Q: What are the Healthiest Choices at Taco Shops?
These days, taco shops are as almost as common as Starbucks: one on every corner. These restaurants are often associated with greasy and unhealthy meals (and a very, very long line around 2am), but taco shops can offer plenty of good-for-you options. Without a doubt, there are always some great choices on the menu to help you stay true to your healthy diet and enjoy the Mexican food you want. Next time you find yourself at your favorite taco shop, try choices like these:
- Veggie tacos or burritos for the flavor plus benefit of veggies
- Whole wheat flour and corn tortillas – or go “protein style” (aka lettuce wrapped tacos) for burritos and tacos to add whole grains and/or cut calories.
- Grilled (not fried!) fish, chicken or steak tacos for lean protein
- Fajitas that are full of bell peppers, onions and usually a protein of your choice like chicken or shrimp (try grilled or baked tofu if available) – request “less oil” in preparation.
- Salad or bowl options that you can load up with veggies
- Side of black beans (a much healthier alternative to re-fried beans, as they usually contain lard, which is high in saturated fat).
To keep the saturated fat and calories down, pile on the pico but request higher fat items, such as sour cream and cheese, on the side. Avoid deep fried items, such as hard shell tacos, taquitos, chimichangas (deep fried burrito) and some chiles rellenos. These are usually much higher in calories, fat and saturated fat.