There is nothing harder when you are trying to lose weight and are asked to join friends or family out to eat. 1 out of every 10 restaurants in the U.S. sells Mexican food, making it the most popular style of international cuisine in the country. This is a very common option for a night out because not only is the food delicious, but many Mexican restaurants provide some great drink options too. You may think that going out for Mexican isn't a healthy food option but, if you pick the right menu items, and avoid some of the common extras (cheese, sour cream, etc) you can have a fun nutritious night to look forward to. Traditional Mexican food is high in nutrients, packed with vitamins and is generally low in fat. The more authentic the Mexican restaurant you choose, the better! so what should you order and what should you avoid?

  • Pick the Right Tortilla
    Common questions for eating Mexican food are, "should I choose the hard or soft tortilla?" and "what is the difference between flour and corn tortillas?" Always go with the soft tortilla option because the crispy tortilla has been deep friend and has way more calories and fat. Authentic, soft, corn tortillas are the way to go! According to the health website, Prevention.com, corn tortillas have tons of fiber and are lower in sugar and fat than flour. They are both pretty high in carbohydrates but corn tortillas also have more magnesium, which helps with healthy muscles!

  • What Should You Eat?
    This goes without saying for most restaurants, but when you are going out for Mexican food always opt for vegetable filled burritos, fajitas, tacos and tamales. Veggie packed meals are filled with fiber, minerals and vitamins. Avocado can be your best friend at a Mexican restaurant. It is a great alternative to cheese or sour cream. It is considered a healthy fat that isn't too high in calories, and it tastes great too. Finally, stick with grilled meats over fried. Grilled shrimp, chicken, and fish are fantastic in Mexican dishes. For the great flavor of Mexican food without the added fat from frying, choose soft tacos, tamales, enchiladas, and burritos

  • What Should You Avoid?
    Put down the Margarita! Many of the mixed drinks found at Mexican restaurants are extremely high in sugar. If you want to join your friends for a drink go with a glass of wine or a light Mexican beer instead. Now that you know what to drink and eat for your main meal what sides should you avoid? Stay away from the refried beans and ask for black or pinto beans instead. You will also want to avoid the fried tortilla chips that are usually set out for the table. If you are feeling ravenous while watching your friends enjoy chip after chip order some soup. I am sure you know that cheesy queso dips should also be avoided. Go with fresh salsa as a side and you will be satisfied!

The nutritional benefits of Mexican food are surprising to many and a welcome surprise at that! After choosing an authentic Mexican restaurant with your friends or family you can go confidently, armed with the knowledge of what to avoid and what to eat. You don't have to dread going out for Mexican food! There are lots of tasty and healthy options available. Experience the benefits of real Mexican cooking today!