsas, these recipes can be just as (if not more) satisfying as their americanized counterparts.
Healthy Mexican food options
When thinking about healthy Mexican food options, focus in on the ingredients that give you the most flavor for your calories! Things like fresh salsa, hot sauce, citrus, and spices (cumin, ancho chili, and coriander) have big flavor for almost no calories!
These ingredients can transform a dish and make food extremely flavorful. These lower calorie ingredients are staples of authentic Mexican cuisine because they are delicious. Good food is all about balance of flavors and Mexican food can provide some of the best balance in the world. The use of these lower calorie ingredients also means that you can continue to enjoy Taco Tuesday, even when trying to lose weight or reach your health goals!
Another benefit of this cuisine is the fact that it is typically less labor intensive and can be made quickly. Whether cooking for two or prepping for the week, the flavorful and fresh ingredients of Mexican cuisine take center stage and do not require long cooking times.
Interested to see 10 of our favorite Mexican recipes to start incorporating into your weekly menu? Check them out below!
Healthy Mexican recipes
- Chicken Fajitas– Simple and delicious slow cooker chicken fajitas full of lean chicken breast and fresh veggies!
- Grilled steak tacos – A steak fan? This is an affordable way to enjoy some homemade steak tacos on charred corn tortillas!
- Mexican street corn burrito bowls – A fusion of two classics, this vegetarian bowl brings together the flavors of elote (Mexican street corn) and all the best parts of a burrito (rice, beans, and salsa)!
- Grilled shrimp tacos – Use your favorite seasonings to create delicious and fresh shrimp tacos!
- Roasted Cauliflower tacos – Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on cauliflower tacos! A great low-fat alternative for taco’s any night of the week.
- Chickpea taco salad – Gluten free alternative for a delicious spin on taco salad!
- Summer veggie tostada – Quick and fresh spin on a Mexican classic!
- Guacamole – Make guac at home that isn’t extra! The perfect pairing for any healthy Mexican recipe!
- Easy homemade salsa – A delicious and simple addition to any of the recipes above!
- Skinny margarita – Skinny margaritas, enough said…
Eat this or that
It may surprise you that our list includes steak tacos, guacamole, and even margaritas! These recipes provide a balanced and healthy spin on delicious food that everyone will enjoy. The reality is, that when embarking on a weight loss or lifestyle journey, it is all about balance. One meal will not dictate your success or failure in reaching your goals.
If you are craving a burrito from your local Mexican restaurant, plan for it and enjoy it! If enjoying the meal and time out with friends or family helps you stay focused and not feel deprived, then it is worth doing.
At Noom, we will never tell you what to eat or what not to eat. We believe food should be an enjoyable part of life and with the right mindfulness and planning, you can enjoy the foods you want and still reach your goals. Interested in learning more about this balance? Start your risk-free Noom trial today and let your personalized Goal Specialist show you how you can take control of your goals and still enjoy life.