Tacos are one of those perfect foods that can combine loads of tasty ingredients into one portable and delicious package. There are almost as many ways to enjoy them as there are people that like to order them!
Q: Tacos are my go-to choice for eating out, but now that I’m trying to eat healthier, I’m afraid I’ll have to give them up. What are some healthy ways to order tacos at restaurants?
A: Tacos are one of those perfect foods that can combine loads of tasty ingredients into one portable and delicious package. There are almost as many ways to enjoy them as there are people that like to order them! Pick tacos up and take them to a rowdy fiesta or share them with friends over the cantina table. Tacos can be a tempting and healthy pick when you order them like a dietitian. Here are some suggestions for enjoying the perfect skinny taco next time you head to your favorite Mexican restaurant or taco shop:
- Start with the base – What would a taco be without the tortilla? When you start with a corn or whole wheat tortilla, you’re adding filling whole grains and fiber. Some pros opt to replace the tortilla with lettuce leaves for some extra veggies. Avoid the fried tortillas, and remember that even a whole grain tortilla can put a dent in your goal of healthier eating when it’s fried.
- Add the protein – There are so many good options at this point! Stick with lean and grilled – veggies, whole beans, shrimp, chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, fish. Ask about added oil and lard, especially in the veggies and beans, which can add hidden calories and fat to your healthy taco.
- Pile it on – Here’s where it can get tricky:
- Add lots of veggies – just like a dietitian, load up your taco with veggies like lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, nopales, peppers, onions, even a jalapeno carrot or two – whatever combination you like best. Veggies, especially fresh veggies, can be low-calorie, low-fat additions to your taco pumping them up with nutrition.
- Add just a little of the other toppings – you know them, you love them – cheese, sour cream, guacamole and more. Keep your taco skinny by loving them just a little less.
- Spice it up – Salsa, pico de gallo, lime and/or hot sauce can make the taco. If you like things spicy, go ahead and add on this often lower calorie topping. If you prefer flavor without the heat, opt for a splash of lime juice or a mild salsa.
Don’t give up your go-to choice of tacos; just follow these tips to order like the pros do. What’s your perfect “skinny taco” to order?