Is Carne Asa­da Healthy? Mex­i­can food is so pop­u­lar that many house­holds have tak­en to includ­ing sev­er­al of its famous dish­es in their week­ly menus, includ­ing tacos, bur­ri­tos, and oth­er deli­cious entrees. Whether fam­i­lies treat them­selves to take­out from a local Mex­i­can eatery or cook up their favourite meals them­selves, this cui­sine from south of the bor­der has fans right around the globe. One of the most pop­u­lar of all those dish­es is carne asada. Carne asa­da is grilled beef, sea­soned and often served atop bur­ri­tos and tacos or some­times served as a stand-alone entree. It has been tout­ed by some as an excel­lent addi­tion to meal plan­ning when you’re try­ing to lose weight. We decid­ed to do a lit­tle dig­ging on that top­ic: can carne asa­da real­ly help you shed pounds? Is it good for you not just in a dietary sense but also good for your cho­les­terol lev­els and over­all heart health? We did the research and read the experts. You can include carne asa­da in your diet to get and stay healthy. Just how much should you con­sume on a week­ly basis to lose weight and then main­tain that loss? 

The Benefits Of Eating Carne Asada

1- Grilled Meat Is Better Than Fried

Because, by def­i­n­i­tion, carne asa­da is mar­i­nat­ed and grilled, it can be more heart-friend­ly than cer­tain oth­er meats, like fried chicken. It is most often made from chuck, flank or skirt steak, then grilled at a high tem­per­a­ture until it’s crispy around the edges. That means no oil or but­ter on the grill, and that’s def­i­nite­ly bet­ter for your cho­les­terol lev­els and heart. Oil is a key ingre­di­ent of carne asa­da mari­nades, but it does­n’t sit in hot but­ter or oil in a pan the way fried foods do. That means few­er sat­u­rat­ed fats and calories.

2- The Best Cuts For Carne Asada Are Quite Lean & Not Too Costly

Most recipes for mak­ing carne asa­da call for skirt or flank steak. Both these cuts can be trimmed and, there­fore, quite lean, and that’s always a bet­ter choice of meat when you’re try­ing to lose weight. Carne asa­da has few­er than 200 calo­ries in a three-ounce serv­ing com­pared to oth­er beef cuts that are high­er in calo­ries and sat­u­rat­ed fats. A T‑bone steak with lots of mar­bling, mean­ing it has lots of fat, is flavour­ful and juicy. So is a prime rib roast – it’s the fat run­ning through and around the out­side that makes the meat so ten­der. How­ev­er, lean cuts like skirt and flank steaks can be just as ten­der and flavour­ful as oth­er, more pricey cuts – it’s all in the prepa­ra­tion and cooking! That’s one of the chief rea­sons that carne asa­da is so pop­u­lar; it’s not too expen­sive to make. Slic­ing it thin­ly after grilling it quick­ly is what makes the recipe work, along with the deli­cious spices used to sea­son it.

3- If You’re Cutting Out Carbs, Carne Asada Is a Good Fit For You

Many diet plans today focus on cut­ting back on or cut­ting out entire­ly car­bo­hy­drates like those found in bread, pas­ta and rice. Although some diet plans, includ­ing the Dietary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans and the Cana­da Food Guide, include whole grains with com­plex car­bo­hy­drates in their rec­om­men­da­tions, com­mer­cial diet plans often do not. (We’re think­ing here of the Keto diet and the Atkins diet, for example).

4- Carne Asada Offers Lots Of Protein

You should con­sume plen­ty of pro­tein each day to meet your body’s nutri­tion­al needs. Pro­tein is fuel! And in three ounces of carne asa­da, you’ll get 15 to 20 grams of pro­tein – that’s plen­ty to keep you going for an extend­ed peri­od. And the usu­al serv­ing has approx­i­mate­ly 75 to 100 calo­ries, depend­ing on how large it is. How­ev­er, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber that carne asa­da is not the only food you con­sume for your evening meal. It’s often chopped up and served atop a taco or in a bur­ri­to. Those have plen­ty of calo­ries (and carbs), so be sure to look up their nutri­tion­al con­tent and include the calo­ries in your dai­ly intake total.

5- It’s An Economical Way To Eat Beef

Every­one is feel­ing the pinch of infla­tion right now, par­tic­u­lar­ly as prices soar at the gro­cery store. Using less expen­sive cuts of meat, like those used for carne asa­da – chuck steak, skirt and flank – is a great way to stretch your budget. These cuts aren’t always as ten­der as more pricey ones, but that’s the great thing about carne asa­da – because it has to be mar­i­nat­ed before cook­ing, the meat ten­der­izes dur­ing that process. Flavour plus sav­ings: a win-win!

