Mexican food can be healthy and low in cholesterol. Start with chips and salsa. Salsa generally contains no fat and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. Chips do contain fat because they are deep fried but the fat is cholesterol free. I would recommend avoiding the chips anyway due to the calories. If you make Mexican food at home, you can buy baked chips which are fat free. Beans and tortillas are low in cholesterol. Almost no one uses lard in their beans anymore. Chicken fajitas are low in cholesterol and a great choice. Guacamole is best eaten as a salad or as a dip with baked chips. Chicken burritos, ceviche, and topopo salads are also low in cholesterol. Tamales made with chicken are also low in cholesterol.
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Here are some tips to make Mexican foods lower in cholesterol:
- Use beans, without any added fat, as your source of protein. Beans contain soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels as well as being a source of lean protein
- Choose lean meats (poultry without the skin, tenderloin, or flank steak)
- Use salsa as your dressing instead of sour cream
- Prepare homemade baked tortilla chips by cutting bite sized pieces of a whole grain tortilla, seasoning and baking in the oven
- Add vegetables (without added fat) to any Mexican dish to help fill you up without adding high fat foods to your meal
- Choose reduced fat cheese like part skim mozzarella (Chihuahua cheese is high in fat)
Cheese-smothered enchiladas and monster-sized burritos give Mexican cuisine a muy bad reputation. But traditional Mexican fare highlights reasonable portions and lots of cholesterol-lowering ingredients, including beans, corn, avocado, and squash. Skip the fried tortilla chips, choose corn rather than higher-calorie flour tortillas, opt for dishes with grilled seafood or chicken, and order your beans whole rather than refried. For extra credit, garnish your food with fresh salsa instead of sour cream.