Eating out can be difficult for anyone following a health regimen. Looking at the menu ahead of time can help, but sometimes that can be a challenge on its own. When eating out on a low FODMAP regimen, planning ahead is a must since even the smallest ingredients like onion and garlic can wreak havoc on your digestion. If you are eating at a Mexican restaurant on this regimen, follow the tips below to make your meal less stressful and more enjoyable.
- Skip the salsa: It is more likely than not that the salsa they serve at Mexican restaurants has onions blended or diced in it. Therefore, if you need something to dip your chips in, stick to a simple hot sauce or green chili sauce. Or if you don’t feel uncomfortable about it, bring a small container of your low FODMAP salsa from home to enjoy with your meal.
- Watch the guacamole: Only 1/8 of an avocado is low FODMAP according to the Monash app, so limit guacamole or sliced avocado in your dishes, and check with your server the amount of avocado in the sauces you may be served.
- No beans: This can be a tough one since many Mexican restaurant dishes are served with beans and rice on the side. However, ask if you can get a side salad or other veggie on the side instead.
- Garlic or onion-free please: These common flavorings in Mexican restaurant dishes can be hard to avoid since they may be diced up small in dishes or infused or blended in sauces and salsas. However, their high FODMAP status can turn your nice dinner into a miserable evening if you are not careful. Therefore, be sure to ask the server which dishes are free of these ingredients, or better yet, just stick to hot sauce for your condiment. You can also bring a smidgen of low FODMP Mexican seasoning in a sandwich bag in your pocket to use with your meal.
So, what CAN I eat at Mexican restaurants?
With so many common ingredients in Mexican fare being high FODMAP, you may wonder what exactly you can eat during this type of meal. However, you will be surprised to learn that you can still have a very flavorful meal without the high FODMAP ingredients you need to avoid. Here are a few examples of Mexican food that is A-OK for a low FODMAP regimen.
- Chips are OK: Tortilla chips are good to go as long as they are freshly made from corn tortillas without a bit of wheat in sight.
- Choose corn tortillas or tortilla-free: You need to avoid flour tortillas and any gluten-containing wrap, so opt for corn tortillas. If corn tortillas are not an option, if you are allergic or intolerant to corn, or if you just don’t like the taste of corn tortillas, then just stick to your protein and rice with veggies.
- Bowl your meal: Some restaurants will provide the option for your burrito or taco to be converted into a bowl. This will allow you to enjoy the flavor of your meal without worrying about the gluten. Start with a foundation of steamed rice (no seasonings just to be safe) and ask to top it with your protein choice and low FODMAP veggies such as peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and a bit of corn.
- Skip dessert: Flan, churros, and fried ice cream may sound delicious, but the dairy and wheat in such dishes will make your belly ache. Therefore, either skip dessert, or see if the restaurant has a fruit cup with low FODMAP fruits you can enjoy at the end of your meal.