Healthy Cinco de Mayo Swaps

Whether you’re helping your kids with their history lesson or planning a dinner party with friends to celebrate the holiday, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and let the cooking begin! Here are a few of our favorite ideas to deliciously (and healthfully) celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Add grilled veggies – Many authentic Mexican meals contain polyphenol filled vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spicy peppers. The downside is that they’re often drenched in unhealthy oils. Keep the health benefits and skip the unhealthy fats by drizzling vegetables with heart healthy olive or canola oil and cook them on the grill.

Fill up with fiber – Black beans are a delicious staple in many Mexican meals, and they’re also great for you! 1 cup of black beans contains 15 grams of fiber – that’s half of your daily recommendation for a 2,000 calorie diet.

Switch it up – Making simple swaps can help you cut calories and keep the flavor.

  • Use whole grain tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
  • Go ahead, enjoy your chips, salsa, and guacamole – but instead of regular tortilla chips, make your own! Lightly brush whole grain tortillas with canola oil, cut into triangles, and bake in the oven!
  • Skip the high fat cream sauces, and use avocado or guacamole instead. You’ll still get the creaminess from the avocado, but instead it’s filled with good fats and fiber.

Make your own salsa – When you make your own salsa or pico de gallo, it’s fresh and tastes much better than the store bought brand. Plus, you’ll be taking in much less sodium, and you can choose how mild or spicy you want it. Head over to a local farmer’s market for fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, and any other additions you’d like! For more delicious ideas, check out this week’s Take 5! for 5 ways to kick up your salsa.

What are your favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes? Become a fan of Gene Smart Wellness on Facebook to share your plans for the day, or send us a tweet on Twitter.

 

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