POSTED: Saturday, May 5, 2012 - 11:46am
UPDATED: Saturday, May 5, 2012 - 4:04pm
There's something about Cinco de Mayo that inspires many Americans to smother everything in sight with cheese and consume multiple margaritas.
That may lead to stomach revolt with a side of regret on Seis de Mayo.
We've Americanized classic Mexican food, and made it unhealthy in the process.
"The problem is, particularly here in south Texas, we've dressed it up, we put cheese on it, we put queso on it, we fry things. And the original version has lost some of its luster," says Baylor College of Medicine registered dietitian Roberta Anding.
Anding says that original version is plant based, tons of tomatoes, onions, black beans and of course corn.
Anding says typical restaurant chips are fried, and about 25 calories a piece.
"Do the math. You have 10 and that's equivalent to a sandwich and you haven't even had your meal yet," she warns.
The chefs at Paco's Tacos and Tequila Restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina recently lightened up their Mexican fare.
Their whole wheat tortillas are made right on site and Chef Timothy Groody says they focus on authentic spices like Mexican oregano for rich, traditional flavor.
One seemingly decadent Mexican dish, guacamole, is actually quite healthy.
Avocados are high in heart-healthy fat, which helps us absorb the antioxidants found in tomatoes.
"Culturally based diets almost always have this beautiful combination of foods that work synergistically that are not going to be found in a pill," Anding notes.
A fiesta for your taste buds and your health.
As far as the margaritas go, dietitians say it's ok to splurge on a really good one.
A traditional margarita is about 500 calories, so be done after one.