Healthy Taco Tips!
Traditional taco...I think not!
If you REALLY want your taco to work for YOU...
Add fresh guacamole! While it is true that there is fat in avocados...there are also HUGE benefits to the misunderstood powerhouse. It is high in Fiber, monounsaturated fats, both vitamins C and E, and potassium. The "good" fats in guacamole may actually help to lower your cholesterol. Avocados also give you a natural energy boost by providing TONS of vitamins and nutrients. To get the most from your guacamole--make it yourself. Smash a ripe avocado with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and peppers. Add a dash of lime juice and you are DONE! If you go store bought, BEWARE of guacamole "dips". These are sometimes mixed with sour cream and provide HUGE amounts of fat.
Try more healthy UPGRADES!
I don't think that I have ever met a person who doesn't love a great taco! I am not talking the kind from Taco Bell, I am talking about a real Taco....but what do I mean by a real taco? Everyone has a different opinion of what a "taco" is. A taco can be a deep fried or soft tortilla, it can be stuffed with many different meats, and topped with hundreds of different toppings. Somewhere along the way, this simple street food once topped with onions, cilantro, and guacamole became complex and to many of us....LOADED with unnecessary fat and calories.
Are you trying to eat better and think that you have to give up the taco? Never! Eating better isn't about deprivation....its about upgrading (tweaking) recipes! In the end, I believe that you will find that most of the upgraded recipes have more flavor than their heavier-fat laden counterparts and are easy meal enhancements that you will want to stick to.
Here are 5 ways to UPGRADE your Taco!
1. Start with the Shell! Swapping your deep fried corn tortilla for a grilled soft tortilla will automatically save you 5-10 grams of fat depending on what style of shell you are using. If you want to take your health mission even further - make your own whole wheat tortilla (get the recipe here). They only have 5 ingredients, take just a few minutes to make, and are packed with health benefits.
2. Skip the meat! - This may sound like a tough one but honestly it is not! Go for heart healthy black beans or pinto beans instead. Back beans are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and aid your body in functioning at its peak. 1 cup of black beans has only 1 gram of fat vs. 1 cup of cooked ground beef..a whopping 22 grams of fat! To pack flavor in your beans, cook them with diced onions and cilantro. With all of that flavor, you will never miss the meat...nor will you miss the 10-22 grams of FAT per taco!
3. Pack in the veggies - We all know how good veggies are for you so I will skip the why! Grill peppers, onions, garlic, and any other veggies you like together and toss them in the taco.
4. Change your Cheese! - Give Feta cheese a try. Feta is made from goat or sheep's milk and has about 5 grams of fat less per ounce than cheddar cheese. Feta is full of flavor so you need to use less of it than you did the cheddar cheese. Did you actually ever taste the Cheddar? You will certainly taste the Feta! This will save you AT LEAST 5 grams of fat per taco!
5. Skip the Sour Cream! - Top your taco with plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead! Greek yogurt is PACKED with protein and Probiotics. Compare one cup of non-fat Greek yogurt to a cup of low-fat sour cream....One cup of Greek Yogurt has 200 less calories and 29 grams of fat less! I would say this will save you about 7 grams of fat per taco!
I hope that these 5 tricks have helped you to enjoy your next taco! This is a true recipe UPGRADE and something that you can do with every meal. It is packed with flavor, protein, fiber, and taste.