Order This, Not That: Fast-Food Mexican
There are many healthy choices you can make when ordering Mexican fare. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of unhealthy choices you could potentially make too. Here are top picks for popular Mexican hot spots, as well as those options you should skip.
Choose a burrito bowl with 1 serving of protein (chicken and steak have the least sodium), brown rice and tomato salsa, and opt for the healthy fat of guacamole.
Nutrition Info: 630 calories; 36 grams fat; 6.5 grams saturated fat; 38.5 grams protein; 45 grams carbohydrates; 1,060 milligrams sodium
Be wary of what you put into your burrito. Adding all three high-fat toppers — guacamole, sour cream and cheese — can add a whopping 345 calories to your base items (flour tortilla, rice, beans, 1 protein choice). This can make the calorie count skyrocket to over 1,200 per burrito.
Nutrition Info (burrito with all add-ons): 1,275 calories; 65.5 grams fat; 19 grams saturated fat; 53.5 grams protein; 120 grams carbohydrates; 2,910 milligrams sodium
How about a couple of soft tacos? One Fresco Chicken Soft Taco and one Beef Soft Taco is enough food for a meal. Pair it with a no- or low-calorie drink, like water or unsweetened iced tea, and you’ve got a sensible choice.
Nutrition Info: 330 calories; 12.5 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 19 grams protein; 33 grams carbohydrates; 970 milligrams sodium
The XXL Grilled Stuffed Beef Burrito may have the word “grilled” in the title, but that doesn’t mean the dish is low in calories, fat and sodium! This bad boy has the entire recommended daily amount of sodium packed into one item.
Nutrition Info: 830 calories; 34 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 32 grams protein; 91 grams carbohydrates; 2,200 milligrams sodium
Sometimes a burrito is calling your name. At Del Taco, you can opt for the Jacked Up Value Bean, Rice and Cheese Burrito, which has the fewest calories and the least sodium of the bunch. Don’t worry; it has a good amount of fiber (6 grams per burrito) and protein to keep you satisfied.
Nutrition Info: 280 calories; 8 grams fat; 3.5 grams saturated fat; 12 grams protein; 40 grams carbohydrates; 670 milligrams sodium
With boatloads of calories, unhealthy carbs, sodium and fat, the Beef Macho Nachos are just not worth it. If you’re really craving them, split them with three (or four!) friends.
Nutrition Info: 960 calories; 49 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 33 grams protein; 98 grams carbohydrates; 2,020 milligrams sodium
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.