If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, then you know very well that foods such as tortillas, beans, and rice are a no-go. Since these are often staple ingredients for many Mexican dishes, low-carb dieters may be deterred and avoid Mexican food altogether. We have provided you with a guide to eating low-carb Mexican food, whether out at a restaurant or in the comfort of your home.
Some basic rules:
No rice – Starchy food like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are definitely foods to avoid on a low-carb diet. When ordering at a Mexican restaurant, or making your own, be sure to always skip on the rice. Yes, even whole-grain brown rice.
No flour or corn tortillas and chips – Although corn tortillas are gluten-free, they are definitely not carbohydrate-free. Flour and corn tortillas are both high in empty carbs, so it’s best to avoid them (and tortilla chips) altogether or substitute them for healthier options.
Very small portions of beans – Depending on your diet plan, low-carb doesn’t mean no-carb. Low-carb diets tend to restrict carbohydrates to anywhere from 20 to 100 grams a day. Although beans are high in carbs, they are also very nutritious, so completely cutting them out of your diet might not be the best choice. Having small portions of beans is your best bet.
Cheese is your best friend – Quite possibly the best part of a low-carb diet is that you can eat all the cheese you want. So don’t be shy on loading up on the queso and sour cream!
Avocados and other healthy fats are a big YES – Healthy fats, such as avocados and olive oil, are extremely important when going low-carb, especially on low-carb, high-fat diets, also known at the ketogenic diet.
Guacamole – Just skip the tortilla chips and use jicama or cucumber slices!
Ceviche – a tasty dish made with fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, peppers, onions, and cilantro.
Queso Dip – Cheese is one of the best things you can eat on a low-carb diet so load up on that queso dip! Use fresh veggies or even meat to dip with.
Pico de Gallo – Salsa made with fresh veggies such as tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro and lemon juice.
Stuffed Bell Peppers – Many include rice — just be sure to skip that ingredient.
Seafood Dishes – Coastal Mexican dishes often are comprised of grilled seafood with salsas.
Grilled Meat Dishes – Mexican food often revolves around grilled meats such as chicken, carne asada, shredded or ground beef, and carnitas.
Chile Rellenos – Although usually coated in flour, you can substitute the wheat flour at home with a low-carb option like a nut flour. If you’re eating out at a restaurant, we suggest just eating the carbs as they are pretty low-carb naturally
Chile Verde – A delicious dish made with pork and roasted tomatillos, avocados, jalapeños, and other flavorful foods such as onions, garlic, cilantro and lime juice.
Zucchini Enchiladas – You can make enchiladas as you normally would, just replace the tortillas with zucchini slices instead. Get the recipe here!