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Sharp Health News

Burrito builder (infographic)

July 10, 2017

Listen up, San Diego: It's time to stop filling your burrito with french fries. Delicious, yes, but excess fried food is bad for your body. The good news is burritos offer endless opportunities for tasty and healthy ingredient combinations. From classic staples like black beans and salsa, to unique tastes like sweet potatoes and mangos, you can throw just about anything into the fold.

We asked Caitlin Jackson, a wellness education specialist with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, to offer expert tips on getting a bigger bang for your burrito.

Burrito builder (infographic). Here in California, burritos are a culinary staple. But we don’t always fill them with the healthiest ingredients. So, we asked Caitlin Jackson, RDN, a wellness education specialist with Sharp Rees-Stealy’s Center for Health Management, to help us whip up a power-packed meal. “Making burritos is one of my favorite ways to experiment in the kitchen,” Jackson says. “The seemingly endless combinations of ingredients make them a perfect go-to for simple, healthy meals, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.” Lay the foundation
Start with a whole wheat tortilla, which has 3 grams of fiber, versus a white flour tortilla, which has 1 gram of fiber. Whole grains help to protect against cancer, heart disease and digestive issues. Bring on the beans. Black, pinto or refried beans boost fiber and protein, but skip those with added lard or oil. Pack in the protein. Choose a lean protein like grilled chicken or fish, rather than fried meats, chorizo or carne asada. Load up on veggies. Veggies add a boost of antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber, without adding a lot of extra calories. Lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers and onions are all good choices. Remember the rice. Pick brown rice over white rice to add fiber, B vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Finish up with flavor. These tasty topping are nutritious, too: Red salsa – Red salsas are full of lycopene, which can help protect against cancer. Cheese – Choose a low-fat option or use a full-fat variety sparingly. Sour cream – Use a low-fat variety in moderation for a boost of calcium. Guacamole – Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Fruit – Get creative with sweet softies like mango. Hot sauce – Kick up the spice without boosting the calories.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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