All you have to do is arrive at the taqueria and start savoring the conversation of the sidewalk ritual while making the difficult decision of which tacos to have for dinner: suadero, tripa, chorizo, campechanos, steak, cabeza, lengua or pastor.
Like several preparations that make us salivate, such as prepared chicharrón or marrow, tacos can be part of a healthy diet… although some are more health-conscious.
Benefits of tacos
Tacos are a complete food, since their ingredients provide several nutrients:
- Corn tortilla: the main source of energy, protein, fiber and calcium in the Mexican diet. By frying them and filling them with fats, their content changes, so it is necessary to have a moderate consumption of these versions.
- Onion: fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, potassium and sodium.
- Cilantro: vitamin C and K, and in smaller portions vitamins A, B1 and B2.
- Lemon: vitamin C and antioxidants, helps strengthen the immune system.
- Pineapple: fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and calcium; it is anti-inflammatory, promotes circulation.
- Meat: if it contains chicken, beef, pork or fish, it represents 20 percent of protein.
- Beans, broad beans or chickpeas: antioxidants, fiber and minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
How many calories are in tacos?
Although calories are not everything to determine how healthy a food is, they represent an indicator to plan a balanced diet, in which the frequency of consumption and quantity are also important.
These are the approximate calories of the most popular tacos, according to My Fitness Pal, which may vary according to the size and type of meat used in each place:
- 1 beef head taco: 110 to 130 calories.
- 1 beef tripe taco: 154 calories
- 1 tongue taco: 140 calories
- 1 taco al pastor: 150 to 200 calories
- 1 gringa al pastor: 450 calories
- 1 suadero taco: 150 to 175 calories
- 1 campechano taco: 290 calories
- 1 chorizo taco: 240 to 360 calories
Which tacos should I order at the taqueria to take care of my health?
The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) recommends that if you are going to have tacos for dinner, ask for those with less fat, which are grilled or steamed, preferably without cheese and with a tortilla:
The beef head makes up a whole collection of flavors: horn, cheek, tongue, nerve, palate, brains and eyes, it stands out because it is steamed.
Although the most consumed part is the tongue, the rest of the head is also highly prized by lovers of sweaty tacos.
Instead of those that are higher in fat, such as fried foods:
Studies in 2013, researchers from the Department of Chemical, Food and Environmental Engineering at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla published the results of a research study where they analyzed various snacks such as tacos al pastor.
After their analysis they determined that tacos al pastor have proteins and less carbohydrates than other preparations such as flautas, have an acceptable amount of fat and even less than other foods such as:
- French fries
- Some fiber bars with 20 and 30% fat.
How many tacos for dinner?
As an adequate portion, the IMSS explains that it is best not to exceed: two with large tortilla or three with small tortilla during the night:
“Do not gorge on what you did not eat during the day, since at night it is more difficult to burn calories and fat from what we had for dinner.”
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