Cozymel’s offers Tex-Mex foods at a variety of locations in Texas, California, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and New York. If you are watching your waistline, it will take a bit of strategic ordering to keep fat, calories and sodium under control. You can benefit from the fiber and protein in black beans served with rice, grilled meats and veggies if you choose wisely and refrain from ordering combination plates.
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Taco and Salad Tips
Of course you will find tacos at Cozymel’s. If you are watching fat and calories, choose the soft flour shell option over the crispy corn. Crispy tacos are likely to be deep fried, which ups your fat and calorie intake. Watch how much of the shells are added to the big taco salad for the same reason, recommends the “American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide,” by Roberta Larson Duyff. A typical taco salad has 410 calories and 20 g fat. Cozymel’s offers several salads that come without the big shell such as the ahi tuna spinach salad and the grilled chicken salad. Ask for dressings and tortilla strips on the side -- or skip them altogether -- to save on calories and fat. Also, request a half portion of cheese or none.
Grilled and stir fried foods will serve you better than those deep fried or smothered in cheese. As a case in point, few Mexican restaurants eschew fajitas these days and Cozymel’s is no exception. The menu features a choice of chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas on its menu. If you are watching calories, shrimp may be your best bet with 160 calories per filled tortilla. The typical shrimp fajita has 37 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat and 11 g protein. Chicken fajitas have about 276 calories each, but will have a higher protein content. You’ll take in 6.7 g fat, 21.1 g carbohydrate and 29.8 g protein. Steak fajitas come in at 310 calories each with 45 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat and 24 g protein. Duyff advises picking fajitas, tamales and grilled entrees like Cozymel’s carne asada or pollo poblano over tostadas and chimichangas.
Many of your dishes at Cozymel’s will come along sour cream and guacamole. Ask for them on the side or skip them to save additional fat and calories, but go ahead and load on tomato-based salsa which is rich in vitamins C and A, fat free and low in calories, advises Duyff. One tbsp. sour cream has 97 calories and 2.37 g fat. The same size serving of guacamole has 30 calories and 1.15 g fat. In contrast, 1 tbsp. salsa has four calories and .03 g fat. Cozymel’s offers several tomato based salsas including ancho chilie, ranchero, verde and chipotle pico.
Watch out for sodium with your Tex-Mex choices at Cozymel’s. For example, the chicken flautas, sometimes called taquitos, are likely to have 656 mg sodium. Even the seemingly healthy taco salad is likely to have 311 mg sodium. Skip the salt on the rim of your margarita and pick black beans over refried beans to reduce your sodium intake. The refried beans alone have 535 mg sodium per half cup serving. In contrast, a combination of rice and black beans has about 307 mg.