Just because it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean your health has to suffer from over-celebrating. Just follow these few suggestions, starting from the bottom of your taco to the rim of your glass and you too can have a healthy Cinco de Mayo.
1. Whole Wheat Tortillas
Instead of using white-flour tortillas for your tacos and burritos, pick up a whole wheat version. This is such an easy swap and makes a big difference. Thanks to lower fat, higher fiber, and higher protein levels, you’ll get more nutrients and feel full faster by choosing whole wheat.
2. Fish, Not Beef
By choosing a lean protein like fish over ground beef, you not only cut back on fat, but cholesterol as well. Tilapia and mahi-mahi are both great tasting choices for a healthier taco.
3. Raw Peppers
Leave the jar of pickled jalapeños on the shelf and head to the produce section. Fresh jalepenos will have a richer, spicier flavor than the pickled versions, as well as more of natural nutrients. Not to mention the fact that the stuff in the jar is often full of preservatives and added sugars and sodium. Yuck!
4. Cabbage, Not Lettuce
Shredded Cabbage is a much more nutritious taco topping than iceberg lettuce. It’s full of antioxidants and 33% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, and is only 22 calories per cup. Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, contains only 3% of your daily Vitamin C needs and has a much less tasty crunch than cabbage.
5. Homemade Guacamole and Pico de Gallo
Like those jalepenos that we mentioned earlier, store bought toppings like guacamole and salsa often contain preservatives like sodium benzoate and calcium chloride. If you don’t know what it is, why put it in your body? Guacamole and Pico de Gallo are both easy recipes that anyone can make to reduce the sodium and sugar content in a Mexican meal.
6. Low Fat Monterey Jack
You can’t have a Mexican fiesta without cheese. To cut back on the calories and saturated fats, pick a bag of low-fat Monterey Jack shredded cheese instead of a regular brand. You'll still get all the great flavor, plus plenty of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Zinc, and phosphorus.
7. Light Drinks
We know you'll probably have a drink or two at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, and alcohol can be a dieters nightmare. Luckily you have the option of choosing light beers over the heavy, calorie laden varieties. Also, try making your margaritas from scratch using lime juice instead of a store-bought mix. You'll end up with better flavor and less sugar!