Eating Healthy on Cinco de Mayo

Sombrero and maracas

For most people in the US, Cinco de Mayo is less about the Mexican’s army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla and more about hitting piñatas and tossing back margaritas. As a result, summertime barbeques and parties like Cinco de Mayo can be a danger zone for those trying to eat sensibly. Typical party fare is high in fat and calories and low in beneficial nutrients.

How to celebrate healthily

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to celebrate while still eating healthy. Here are some tips from our registered dietitians:

  • You know you need to avoid regular sodas, alcohol and fruity beverages that are loaded with sugars. Unfortunately, there's no healthy virgin margarita alternative. Instead of high-calorie, high-sugar, “skinny” drinks, add sliced strawberries and mint into a pitcher with cold ice water. You'll get a refreshing, aromatic and hydrating beverage that your guests will love.
  • Serve green leafy salads or fruit salads instead of mayonnaise-based salads. Potato, coleslaw and pasta salads are very high in fat and calories. Experiment with watermelon and jicama salad, or a quinoa salad with mango and sliced almonds.
  • If you’re attending a party, bring your own healthy side dish to share with other guests. The hosts will be thankful that they have one less thing to prepare. Having a nutritious option available will make sticking to your healthy eating plan that much easier.
  • Instead of chips, serve raw non-starchy veggies like cucumber, carrots, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and broccoli with a low-fat dip or hummus.
  • Consider using fat-free plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in dips. As a bonus, Greek yogurt will boost the protein content.

A healthy recipe guacamole recipe

What’s a fiesta without guacamole? Here’s a healthy guac recipe for you to test out:

Greek Yogurt Guacamole

Adopted from

Serves 8



  • 4 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic salt
  • 3 Tbsp. medium-hot salsa
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Most importantly, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Remember to have fun and not think so much about the food. Enjoy catching up with old friends and making new ones.

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