9 Surprising Skinny Benefits of Cinco de Mayo!

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9 Surprising Skinny Benefits of Cinco de Mayo!
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9 Surprising Skinny Benefits of Cinco de Mayo!

Worried that a Mexican fiesta will sabotage your healthy diet? Here are 9 guilt-free eats and drinks that may even help you lose weight.

1. Tequila

If you're going for tequila (and why wouldn't you be?), DeLeon Tequila is 100 percent organic and natural. Aside from being gluten-free, pure and low in calories, tequila is also said to have incredible digestive benefits (hard to believe when you're fighting off a hangover the next day, but it's true!). There's also speculation that tequila may lower cholesterol.

Here's our favorite DeLeon recipe:

DeLeon Rock N Rita

2 oz. DeLeon Reposado Tequila
1 oz. simple syrup
2 slices fresh lime (with skin)
2 slices fresh cucumber
Preparation: Muddle ingredients together. Add tequila. Shake well with ice. Pour contents from shaker into rocks glass.
Add ice if necessary.
Glassware: Rocks glass.
Garnish: Dash of rock salt over ice and lime wedge.

Image Credit: Getty Images

2. Eats

As for eats, Mexican food is known for huge portions of really heavy dishes, but this doesn't need to be the case. Willow Jarosh and Stephanie Clarke, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition, recommend these four slimming ingredients:

Black Beans

Black beans are loaded with fiber and nutrients like calcium and iron. They also contribute a vegetarian source of protein to meals. The high fiber content as well as the protein make beans a very satisfying addition to a meal. In addition, they're so versatile -- from burritos to fajitas to tacos to tostadas ... you can add them to almost any dish!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Whole Grain Corn Tortillas

Choose the traditional 6-inch corn tortillas to use for tacos, tostadas and fajitas ... you'll get instant portion control, fiber and lots of corn flavor for around one-third of the calories in a flour tortilla.

Salsa

Salsa counts as a veggie serving and is a flavorful condiment that can take the place of heavier sauces.

Avocado

While avocado is loaded with fat and therefore higher in calories, it's heart-friendly fat, and it contributes so much flavor and creamy texture that a little bit goes a long way. Add a couple of tablespoons of guacamole to the top of a taco, tostada, burrito or bowl of black bean soup! Since the avocado has flavor as well as creamy consistency, it's a wonderful replacement for heavy cheeses, cream-based sauces and soups and sour cream. Plus, if you mix your guac 50-50 with salsa, you pack in more flavor and nearly halve your condiment calories!

3. Spices

Mexican herbs and spices deliver so much flavor to dishes that you can use less salt. Some research even suggests that adding spicy red pepper to meals might help increase satisfaction and decrease hunger.

Here are four spices that Jarosh and Clarke love:

Cumin

Cumin adds a smoky, deep flavor to bean dishes as well as guacamole. It's also really tasty in dishes that contain tomato.

Cilantro

Cilantro adds a fresh, slightly citrusy note to salsa or any fresh veggie salad.

Red Pepper

Red pepper can be added to any dish to contribute a little (or big ... depending on how much you add!) spicy kick. Red pepper is also used on fruit salads in Mexico; street vendors sell cubes of watermelon drizzled with a squeeze of lime and a dash of red pepper (sometimes they add a little coconut and jicama too -- yum!)

Chipotle Chilies

Chipotle chilies, either canned or dried and ground into a powder, are another way to add smoky heat to dishes. Chipotle goes really well with chicken as well as beans and starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin and acorn/butternut squash.

What's your favorite healthy Mexican treat?

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It's Cinco de Mayo, which means cocktails, chips and a good excuse to party near you!

Worried that a Mexican fiesta will sabotage your healthy diet? Check out the slideshow above for 9 guilt-free eats and drinks that may even help you lose weight.

Salud!

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