By Pippa Bailey
Here’s how to navigate this more-cheese-please cuisine without nuking your figure…
Lose: Those nachos need to go. “Each chip contains 63kJ and around 40 percent fat,” says nutritionist Catherine Richards. “A couple of handfuls equals diet destruction.” Crunch the numbers, not the chips.
Choose: Frijoles refritos (refried beans, not actually fried twice – the translation is “cooked well”) pack in protein and fibre. “You’ll get 5g of each per 100g,” says nutritionist Jane Michell. Bean us up, Scotty.
Lose: Guacamole, unless it’s BYO. “Restaurant varieties tend to be blended with sour cream and full of preservatives,” nutritionist Rose Chamberlain says. Save your avocado hit for home-made brunches.
Choose: Deliberating over cheese? Go for queso fresco (white fresh cheese – similar to feta) at just 168kJ and 1.5g of sat fat per serving, as opposed to a white cheddar, which has 418kJ and 8g of saturated fat.
Lose: Chimichangas and tostadas are deep-fried. Mozzarella quesadillas are also off-limits: the steak variety packs a whopping 2 090kJ, half of them from fat – that’s more than a McDonald’s cheeseburger.
Choose: A soft-shell taco minus the rice. Carne asada (grilled steak) is your best bet, usually made from skirt steak, which saves you 272kJ and 4g fat per 100g over fattier pork.
Lose: That mojito – whether tequila or white rum – easily breaks the 836kJ mark thanks to the added sugar, which can be anything from two teaspoons to a full tablespoon, depending on the bartender. No bueno!
Choose: A classic margarita: tequila, Cointreau or triple sec and lime juice. It comes in at 669kJ and 1 tsp sugar – just make sure it’s fresh lime (cordial has double the sugar).
Need a low-kilojoule snack?
Try prickly pear served grilled or in salads – 100g of the stuff has just 280kJ. Plus, it’s rich in fibre and antioxidants. Arriba!