If you’re craving Mexican food, very often the first thing that pops into one’s mind is a huge plate of nachos or tacos or a multi pound burrito. But calling those foods authentic Mexican cuisine is a bit of a stretch, especially if they’ve been given the American treatment of deep fry or cheese.
Virtually everybody knows that fast food is bad for you since it’s packed with calories, fat, carbohydrates and sodium. However, how awful is Mexican fast food for you? Sure, it’s probably not healthy but everything in moderation, right?
Wrong. Most on the go or fast food Mexican restaurants are some of the fast food industry’s worst offenders. For instance, Chipotle, while plenty boastful of its practices of sustainable and organic agriculture, is a bit bashful about the caloric content of its food. Independent analysis of the calorie content of a Chipotle vegetarian burrito discovered that it contained more calories than a Quarter Pounder with chips and a pop from McDonald’s. And that’s supposed to be the healthy alternative at Chipotle.
Additional Baja Fresh, although not as widespread, is even more in the red zone than Chipotle. A quesadilla, no sides or beverage, from a Baja Fresh pushes the 1,200 calorie mark and is laced with over two days worth of saturated fat, a leading cause of heart disease. Essentially, if you’d McDonald’s or Burger King for each meal of a day you’d start to approach these levels of caloric and fat content.
Picking some nachos from Baja Fresh is equally unsavory. Consuming just one order of nachos, made with cheese and chicken or beef, is the equivalent of eating your entire day’s worth of meals. Weighing in at 2,000 calories and included a day’s worth of sodium and multiple days worth of fat, Baja Fresh nachos signify Mexican-American cuisine taken to the darkest depths.
Even Taco Bell, appearing moderately humble at this time, is a clear offender with its thoroughly American twist on Mexican cuisine, by producing such aberrations like gorditas, chalupas and umpteen varieties of burritos.
So, what can you do to receive your Mexican fix without snapping the button off your pants? Take control of what you eat and what you purchase. Small substitutions can save you plenty of calories in the long term. Most of these repairs are fairly simple too.
Picking corn over flour tortillas is a fantastic place to start. Even though it may not look like much, if you’re having several tacos, obtaining corn tortillas can save you hundreds of calories. Furthermore, request many condiments on the side. A big glob of sour cream smack in the middle of your burrito can feel like an anchor after you’ve finished putting that burrito away. However, requesting it on the side lets you’re in control on how much you have. Don’t let your diet be ordered by franchise food.