But calling those foods authentic Mexican cuisine is a small stretch, especially if they have been given the American treatment of deep fry or cheese.
Hardly any illusions exist about fast food. Virtually everybody knows that fast food is bad for you since it’s packed with fat, calories, sodium and carbohydrates. But how bad is Mexican fast food for you? Sure, it’s probably not healthy but everything in moderation, right?
Wrong. Most on the go or fast food Mexican restaurants are a few of the fast food industry’s worst offenders. As an example, Chipotle, while plenty boastful of its practices of sustainable and organic agriculture, is somewhat shy about the caloric content of its foods. Separate analysis of the calorie content of a Chipotle vegetarian burrito found that it contained more calories than a Quarter Pounder with chips and a soda from McDonald’s. And that is supposed to be the healthy choice at Chipotle.
Additional Baja Fresh, although not as prevalent, is much more in the red zone than Chipotle. A quesadilla, no sides or drink, from a Baja Fresh pushes the 1,200 calorie mark and is laced with more than two days worth of saturated fat, a main cause of heart disease. Essentially, if you’d McDonald’s or Burger King for each meal of a day you’d start to approach these levels of caloric and fat content.
Picking some nachos out of Baja Fresh is equally unsavory. Consuming just one order of nachos, made with cheese and chicken or steak, is the equivalent of eating your entire day’s worth of meals. Weighing in at 2,000 calories and contained a day’s worth of sodium and multiple days worth of fat, Baja Fresh nachos signify Mexican-American cuisine taken to the darkest depths.
Even Taco Bell, appearing moderately humble at this time, is a clear offender with its thoroughly American spin on Mexican cuisine, by producing such aberrations like gorditas, chalupas and umpteen varieties of burritos.
So, what can you do to receive your Mexican fix without snapping the button off your pants? Take control of what you eat and what you order. Small substitutions can save you tons of calories in the long term. The majority of these repairs are fairly simple too.
Picking corn over flour tortillas is a good place to start. Corn tortillas only have a fraction of the carbs and calories flour ones do. Even though it may not look like much, if you are having several tacos, getting corn tortillas can save you hundreds of calories. Moreover, request many condiments on the side. A big glob of sour cream slap in the center of your burrito can feel like an anchor after you’ve finished putting that burrito away. However, asking for it on the side lets you’re in control how much you have. Don’t let your diet be dictated by franchise food.