Poll says: Mexican and Italian

My blog followers voted on their favorite ethnic food. With a whopping 12 votes (sigh!), 1/3 of the voters chose Mexican and 1/3 chose Italian. While Mexican takes the place of #1 in my heart, GOOD Italian is a close 2nd. I figured with all this talk it may be helpful to go over some menu strategy when consuming Mexican and Italian food. So here we go!

Mexican
– Chips and salsa. While delicious, you’re adding a lot of added calories to your meal. Consume in moderation.
– Margs. STEER CLEAR. These babies should be a TREAT! A 16 ounce frozen margarita will run you 300 calories. Ouch! A great alternative: Corona Light. Yum! And a savings of 200 calories.
– Queso and white sauces. Green or red sauces are preferred for a lower-calories/lower-fat option.
– Chicken v. beef. While I’m not a beef basher, I am a basher of low-quality beef. Ground beef served in a restaurant is not going to be lean, so going with a chicken or fish entree will shave off some calories and fat.
– Go corn. Flour tortillas aren’t the best choice and there’s WAY more calories than you care to know packed into those babies. Corn tortillas are a healthier, and more flavorful option (in my opinion).
– Easy on the sour cream and guacamole. Great additions, lots of calories. Moderation.
– PORTIONS! Of all ethnic restaurants, portion sizes at Mexican restaurants are astronomical. I recommend ordering your meal al a carte (i.e. 2 chicken facos and a side of rice) if over-eating is an issue for you.

Italian


– Sauces. Butter, alfredo, and cream sauces should be replaced with marinaras and olive-oil based sauces.
– Choose a protein. Ordering a large pasta dish will not only leave you carb-crazed, but will also require more volume to leave you satisfied. Adding a protein (i.e. chicken or seafood) can help balance your meal and provide more satiety.
– Easy on the bread…and oil. While olive oil is rich in healthy MUFA’s and PUFA’s, a teaspoon or two is adequate intake. Dipping away will only lead to an excess of calories and fat.
– Caesar on the side. Caesar salad, while delicious, is high in fat. Order your dressing on the side and ration it sparingly yourself across your salad.
– Choose red wine. If you consume alcohol while dining, choose red wines rich in antioxidants. We’ve gone over this before…red wine = good. One glass for ladies, two for the gents.

This post made me hungry! Can’t go wrong with Mexican or Italian!

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