Can Nachos be a Healthy Choice when Dining Out?

Because no two nacho dishes—or bites—are alike, the nutrition information for this popular appetizer can be difficult to pinpoint. But generally speaking, a serving size of most restaurant nacho chips (6-8 chips) tends to be high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. And let’s be honest, how many of us are having just one serving size of chips?

The reason nachos unsuspectingly catch us in their calorie-trap is because we often place them in the category of snack or appetizer. But with most nachos dishes close to 2,000 calories, they can easily be considered a meal—even when shared. The good news: Nachos can be relatively harmless if you make them an occasional splurge, share them with friends or family, and make the following modifications whenever possible:

  • Fill up on salsa and some guacamole (both are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals) and limit high-fat and high-calorie toppings, such as sour cream (ask for it on the side) and cheese (ask for half the usual amount).
  • If ordering protein toppings, opt for lean protein, such as skinless chicken or black beans, instead of ground beef
  • Watch out for fried, oily chips, and substitute baked or whole grain corn tortilla chips whenever possible
    Top the dish off with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos for added kick and flavor—and a veggie boost!