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How to eat a healthy, low points meal at a Mexican restaurant?

I had a group member ask this question. This was my answer, any other input would be appreciated.

with mexican I try and avoid meat and sour cream. If you stick with rice, beans, salsa, a touch of guacamole you'll get a nice taste without the saturated fats. Maybe it is unrealistic to worry about points at a mexican place- if you focus on eliminating saturated fat that is something that is very doable.


Thu. Apr 26, 9:07am

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I constantly have this issue myself. I LOVE Mexican food but even if you cut out the cheese and sour cream I've learned that they often cook the meat and beans in oils and butters to make them taste better. My solution is to use eating out at Mexican places as my treat and I don't worry too much about what I order (I know this isn't helpful at all) but I've also taken to cooking my own Mexican food because I can monitor what goes in it and I can buy FF or reduced fat cheese and sour cream.

Also, when you go out - watch out for the sauces...they are typically LOADED with fat. My guess would be that veggie or chicken fajitas could be one of your best bets because you control what goes into the fajitas you make/eat.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 12:17 PM

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Yeah, I would not have the rice or the guac, both are extremely high calorie. And the beans might be too, b/c you don't know what goes in them.

A healthy meal at a Mexican restaurant would be chicken or veggie or shrimp (or even beef) fajitas, and ask them to not use oil when cooking (or to use very little), and then the sides of lettuce, tomatoes/salsa, and a little bit of guac or cheese or sour cream (in very small amounts), will be a good meal. And, eat with a fork, rather than in the tortillas, or, have one tortilla and eat the rest with a fork.

Mmm, this makes me want Mexican!

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 12:24 PM

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My local makes a great black bean soup - no sour cream. Delicious and filling.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 12:26 PM

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I usually go with the fajitas too. 2 torillas and lots of veggies and salsa - no rice (high cal and they always give you like 4 servings), no refried beans (generally made with lard), little guac and a smearing of sour cream. I usually get 3-4 meals out of one restaurant-sized serving.

Best wishes! This is a toughie, but my co-workers love to meet at the mexican place down the block and way too much unofficial business happens there for me to miss it, so I had to find a way to cope and this works pretty well for me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 12:44 PM

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tortillas have a high calorie content too!

check out chipotlelover.com .. it lets you design your dish at Chipotle and tells you the calorie content .. I found it to be eye opening about Mexican calories in general.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 12:47 PM

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The huge difference in calorie count at Chipotle between a burrito and a "bowl" with the same fillings is due to the tortilla, but not all tortillas are as high cal as the ones there, because, when you see them, they are huge - at least the size of like 4 or 5 tortillas that most Mexican restaurants will give you with your fajitas. So, one small one might add 100 cals to a meal (like a slice of bread), whereas the Chipotle ones add like 400-500 cals to the meal!

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 2:19 PM

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and when they use a tortilla for a bowl, it's fried, whereas when you fill a tortilla with your own choices, the tortilla is not fried. big calorie/nutritional difference.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 2:33 PM

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12:44 again - I know tortillas are high calorie. However as my own personal preference, I'd rather have 2 of those than any rice or refried beans. I usually get corn ones and they're the smaller, taco-sized ones so I figure ~100 cal ea, thus if I have a couple finger sized pieces of chicken or steak, onions, peppers, lettuce, tomatoe and lots of salsa - I can keep it pretty satisfying and under 350 cal total for a meal. Also, you gotta stay away from those baskets of chips - that was the hardest for me to get used to.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 3:20 PM

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I just eat only the chips and salsa...I know the chips are horrible, but I love them way too much to give them up, I would feel deprived, so I just don't get anything else and drink lots of water to fill me up faster.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 9:41 PM

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at traditional resteraunts the tamales are yum. And it's just corn and pork. So add some tomatoes and lettuce and it's pretty good.

Friday, April 27, 2007, 12:56 PM

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