Think tortillas can’t be healthy? Think again. Check out these high-fiber, low-fat, and low-carb tortillas from La Tortilla Factory and let the wrapping start.
Mexican food doesn’t have a great reputation as a “health food.” Mounds of cheese, heaps of sour cream, and deep fried tortillas may taste great, but aside from “cheat days,” they are usually off-limits to people who are trying to stay fit.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Believe it or not, it is possible to have your Mexican food and eat it too — provided you know how to make some smart substitutions for some of the more fat or calorie-laden ingredients that make up your traditional Mexican fare. Over the next couple of Fitness Food posts, we’ll take a look at some ingredients you can use to create guilt-free Mexican meals that taste fantastic. Since the specific products may not always be available at your local grocery, I’ll try to provide some commonly-available subsitutions whenever possible.
Are Your Average Tortilla’s Healthy?
So let’s start with your typical soft taco or burrito.
It’s all about the shell, but your average corn tortilla isn’t going to win any awards as a fitness food. A single corn tortilla has around 52 calories, less than a gram of fat, 1.4 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fiber and around 11 grams of carbohydrates. Not bad, but not great either.
Think flour tortillas are a better choice?
A typical flour tortilla (I actually based this on a Mission brand 6″ tortilla) contains 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and 16 grams of carbohydrates. And that’s just for ONE flour tortilla. It also contains considerably more sodium than it’s corn cousin (290 mg versus 10.8 for corn.)
In a competition between these two options, clearly the corn tortilla wins out. But it’s still not a nutritional powerhouse.
La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb Tortillas: A Healthier Alternative
Before you give up on Mexican food, let’s discuss one of the best-kept secrets out there: La Tortilla Factory’s Low Carb Tortillas.
Sit down for this one, because what I’m about to tell you is going to change your mind about Mexican food as part of a fit diet.
Check out these nutritional stats for one regular size La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb tortilla (they make a large size low-carb tortilla as well):
Calories: 50 cals
Fat: 2.0 g
Protein: 5.o grams
Sodium: 180 mg
Carbohydrates: 11.0 grams
Fiber: 8.0 grams
Okay, on the calorie front they are on par with the corn tortillas, but higher in sodium. But they have almost half the sodium of the flour tortilla. Where the La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb tortillas really shine, however, is in their fiber and protein content. In terms of fiber, they have a whopping 8.0 grams which is 32% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. The also have 5 grams of protein, which hands-down beats both the traditional flour and corn tortilla.
The combination of high-fiber with high-protein (ounce-for-ounce) means that the La Tortilla Factory tortillas are not only filling, but they keep your blood sugar levels stable. This staves off hunger and discourages overeating later in the day. And at 50 calories a tortilla, you can eat three of them and get nearly two-thirds of your daily fiber without sweating the calories.
For some perspective, two slices of 100% whole wheat bread would put you at around 200 calories (they are around 100 calories a slice), without nearly the amount of fiber or protein in three La Tortilla Factory tortillas.
How Do La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb Tortillas Taste?
Of course, the ultimate test is how do they taste?
Let me put it this way … if they were a public company, I should own some stock. I easily go through two packages of these tortillas a week. I don’t just use them for tacos and burritos, but also as wraps for tuna salad, sandwiches, PB&J (yes, that can be a health food if you know how to make it), quesadillas, and even flatbread pizzas.
In other words, this isn’t the last time you’ll hear me talk about them. They are simply that good.
So what do you fill them with? This week I’ll be helping you build a better (and healthier) burrito and taco, one fit ingredient at a time.
Next up … the fillings.
Category: Healthy Eating