6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Healthy Tips for Cinco De Mayo

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – Cinco de Mayo celebrations south of the border tend to be pretty low-key, but Americans have turned to May 5th as a day to enjoy Mexican culture, food, and drinks. And since some of those indulgences can be loaded with fat, calories, and sodium, here is our 6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence Reports has some tips to celebrate and stay healthy.

Celebratory meals in the Montiel home are rich in flavor and tradition!

“Food unites us, especially with everything going on, it has united us more than ever / La comida siempre nos ha unido y una situación como ahorita, nos ha unido más que nunca," Saúl Montiel said.

For Saul and his wife Eliana, cooking is a family affair. They make rice and beans two different ways. Mexican and Dominican-style!

And, besides being delicious, Consumer Reports says rice and beans can also be really healthy.

“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," Consumer Reports Health Editor, Tricia Calvo said.

Together, brown rice and beans pack a powerful protein punch – 12 grams per cup – and provide essential fiber.

“Boost flavor with garlic, onions, and herbs instead of ham hocks or bacon," Calvo said.

Mexican cuisine features other healthy basics, like avocados, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and chiles – 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," Calvo said.

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.

And 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 our tests if it makes a smooth, consistent pina colada.

The Instant Ace is a CR Best Buy at about 120-dollars.