Mexican fiesta – delicious and heart-healthy

Healthy tips to spice up your meals

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Mexican food is often thought to be unhealthy – or not heart healthy – but that can be far from true – fresh vegetables, zesty flavors can spice up your meals.

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When creating Mexican recipes, Julia Zumpano RD, LD, Preventive Cardiology provides these tips:

Focus on foods:

  • High in fiber – beans ,  corn , veggies  and whole grains.  Beans can be used whole  or pureed  rather than fried to add more heart healthy appeal.
  • Rich in vegetables.  tomatoes, peppers , onions  and other vitamin rich veggies
  • Choose recipes with  skinless poultry , fish  or shellfish  , and lean pork loin or tenderloin  rather than beef.
  • Make your own salsa – focus on fresh vegetables and herbs, rather than salt for flavor.
  • Avoid fried foods such as tortilla chips, chimichangas, or nachos.  Bake chips instead or choose corn tortillas or whole grain  tortillas  as your shell.  Prepare with low fat cooking spray.   Check labels for fiber content.
  •  Limit cheese by using half of what the recipe calls for.  Use a low fat, reduced fat or part skim cheese.  Better yet, omit the cheese completely and add some fresh avocado or guacamole for taste.

Have fun experimenting.  Summer is almost here – and will provide you with many delicious fresh vegetables to try with a Mexican flair!

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Here is a dish that is high in fiber and lean protein and low in sodium.

Do you have any heart healthy mexican cooking tips you would like to share?

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