Mexican Food Calories - Nutrition Guide, Calorie Chart, Healthy Choices

It may surprise many people that Mexican Foods, especially fast food varieties can contain high levels of fat and carbohydrates and calories. For example many burritos and tacos, even a Vegetarian Burrito can contain 1,300 calories which is about 75% of the average daily calorie allowance for a female (1,900 calories) and 50% of that for average male (2,500 calories). These meals may have more calories and fat than a Pizza or a Quarter Pounder with fries and a Coke. Common Mexican fast foods such as cheese, chicken or steak quesadillas average 1,230 calories. This does not mean that Mexican Foods are unhealthy - you simply need to be aware of the calories contents of common foods and choose low calorie items and substitutes.

The worst items are the most obvious optional extras and dressings such as cheese, refried beans, sour cream, Guacamole and many of the sauces which have high sugar contents. Simply ask for these items to be used sparingly in the meals you order or prepare at home.

Many Mexican restaurants and outlets offer grilled vegetables which are a healthy choice and can be used as substitutes for rice and beans. Use salsa as a substitute for extra cheese or sour cream.

Whenever you order a burrito or taco at a restaurant request small servings of cheese and sour cream. Burritos tastes just as good without thee fat and calorie laden additions. There are many healthy Mexican dishes if you know what to look for such as shrimp diablo (fried shrimp with spicy red sauce). There's no sour cream or cheese in the dish and shrimp has low calories and fat.

Tips for Low Calorie and Low Fat Meal Choices

Monitor Your Portions - Enjoy the side dishes such as guacamole is very restricted portions, as while avocados are generally healthy and are rich in healthy fats, the calories can see pile up. Similarly use only small portions of sour cream and cheese.

Choose Healthy Substitutes - Beware of foods labeled grilled or vegetarian that are not necessarily healthy.

  • Choose low-fat versions of refried beans.
  • Grilled seafood, poultry and lean meat are excellent sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals and can be low fat - but choose small portion sizes.
  • Choose dishes that have lots of fresh greens, lettuce, tomatoes, fresh veggies and salsa.
  • Request low-fat or non-fat sour cream and refried beans and if unavailable, use small quantities.
  • Choose smaller corn and whole-wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas because the former have less fat, fewer calories and more fibre.
  • Mexican rice is generally healthy and is made with tomatoes and very small quantities of fat. At Rubio's, they offer a rice with "Sheathe" items for only 110 calories.
  • Check the calories in the list provided in the table shown below or displayed on the menu.
  • Check it their website before you go and make a plan for healthy choices.

Avoid the Fried Options

  • Traditional Mexican tortillas were prepared by grilling or steaming not by frying. Therefore always choose baked, soft or grilled tortillas and select baked quesadillas.
  • Use a home-made Salsa as a sauce or dip. Salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and other vegetables and low calorie versions are often available. Ration the chips to avoid overeating.
  • Many restaurants make their in-house refried beans with lard, so always check and ask for low fat versions.
  • Taco salads can carry more than 1,000 calories, and many of the ingredients are unhealthy.
  • Avoid extra condiments and cheese.
  • Avoid deep-fried entrees like Chile Rellenos, Chimichangas, and Flautas.
  • Avoid Fish in Tacos because its is usually breaded and fried and laden with fat. Try to order grilled fish instead.
  • Avoid Chorizo (Mexican sausage)
  • Avoid Con Queso (with cheese)
  • Avoid Rellenos (stuffed, usually with cheese)
  • A Combinations which are usually supersized portions with lots of cheese
  • Avoid Crispy foods (especially taco shells) which means fried,
  • Avoid Plato Gordo (fat plate)

