Sodium is an essential part of your diet, when consumed in healthy quantities. MayoClinic.com advises consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. However, if you are at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease, you should limit your sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day. Mexican restaurants offer a multitude of tasty menu options, but the sodium they contain is often what makes them tasty. Understanding how much sodium is in these dishes will help you manage your sodium intake and keep it in a healthy range.
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Many Mexican restaurants customarily offer tortilla chips and salsa as a complimentary start to your meal. Most salsas are made fresh and contain moderate amounts of salt. However, the tortilla chips can rack up lots of calories, fat and sodium. For example, eight tortilla chips can contain an average of 120 mg of sodium. If you eat only eight, this is not an excessive amount.
Queso fundido, literally translated as melted cheese, is usually melted cheese that is seasoned and eaten with bread or tortilla chips. Many Mexican restaurants offer queso fundido with chorizo, a Mexican sausage. The recommended serving size for queso fundido with chorizo is 1 oz., which contains approximately 676 mg of sodium. This is incredibly high and accounts for 29 percent of the general daily recommendation.
Taco or Fajita Meat
Tacos and fajitas are among the most commonly-consumed Mexican dishes due to their simple yet authentic flavors. The taco or fajita shell usually contains little sodium, whether hard or soft; it is the meat that carries the greatest volume of sodium. A 3 tbsp. serving of seasoned ground beef for tacos or a 3 oz. serving of chicken for fajitas can contain up to 400 mg of sodium.
Guacamole can be eaten at any point in a Mexican meal, whether as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a condiment with other dishes. The basic ingredients in guacamole do not naturally contain any sodium. However, sodium is added in the form of seasonings to develop flavor. A 4 oz. serving of guacamole has as much as 370 mg of sodium. This is a significant amount, but if you actively monitor your sodium intake, it doesn't pose a risk for excessive consumption.