Tacos, Lightened Up

by in Healthy Recipes, April 30, 2012
pork tacos
Leaner fillings and soft shells make for lighter tacos.

Fried shells, fatty meats and piles of high-cal toppings can make tacos a belly buster. But they don’t have to be; use our tips to give a healthier spin to this Cinco de Mayo favorite.

Nutrition Facts
Whether it’s fast food or home cooking, the calories and fat in tacos can get crazy. Greasy cuts of meat and many of the classic fixings like cheese, sour cream and guacamole are high in fat. Home taco kits also come equipped with sodium-filled taco seasoning packets. A super stuffed taco could easily top 500 calories – and who eats just one?!

Lighter, Fresher
The fresher, the better! Use these tips to make tacos that are scrumptious and healthy.

  • Swap nonfat Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Keep the guac! Use about one tablespoon per taco for a dose of healthy fat.
  • Replace fried shells with soft corn tortillas – you’ll save about 50 calories each.
  • Pile on the salsa and hot sauce – little calories, big flavor.
  • Season meat and fish fillings with chili powder and fresh citrus juice.
  • Add veggies like grilled or roasted onions and peppers.
  • Use a light sprinkle of low-fat shredded cheese.

Recipes to try:
Chipotle Shrimp Tacos With Avocado Salsa Verde
Sweet and Spicy Short Rib Tacos
Chili Rubbed Steak Tacos
Fish Tacos – 3 Ways
Ricotta Spinach Tacos
Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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