By: Lindsey Joe
#TacoTuesday. We look forward to you after a Monday. And can’t wait for your return after a Tuesday. It’s the weekly ritual that doesn’t go uncelebrated unless you’re on your deathbed. Well good news tacos lovers, the Nashville Scene is bringing you Taco Week this August 21st through 27th.
I last shared my top tips to order a healthier burger when eating out so I’m bringing you my favorite strategies to order nutritious and delicious tacos!
Go easy on the add-ons. While a little bit here and there doesn’t seem like hardly anything, you could really be racking up quite a few fat grams and unwanted calories when you have several tacos. For example, 1 ounce of queso contains 6 grams of fat and 70 calories, while 2 tablespoons of sour cream or crema packs 5 grams of fat and 50-60 calories. What to choose instead? Add on pico de gallo, pickled red onions, and cilantro for a lot of flavor without all the fat. And if you’re really craving creaminess, opt for avocado, which contains heart-healthy fats and good-for-you fiber.
Order proteins like a pro. Why ruin something good? Instead of immediately going for the fried, crispy or breaded options (which we know that if eaten frequently increases your risk of heart disease) consider trying your favorite protein grilled, roasted, or smoked or maybe even going plant-based. (Personal props for ordering fish or shellfish to help get one of your weekly servings of seafood in.)
Savor healthier sides. They might be the standard side at your favorite Mexican restaurant, but refried beans often are made with lard, a saturated fat that can increase your lousy LDL cholesterol levels. No need to frowny face yet! Enjoy pinto or black beans, grilled veggies, or a Mexican “salad” without the guilt.
Shake up your shell. Aim for soft corn tortilla shells as they contain whole grains and more fiber than their popular flour counterparts. Not to mention, they tend to be smaller in size than other tortillas. #winning
Be mindful of the margaritas. If you choose to imbibe, go for a classic margarita, which is simply tequila, triple sec and lime juice - so it’s lower in sugar and salt than drinks made with a pre-made mix. You can also add club soda if you want something bubbly!
No need to deprive your taste buds of tacos when it comes to eating healthier. Trying out a few of these tips can keep your #TacoTuesday traditions moving towards your health goals instead of away from them.
Happy taco week, Nashville!
Photo credit: @nashvillescene + @mastacos
LINDSEY JOE, RDN, LDN
Lindsey is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from Nashville, TN. She graduated from the Dietetic Internship program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and prior to this, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a weight management expert, meal planning master, and TN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nashville Media spokesperson. Lindsey is passionate about helping people ignite the healthy that makes them happy and you can follow all her food-filled adventures at @themealplanningmethod!
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