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How To Eat Healthy At A Mexican Restaurant (Yes, It’s Possible!)

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019
healthy mexican food ingredients

Having a plate of authentic Mexican food is a delicious choice for dinner, but is it a healthy one? The answer is yes! You can eat healthy Mexican food when eating out at a restaurant. 

The key is to avoid fried foods, skip the heavier garnishes like sour cream, and practice portion control, among other things. Don’t hesitate to ask your server about substitutions or any other changes you wish to make to your order. They will usually be more than happy to accommodate you. That being said, there’s a few tips and tricks we can give you to keep in mind when choosing a healthy option at a Mexican restaurant. 

More Salsa

Salsa is all the goodness of tomatoes, lime, and seasonings. All the ingredients that go into salsa are low-calorie, making it a fantastic way to add flavor to your meals. Skip the bowl of queso and ask for extra salsa. Also, if you order a salad, substitute salsa for any of the high-calorie dressings. It’s just as flavorful as Ranch or Italian dressing, with a fraction of the calorie count.

Bonus: the lycopene found in tomatoes is an amazing antioxidant with many health benefits!

Extra Avocado 

Avocados are incredible for your health. They are nutrient rich, packed with fiber, monounsaturated fats (the good kind of fats that your body craves), oleic acid, and tons of vitamins! Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants alike have plenty of avocado and guacamole on hand as part of the cuisine. So, when choosing a healthy meal to order at a Mexican restaurant, you could ask your server about substituting guacamole in place of the cheese and sour cream toppers. 

One thing about avocados (and in turn, guacamole!) that make it such a powerful part of a healthy diet is that the healthy fatty acids it contains can help you feel fuller for longer. By adding avocado to your dish, you won’t find yourself feeling hungry again as soon as you leave the restaurant.

Smart Beans

Beans are another great source of fiber. Additionally, beans are plentiful in both Tex-Mex and traditional Mexican cuisine. Use the power of the bean to your advantage when choosing a healthy Mexican dish to eat, but choose your beans wisely! 

Black beans and pinto beans are your best bet for keeping your dish on the healthy side. Black beans are high in protein and low-fat. If you absolutely love refried beans, Pinto beans can give a similar flavor without the high calorie count. 

Bonus: Here at The Plaza Restaurant & Bar, our refried beans are vegetarian-friendly as they are made with vegetable oil instead of lard!

A Tip For Burrito Lovers

If you love having bean and cheese burritos when eating at a restaurant, you can easily go healthy by ordering it without the cheese. A bean burrito without the cheese will save you the extra calories and give you a boost of fiber.

Flour Tortillas

Swap out your corn tortillas for soft flour tortillas if you want to make your meal healthy while eating traditional Mexican food. Tortillas that are crunchy or hard have been fried, whereas soft tortillas have been baked. Making sure you trade out on your tortillas can save you quite a bit, calorie-wise.


One thing that truly plays to your advantage when selecting healthy meals to eat at a Tex Mex or Mexican restaurant is that both cuisines use lots of vegetables in preparing dishes! Avocado, onions, peppers, the list goes on. Most of the healthy dishes available on the menu will already come with vegetables, and you can always ask to have an extra helping added to your plate.

Lean Meat

Meat is a great source of protein, but beef and pork aren’t your only options for meat. There are many Mexican dishes that feature leaner meat options such as fish or chicken. And what’s even better, they usually come with a side of steamed rice and vegetables. For example, our Tilapia Veracruz is a wonderful light dish that’s one of the healthiest menu options we have. It’s also one of our most popular menu items!

These are just a few of the ways you can continue to make smart and healthy choices while eating out. There are plenty of different things you can do in choosing your meal, so use these tips and tricks as a starting point and use what you know about nutrition as your guide! 

Life Is A Fiesta At The Plaza Restaurant & Bar

Our specialty here at The Plaza Restaurant & Bar is serving authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes that the whole family will love. Please check out our Locations so that you can find a restaurant near you. You can also take a look at our Menu to see the many different dishes we love to prepare for our guests. The Plaza Restaurant has been serving our guests since 1982 as a family owned and operated businesses. When you dine with us here, you’re family!