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Latin deadly foods.  
Trying to loss weight? Watch Out with this food 
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A Mexican or Central American party, especially around Christmas, could not be complete without tamales or a traditional everyday dinner without re-fried beans. And what about our desserts and some drinks such as rompopo (Latin egg nog)?   Continues below  

 

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Our cuisine is full of delicacies that our ancestors will eat only on special occasions, but as we have become more prosperous we are using the same foods as everyday meals. These exquisite dishes are designed to keep you full for days. If we eat them often they make us fat, so if you are trying to lose weigh avoid them.   

Let's take a look to these fat bombs:

Tamale: They are a mixture of lard, corn meal and rich sauces with even more fat and spices. They have a lot of saturated fat and very little nutritional value. Is it worthy to eat them? A small piece once in a while should be OK, but if you are trying to lose weight, just have it for Christmas or on your birthday. They are the worst of our foods insofar as their nutritional value is concerned.

Quesadillas. Corn tortillas with cheese and something else. They are called quesadillas in Mexico, but they are tortillas con queso in other countries. Quesadillas in Central America mean a type of sweet bread. Let's talk about the Mexican type: we all know that any processed cheese is bad for you. It has tons of salt and saturated fat. So if you make them at home, try to use low-fat, high quality cheese and add veggies, and then they are not so bad.

The Central American quesadillas are not so good either. They taste delicious, but they are made using a traditional recipe that calls for lots of eggs, butter, sugar and a couple of types of cheeses. They have a lot of calcium and protein but this is a treat for special occasions and way too many unhealthy fats and sugar calories for everyday meals. 

Tacos. The Mexican tacos are one thing and the Central American tacos are other. In Central America tacos are what in Mexico are flautas; or in other words deep fried filled tortillas. Not worth the calories. Leave these flautas for special celebrations and in moderation.

Mexican tacos are tortillas, sometimes stir fried, and filled with meat or veggies, and in general, healthy enough to eat often. A healthier and still delicious version is to use tortillas without any oil or manteca (shortening). Lots of salsa fresca and lettuces on top makes it even better.

The deep fried foods
Empanadas. From South America, these tasty deep fried dumplings filled with meats and veggies have too many empty calories. They are better than French fries because of the meat content, but just have one in a party, and even better, if you can, do not even come close to it.

In Chile and in other South American countries they have baked empanadas. This is a better choice, but still it is rich in fat. 

Chiles rellenos.  There are many types depending on the filling. In Mexico, they use poblano chiles, and in the rest of Latin America regular pimientos or peppers in any color. They can be filled with meat or cheeses or a mixture of both. Usually they are deep fried and covered in egg batter and after that they are soaked in tomato sauce. They are fat bombs. 

You can develop a low fat version by avoiding the deep frying part and the batter and using low fat cheeses or meats. 



Chimichangas and other similar dishes
The Mexican restaurants make them delicious. They are full of fat, but fortunately, also have protein and veggies. Try to eat them only as a special treat.

Platanos, yucca and other deep fried dishes
Many Hispanic homes consume too much of these foods. They are not rich in nutrients but they are overloaded with calories, and if you deep fry them, they get even worse. If you want to lose weight or to stay fit, avoid these foods.

Refried beans
Beans are very easy to cook in many ways including mashed with tomato sauce and the regular ingredients of the refried beans. There is no need to fry the beans; you can cook them healthy and still retain the flavor.

Share your Latina healthy recipes with our readers.  Write to us
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