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Healthy Mexican Food, Fast

Posted by Heather J.

The Mexican fare served up at restaurants such as Chipotle, Baja Fresh, or Qdoba is often seen as a healthier fast food option than the usual burger and fries. But the volume of food you can get at these places could probably feed a family of four. Supersized burritos can contain more than 1,400 calories and 65 grams of fat - far more than the fair share of one menu item! This is the upper limit of fat for a whole day, all in one meal. There are a few trade-offs you can make to your burrito to shave off considerable fat and calories, without scrimping too much on taste. By cutting out the cheese, you'll save 100 calories and 9 grams of fat. By saying "no" to sour cream, you'll say no to 120 calories and 10 grams of fat. If your burrito contains both rice and beans, ditch the rice - you'll get more than enough carbs from the beans and the shell. That will shave off another 240 calories and 9 grams of fat. Now we're making headway! Keep the beans - they're full of protein and fiber without much fat (definitely choose whole pinto or black beans over refried). Also keep the avocado for its healthy fats, and go for tomato salsa over corn salsa to save 75 calories. If you're really carb conscious, cutting out the tortilla shell (is it still a burrito at that point?) will reduce your meal by up to 340 calories and 9 fat grams. Lastly, if the burrito is as big as your head, cut it in half and share with a friend or save it for another spicy day.
Comments (3)
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I'm going to a Chipotle very soon, with someone who constantly sings its praises. I'll be sure to keep these calorie-cutting tips in mind....although it will be hard to turn down the rice, I'm sure!
Terrific ideas on how to modify meals when eating out. I think it great to have tools for making favorite foods reasonably healthy instead of just banning them altogether. Another idea when going to Mexican restaurants in particular is to order from the kids menu. The portion sizes are still huge even for adults, but they approach normal at most places I have tried.
That's for sure! Thanks for the good input - although, I thought that a bean and rice combination was better for you because of the way they bring out protein. Isn't that the deal for vegetarians? Someone clarify if possible - even though I know this is about losing calories. :)
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