Meal Plan Created By: Amanda Kostro Miller
Americanized Mexican food is high in sodium and fat, but traditional Mexican cuisine is full of fresh flavors that offer multiple health benefits. By relying on the cuisine’s traditional roots and packing dishes with lean protein, lentils, fruits, and vegetables, Mexican food can be satisfying and heart-health conscious. Curious to try out a healthy Mexican meal plan? Download our free, weeklong Mexican meal plan created by a Registered Dietitian.
Download The Printable Meal Plan
Health Benefits Of Mexican Food
High In Fiber
Corn, beans, and rice, staples of Mexican cuisine, are high in soluble fiber (though if you’re diabetic, watch your serving sizes of corn and rice. Both are starchy, meaning they convert more quickly into glucose1). In addition to supporting your GI tract, this type of fiber has several heart-health benefits, like contributing to lowering your cholesterol levels and helping to maintain your blood sugar levels.2 When it comes to your bean of choice, both black beans and pinto beans are great options for adding more fiber to your diet. If you prefer refried beans, save them to make at home so you can control the saturated fat content. When made with lard or another type of animal fat, the fat content can quickly outweigh the benefits of beans.3 If you choose to make refried beans at home, opt for fresh olive oil and skip the animal fat and salt.
Varied, Lean Protein
Meat lovers, rejoice! Mexican cuisine embraces just about any kind of animal protein, including a wide source of lean protein options. Whether you prefer meat or vegetarian protein options, the Mexican diet has it all. Trying out different protein sources can fuel your body with varied nutrients and prevent your meals from becoming too routine.4 5 With lots of healthy protein options, like fish, poultry, beens, and seeds, you’ll have no trouble incorporating varied sources into your dishes.
Full of Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
From bold salsas and smooth slices of avocado to crunchy peppers, Mexican food isn’t complete without fresh produce. Filling your plate with varied fruits and vegetables gives you important vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, and Vitamin C.6 When combined with a healthy lifestyle, including a diet low in saturated fat, a diet rich in produce can even help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.7
Heart Healthy Mexican Recipes
To try a variety balanced, heart healthy Mexican dishes, download our free, 7-day Mexican meal plan. You’ll enjoy dishes like elote (Mexican street corn) or chicken posole, a heart-healthy version of a traditional Mexican soup . With new recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, you’ll enjoy a week of mouthwatering meals and a simplified grocery shopping experience.