Many Mexican dishes contain large amounts of cheese, sauces, salsa, and guacamole. All these have a sodium content, so the answer is yes—Mexican food tends to have a lot of sodium.
Too much sodium intake can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems—so it’s a must to limit it. But you don’t need to deprive yourself of savoring delectable Mexican dishes. Here are simple ways to do both things.
Opt for healthier alternatives – As cheese and sauces are essential ingredients, pick those variants with low-sodium or unsalted sauces. Additionally, incorporating more fresh vegetables like garlic, peppers, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes can reduce the overall sodium content of a dish without sacrificing flavor.
Pick homemade or freshly made ones – Be mindful that many pre-packaged Mexican foods like tortillas, taco shells, and tortilla chips can contain a lot of sodium. Therefore, choosing homemade or freshly made versions is the best way to ensure you consume fewer sodium-packed ingredients.
Order variants with less sodium – Compared to other food types, Mexican cuisine has a variety and is more customizable to a diner’s preference. The following Mexican food options are all excellent low-sodium and provide plenty of flavors.
- Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas are made with various vegetables, cheese, and whole wheat or corn tortillas. Vegetables provide healthy fiber and vitamins, while cheese helps reduce sodium.
- Baked Fish Tacos are a healthier alternative to traditional fried tacos. Combining baked fish and fresh ingredients lessens the chance of taking sodium in this dish.
- Chicken Tostadas are a low-sodium option because they contain cooked chicken and only small amounts of cheese and other toppings.
- Vegetarian Enchiladas are a great way to enjoy Mexican flavors without too much sodium. Opt for whole wheat tortillas, low-sodium beans, and vegetables as your filling, and top with salsa instead of cheese or sour cream.
- Grilled Corn Salad is cooked with fresh corn and vegetables like tomatoes, onion, and bell peppers. The grilled corn adds a smoky flavor without any extra sodium.
- Ceviche is an excellent option for those looking to reduce their sodium intake since it is made with raw seafood, lime juice, and herbs instead of high-sodium sauces.
- Black Bean Soup is a satisfying soup with black beans, tomatoes, and a variety of vegetables. Without salt, it has an extra flavor by adding your favorite herbs and spices.
- Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish with or without cheese and other high-sodium ingredients. Opt for a vegetarian version and fill it with vegetables like corn, squash, and peppers instead of cheese or sour cream.
- Chicken or Vegetable Fajitas are a great alternative to enjoy Mexican flavors without much sodium. Use whole wheat tortillas and opt for low-sodium sauces such as pico de gallo or salsa instead of heavier cheese and sour cream-based sauces.
- Nopales Salad is one of the healthy options you can try. Nopales are cactus paddles that are a great addition to salads and other dishes. They provide a unique texture and plenty of vitamins and minerals, all without any added salt.
With these steps, you can enjoy Mexican food without compromising your health. The key here is to be conscious of ingredients in any dish and pick healthy substitutions whenever possible.