Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Eating Out on a Diet


Restaurant Advice: Mexican
Pass on refried beans and anything else "fried".
Pass on refried beans and anything else "fried".
©iStockphoto.com/belknap

Flavorful foods from south of the border can fit into your healthy lifestyle. Mexican restaurants typically have a variety of options that won't expand your waistline if you know what to choose.

Best bets:

  • Ask the server to bring steamed corn tortillas to nibble on before dinner.
  • Order soft tacos, burritos, or fajitas, all of which are made with steamed tortillas -- or go one step further and order corn tortillas instead.
  • Order corn tortillas or corn tostadas, which are lower in calories than those made from flour.
  • "Ranchero" or "cholesterol-free" beans. Add salsa for extra flavor.
  • Ask to have sour cream and guacamole to be served on the side.
  • Chicken enchilada with no cheese on top.
  • Fish and chicken Mexican style.
  • Dishes full of vegetables, such as a taco salad or tostada.

Waistline expanders:

  • Tortilla chips.
  • Fried tortillas or tostadas, whether they're flour or corn. Tostadas are usually made with a fried corn tortilla; chimichangas are made with a fried flour tortilla.
  • Flour tortillas.
  • Refried beans, which are made with lard (high in saturated fat and cholesterol).
  • Dishes where sour cream and guacamole are a major component and can't be served on the side.
  • Beef or cheese enchiladas with cheese melted on top.
  • Sauce-and-cheese-smothered enchiladas or deep-fried chili rellenos.
  • The fried flour tortilla "bowl" of the taco salad and the fried corn tortilla of the tostada.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

More to Explore