Is a Corn or Flour Tortilla Healthier?

By Rachael Derr, RD

If you’re a fan of Mexican food and tune in to our regular tips on how to choose healthier Mexican food at restaurants, you may notice a theme when it comes to tortillas.  We just about always recommend choosing corn tortillas over flour tortillas – but why?

Corn tortillas contain corn, which is considered a whole grain. By choosing a corn tortilla over a white flour tortilla, you are consuming whole grains.  Whole grains are generally higher in fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals that make them a healthier choice than refined grains.  Corn tortillas are also, typically, much smaller than flour tortillas. Because of this, corn tortillas are usually lower in calories than their white flour tortilla counterparts.  This can be especially helpful if weight loss is your goal.

“But flour tortillas are better for burritos!” you may be thinking.

We understand that it can be tough to fit all those burrito fixings into a little corn tortilla! If the restaurant offers a whole grain or whole wheat flour tortilla option – this can also be a great choice. You will be getting whole grains from these just like the corn tortillas, keeping you fuller for longer.  When whole wheat flour isn’t an option, request “protein-style” with a lettuce wrap or opt for a taco or “bowl” instead.