What Are The Downsides To Consuming Carne Asada?

is carne asada healthy Nat­u­ral­ly, for every ben­e­fit any entree offers, there are often down­sides – a few draw­backs that mean you should be care­ful about how much of it you con­sume. Here we take a look at those down­sides when it comes to meat con­sump­tion in gen­er­al and carne asa­da specifically.

1- We Should All Be Eating Less Red Meat For The Planet’s Sake

We all know that envi­ron­men­tal con­cerns are at the top of smart politi­cians’ agen­das today because the Earth is in real jeop­ardy. To do our part, we should be con­sum­ing less meat, not more, because live­stock puts a real strain on the land and air. Meat sub­sti­tutes (like veg­gie burg­ers) are a wise alter­na­tive to red meat. Still, if you enjoy eat­ing meat at least once or twice a week, carne asa­da is a deli­cious way to get lots of flavours and a whop­ping amount of pro­tein. Cut­ting back on your meat intake is a great start to address­ing envi­ron­men­tal issues, but don’t feel you have to stop eat­ing it entirely.

2- Marinades For Carne Asada Have Oil & Sodium

Every recipe we found con­tained either veg­etable oil or olive oil and oth­er ingre­di­ents that ele­vate the lev­els of sodi­um in carne asa­da. Still, it’s vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble to make this dish with­out con­sum­ing some salt and oil, so use the recipe below and keep both to a minimum. On bal­ance, carne asa­da is a sol­id choice for your diet, whether you’re try­ing to drop pounds or just main­tain your cur­rent weight. Pro­tein is vital for good health, and a small por­tion of carne asa­da offers plen­ty of it. Fur­ther­more, it con­tains iron and oth­er min­er­als, as well as vit­a­mins (includ­ing B‑12) that are excel­lent nutri­ents and impor­tant for your body to func­tion at peak per­for­mance. All of these help you build mus­cle when work­ing out. And speak­ing of exer­cise, it’s just as impor­tant a com­po­nent of any weight loss pro­gram as mak­ing smart food choic­es. Get­ting out and get­ting activ­i­ty – whether walk­ing in the fresh air or head­ing to the gym – is cru­cial for accel­er­at­ing weight loss, improv­ing your mood and sleep, and oth­er healthy things. Here’s a recipe for carne asa­da we found online, and it’s not only sim­ple to make, but it’s also nutri­tion­al­ly sound, as well. If you’ve nev­er made this Mex­i­can favourite before, give it a try! The grilled meat is deli­cious – ten­der (thanks to mar­i­nat­ing) and juicy. And the jalapeno gives it a gen­tle kick. Have it as an entree, or chop it up and put the pieces over a tossed green sal­ad or in a taco or bur­ri­to. Anoth­er great thing about carne asa­da is how ver­sa­tile it is.


  • The juice of two limes.
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic.
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice.
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro.
  • 1/2 tea­spoon salt.
  • 1/4 tea­spoon fresh­ly ground pepper.
  • 1/4 cup of veg­etable or olive oil.
  • 1 minced jalapeno pepper.
  • 2‑pound flank steak.


  • Blend ingre­di­ents togeth­er until smooth­ly mixed.
  • Once ingre­di­ents are com­bined, place the mari­nade in a reseal­able, two or three-litre bag.
  • Place the whole steak into the bag. Make sure the mari­nade has cov­ered the steak.
  • Refrig­er­ate for a min­i­mum of two hours. (Four hours is best.)
  • Heat the grill or BBQ on high.
  • Remove the steak from the bag and dis­card the remain­ing marinade.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the steak on and cook for 7 – 10 min­utes per side.
  • Remove from grill, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice into thin strips and serve immediately.  Source: The Stay At Home Chef

Final Thoughts

Carne asa­da can be a help­ful addi­tion to your week­ly meal plan. There is a caveat, how­ev­er: mod­er­a­tion! Like every­thing in life, too much of a good thing is not good at all! It’s impor­tant to track how many times each week you choose red meat as the main­stay of your evening meal. If you feel it’s too often, con­sid­er adding fish, chick­en or veg­gie burg­ers to the menu as well. Weight loss goals are most suc­cess­ful when you reduce calo­ries and stay active. Work out at least three times a week. Even brisk walks around sev­er­al blocks at lunchtime will help you reach your weight loss goals. Carne asa­da is one meal you can include in a healthy diet. If you’ve nev­er tried this Mex­i­can favourite, give our recipe a try. We’d love to hear from you about your first meal with carne asa­da in the star­ring role!  

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