If you believe that Tex Mex food is unhealthy – all that cheese, all that beef, all those tortilla chips! – it’s time to modify that opinion:
A Tex Mex dish can be incredibly healthy
- A lot of Tex Mex dishes incorporate beans – black beans and white beans in particular – that pack a lot of plant protein, phytochemicals and fiber within them. Many people don’t have enough beans in their diet and eating Tex Mex with black or white beans is a delicious and easy way to work some of them into your diet.
- Tomatoes are everywhere in Tex Mex dishes. They are in tacos, fajitas, burritos, salsa, sauces, etc. So ubiquitous are they, it sometimes feels as if tomatoes are in every Tex Mex dish. And tomatoes, as you know, pack a powerful anti-oxidant punch. Tomatoes are actually fruits, not vegetables, and also carry a good dose of vitamins A and C.
- Who says you must use fatty ground beef or steak for your tacos, burritos or fajitas? Not us! You can substitute fish or chicken, or lean ground beef in your tacos and burritos (or even black beans for a healthy vegetarian taco/burrito). You can get a lean cut of steak for the fajita – or even grill chicken instead.
- As for sour cream, if you’re truly serious about eating in a heart-healthy way, you’ll skip it, but if you must, replace the full-fat sour cream with non-fat sour cream. The same goes for cheese – substitute low-fat cheese (or simply halve the amount of cheese you use in your recipes).
- As for tortillas, corn tortillas have less than a third of the calories as well as the fat as flour tortillas. Never use hard-shelled tortillas – they’ve been fried to be crispy.
- Skip the tortilla chips. Well, maybe just a handful. But seriously: just a handful!
- Skip the rice. Even if it’s not refried rice (which has a lot of fat and even lard packed in), skip it. It’s just too starchy. Give yourself some extra black or white beans instead, or opt for some grilled vegetables as a side.
And there you have it: an extremely healthy diet of Tex Mex cuisine.
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