© janderson99-HubPages

Healthy Substitutes

List of Calories in Mexican Foood

General
Calories
Taco Bell
Calories
Arroz Abanda (fish with rice)
340
Bean Burrito
370
Beef burritos
695
Beef Chalupa Baja
420
Beef chimichanga
765
Beef Chalupa Santa Fe
440
Beef enchilada
700
Beef Chalupa Supreme
380
Beef fajitas
1,300
Beef Gordita Baja
360
Beef Tamales
325
Beef Gordita Santa Fe
370
Black Bean Soup
180
Beef Gordita Supreme
300
Burrito Beans
206
Beef Mexican Pizza
530
Burrito with Beans, Cheese
203
BIG BEEF Burrito
400
Burrito with Beans, Chili Peppers
202
BIG BEEF Burrito Supreme
510
Burrito with Beans, Meat
220
BIG BEEF MexiMelt
290
Carne Asada Taco with rice and beans
710
BIG BEEF Nachos Supreme
440
Ceviche
140
BIG CHICKEN Burrito Supreme
460
Cheese Enchilada
196
Breakfast Cheese Quesadilla
380
Chicken burrito
600
Burrito Supreme
430
Chicken chimichanga
675
Cheese Quesadilla
350
Chicken enchilada
615
Chicken Chalupa Baja
400
Chicken Fajita
450
Chicken Chalupa Santa Fe
420
Chicken fajitas
1,035
Chicken Chalupa Supreme
360
Chicken Fajitas
200
Chicken Gordita Baja
340
Chicken Quesadilla
420
Chicken Gordita Santa Fe
370
Chicken Taco
490
Chicken Gordita Supreme
300
Chicken Tamales
245
Chicken Mexican Pizza
520
Chile Rellenos
237
Chicken Nachos Bellgrande
740
Chili Beans (Cooked)
97
Chicken Quesadilla
400
Chili Con Carne
101
Chili Cheese Burrito
330
Chilli con carne
800
Choco Taco Ice Cream Dessert
310
Chimichanga
242
Cinnamon Twists
180
Clams Marinera
330
Country Breakfast Burrito
270
Enchilada Cheese & Beef
168
Double Bacon & Egg Burrito
480
Huachinango a la Veracruzana
200
Double Decker Taco
330
Nacho Cheese Sauce
65
Double Decker Taco Supreme
380
Nachos
1,000
Fiesta Breakfast Burrito
280
Nachos Bell Grande
760
Grande Breakfast Burrito
420
Pecan pie
690
Grilled Chicken Burrito
390
Poc Chuc
200
Grilled Chicken Soft Taco
200
Quesadilla
650
Grilled Steak Soft Taco Supreme
240
Serviche
150
Hash Brown Nuggets
280
Shrimp Taco
320
Hash Brown Nuggets
280
Steak quesadilla
1,450
Mexican Pizza
540
Tortilla chips and guacamole
590
Mexican Rice
190
Tortilla chips and salsa
515
Nachos
320
Tortilla Soup
240
Nachos Bellgrande
760
Tostada (Beef & Cheese)
193
Pintos 'N Cheese
180
Tostada (w/Guacamole)
138
Soft Taco
210
Vegetable fajitas
810
Soft Taco Supreme
260
Enchilada with Beef and Cheese
212
Steak Chalupa Baja
400
EXTRAS
 
Steak Chalupa Santa Fe
430
Refried Beans
300
Steak Chalupa Supreme
360
Guacamole (1 cup)
400
Steak Gordita Baja
340
Sour Cream
490
Steak Gordita Santa Fe
380
Corn Taco Shell
98
Steak Gordita Supreme
300
Flour Taco Shell
168
Steak Nachos Bellgrande
740
Tortilla Wraps
160
Taco
170
Salsa (1cup)
70
Taco Salad w/Salsa
850
Grated Cheese ( 1 cup shredded)
492
Taco Supreme
210
Low Carb Tortilla Wraps
71
Tostada
250

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 1 comment

Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

I am Mexican and have written several Hubs about Mexican Recipes. I know the majority of the Mexican dishes known abroad are packed with calories (also because they are transformed into a fast food version of real Mexican food) but there are many Mexican dishes, not so well known by foreigners, but much more tasty, healthy and nutritious without the huge calorie content of Tex-Mex food. This authentic Mexican Cuisine is what I like to write about and spread the word!

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