How can I eat low-carb foods on Cinco de Mayo if I have diabetes?

While Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is not widely celebrated in Mexico, many people in the United States celebrate the 5th of May with good food, drinks, family and friends.

If the thought of huge helpings of refried beans and cheesy enchiladas worries you, have no fear. There are ways to control your carb intake and to eat healthy on this holiday.

Mexican food made with fresh vegetables, seafood, fruit, and beans is healthy, light, and still full of flavor! Here are some tips to make your fiesta's menu healthier:
  • Make fresh salsa or black bean dip instead of guacamole. (Guacamole has healthy fats in it, but it is much higher in fat and calories than the other two choices.)
  • It is easy to overeat on snacks like tortilla chips. Measure out just one serving so you can save room for the main course!
  • Incorporate fruits and vegetables in your dishes. Be creative!
  • Make brown rice instead of white rice.
  • Choose lean meats and don't add fat when cooking. (For example, use lean ground beef, lean ground turkey or shredded chicken breast.)
  • Rinse canned beans before using to remove excess sodium.
  • Make re-fried beans from scratch or buy a fat-free canned version.
  • Choose non-fat dairy such as non-fat sour cream and non-fat cheese.
  • Reduce the use of animal fats, like lard and butter, and choose liquid oils for cooking.
  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
  • Don't go crazy with the margaritas. These and other mixed drinks are packed with carbohydrates and calories. Consider light Mexican beer or a dry wine if you choose to drink alcohol.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.