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Corn tortillas are a staple of the daily diet of Mexicans, the accompaniment of any dish. Corn tortillas can be a healthy option depending on a few factors like portion sizes.
Corn tortillas have been around for thousands of years, they were an important food in both the Mayan and Aztec diets. They are the base for tacos or quesadillas and can also become part of other traditional stews. of mexican cuisinesuch as chilaquiles or enchiladas.
Currently, most tortillas are made in tortillerías where they are made using machines. Although in rural areas, markets and some restaurants you can find handmade corn tortillas.
The nutritional value of tortillas varies according to their ingredients and size. Unlike traditional 100% corn tortillas, commercial varieties can be made from dehydrated corn flour or corn flour mixed with wheat flour, as well as have preservatives and other additives.
For a healthy option, opt for corn tortillas made with simple, basic ingredients.
Corn tortillas can be part of a calorie restricted diet
Corn is a whole grain, while flour tortillas are usually made with refined white flour.
100% corn tortillas provide less sodium, carbohydrates, fat and calories than flour tortillas. When following a calorie restricted diet, corn tortillas can be a good option.
A medium tortilla of around 30 grams provides around 65 calories. It provides 1.5 grams of protein, 12 g of carbohydrates, 1.3 g of fiber and .65 g of fat.
Corn consumption counts towards grain servings for the day. The Harvard Nutrition Source notes that whole grains offer a “full package” of health benefits, unlike refined grains, which have valuable nutrients removed in the refining process.
Eating whole grains instead of refined ones helps lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin levels.
Corn tortillas provide energy. They are not rich in nutrients, but provide fiber, some calcium and iron. In addition, they are a gluten-free option for people with celiac disease.
Unlike refined grains, whole grains have components that they help maintain a steady blood sugar level instead of causing sudden spikes.
In addition to lowering cholesterol, fiber helps move waste through the digestive tract.
When purchasing corn tortillas of a commercial variety, it is advisable to consult the nutritional information.
“For a balanced meal, stick with one or two moderately sized tortillas and fill them with a mixture of beans and vegetables”, Shares Costumer Reports according to the recommendations of the nutrition expert, Lourdes Castro Mortillaro.
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