How to have a healthy Cinco de Mayo

Mexican cuisine features healthy basics, like avocados, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chilies, so feel free to indulge!

Cinco de Mayo celebrations south of the border tend to be pretty low-key, but Americans have turned to May 5 as a day to enjoy Mexican culture, food, and drinks. And because some of those indulgences can be loaded with fat, calories and sodium, Consumer Reports has some tips to celebrate and stay healthy.

Besides being delicious, rice and beans can also be good for you. Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans–they’re all packed with antioxidants and fiber plus the minerals potassium and magnesium. White rice is often fortified with B vitamins. But for maximum nutrition, you could choose brown rice.

Together, brown rice and beans pack a powerful protein punch of 12 grams per cup and provide essential fiber. And boost flavor with garlic, onions, and herbs instead of ham hocks or bacon.

Mexican cuisine features other healthy basics, like avocados, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chilies, so feel free to indulge!

You can cut back on sodium by making your own fresh dips, like guacamole or salsa, seasoned to your taste.

And which tortilla to wrap it all up? Corn is a whole grain, while flour versions are typically made with refined wheat flour, which lacks nutrients.

Will frozen margaritas be on your menu? Consumer Reports says not all consumer-grade blenders can create a smooth, frosty drink. A blender earns an Excellent rating in CR’s tests if it makes a smooth, consistent pina colada. The Instant Ace is a CR Best Buy at about $120.

So take a moment to sip, celebrate, and share a meal with your “amigos favoritos.”

Consumer Reports took a close look at Mexican staples in the grocery store, and its list of healthier options for chips, salsas, beans, guacamole, and tortillas can be found on our website.