Fortunately, there are several swaps you can make to limit your sodium intake while still enjoying a flavorful meal at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Many of these swaps also lead to a more nutritious meal overall by reducing fat and adding ingredients with more nutrients.
Q: Is There Too Much Sodium at Mexican Restaurants?
A: It can be difficult to manage your sodium intake when dining out in general, but is it possible to follow a low sodium diet at a Mexican restaurant? No one wants to give up the spicy, robust flavors that make Mexican food so delicious. Fortunately, there are several swaps you can make to limit your sodium intake while still enjoying a flavorful meal at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Many of these swaps also lead to a more nutritious meal overall by reducing fat and adding ingredients with more nutrients.
Below are a few easy tips to reduce the sodium next time you head out to a Mexican restaurant:
- Top tacos and salads with ingredients such as pico de gallo and guacamole instead of dressings and creamy sauces, which tend to be higher in sodium.
- Spice up your meal with fresh, sliced jalapenos in place of hot sauces.
- Choose meals such as Mexican salads that include lots of fresh veggies (they are naturally low in sodium, and this will also lower the calories in your meal!)
- If possible, choose plain grilled chicken and steak versus marinated meats that have a lot of added sodium.
- Use moderation with rice and beans, which can have some of the highest sodium values on the menu.
- If you’re looking for a satisfying starch in your burrito, try replacing the Mexican rice with potatoes – they tend to have a little less sodium and have the benefit of potassium to help regulate blood pressure.
- Ask for lettuce wraps to contain your taco fillings, or have it as a bowl to eliminate the sodium from tortillas.
- Ask for less or no cheese – one ounce of cheddar or Jack cheese can add upwards of 150 mg of sodium to your meal.
- Skip the chips! They are often heavily salted and can eat up your sodium budget before you even make it to the main course.
These are just a few of the ways you can reduce the sodium without losing the flavor of your favorite Mexican dishes! Enjoy!