Tex Mex food is a blend of American and Mexican dishes that started in Texas and made its way throughout America. Tex Mex fajitas and enchiladas are some of the most popular dishes and have been enjoyed at a variety of restaurants — and even at home. If you enjoy cooking up these types of dishes but are looking for a way to make them healthier, there are some small changes you can make that will make all the difference. Restaurant owners can benefits from these tips as well. After all, 70% of people who eat out want healthier menu options.

1. Incorporate Whole Wheat

One of the more fattening parts of Tex Mex fajitas and other dishes are the flour tortillas that many people use. Enriched flour isn’t the best for your sugar levels and often contains more calories than whole wheat options. You can make a healthier choice by swapping these out with 100% whole wheat tortillas. These often contain more nutrients than the white flour option and still taste amazing. Many Tex Mex fajita recipes have also benefitted from corn tortillas or gluten-free options for gluten-sensitive guests.

2. Use Low Fat Cheese

Cheese is a huge part of many Tex Mex dishes. The savory taste contrasts nicely with the spices so it’s no surprise that Americans love their cheese. However, cheese can be high in calories and saturated fat. Replacing your cheeses with low or non-fat versions is an easy switch to make your dishes healthier. It still tastes the same, but you can enjoy it guilt-free so long as you watch your portion sizes.

3. Do Away With Iceberg Lettuce

Tex Mex tacos and other dishes often rely on lettuce. After all, the crispy, crunchy texture is a nice addition to an otherwise mono-texture dish. The cheap and easy option that many restaurants use for the ingredient is iceberg lettuce. However, that type of lettuce is essentially just a filler and doesn’t have any real nutritional value. If you want to get more nutrition from your lettuce, go with romaine or green leaf lettuce instead. These options are packed with vitamins, giving your Tex Mex fajitas an additional punch of health.

4. Swap Your Sour Cream

Many people probably don’t know that non-fat, plain Greek yogurt tastes very similar to sour cream. This is especially true when it’s mixed with other ingredients that are common in Tex Mex dishes. If you love a dab of sour cream on your Tex Mex fajitas and enchiladas, give Greek yogurt a shot. It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more protein than regular sour cream.

5. Choose the Right Protein

Red meats are an absolute no-no when it comes to healthy food. This is because they are often fattier, a huge component in raising your cholesterol — that’s why it is best to limit how much of it you eat. Instead, cook your dishes with lean ground turkey or chicken breast. They can both be seasoned to go perfectly with any meal that requires meat.

It’s often much easier than people might think to make healthy alterations to the food they love. You don’t have to give up on your favorite Tex Mex dishes when restaurants can easily offer healthier menu options. With a few small changes in ingredients, your favorite dish can be half the calories and sodium, and offer way more nutritional value.

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