What Not To Eat In Cuba

Cuba is a beautiful country with many historic sites. However, because of the ongoing U.S. embargo, most of these sites are inaccessible to the public.

However, if you know what to eat and where to eat in Cuba, you will have a wonderful time! There are so many ways to experience Cuban culture and cuisine. Many people go on special occasions like Christmas or Easter breakfasts, potlucks, or any meals shared between family members.

This article will talk about what foods are best to eat in Cuba and how to find them. There are many ways to prepare food in Cuba, so there is never a shortage of foods to try. Many people travel for the food and not the sights, which we shall discuss next bullet point.


Chicken neck

what not to eat in cuba

The chicken neck famine occurs in Cuba when there is no chicken neck, the main meat-grilling meat. It is a meat that can be shredded, diced, cut into large pieces, and cooked.

Chicken neck is high in fat and cholesterol and should not be eaten every day. However, it is available most days of the week except for Sunday, which has a religious significance.

It is usually sold by street vendors or food courts located at restaurants and eating establishments. Street vendors often do not have clearly designated locations; they must rely on their sense of smell to tell them what food they are selling.

Chicken neck is rich in saturated fat and does not taste good so it is recommended to eat only the skin and bones of the chicken instead. This helps to reduce your risk factor for chronic health conditions such as heart disease or cancer.

Chicken wings

what not to eat in cuba

Poultry dishes are not the best bet in Cuba. Most notable is the fact that there are no chicken wings!

Many restaurants add wing sauce to create a new item. So, if you wanted chicken wings, you could have a few of those little wing sauce packets mixed in with the other food items.

Instead, people should stay away from softshell crabs, catfish, and tilapia. These foods can be found inedibly unless they are very fresh!

The reason for this is that people who drink a lot of beer and sweet drinks tend to overeat on them because they are so smooth. The caffeine content makes it hard for people to say no to it!

People who go out drinking often end up with totally empty stomachs and inconsolable hunger pains.


what not to eat in cuba

Stomach-wringingly large, heart cereals are a national obsession in Cuba. A rare treat, the fluffy, nearly black bar-shaped cereal is a staple of most Cuban homes.

Common in many stores and easily found in almost every package, the heart cereal is one of the few high-carbohydrate foods consumed in Cuba.

Unfortunately, due to heavy U.S. intervention during the years since Castro took over, most of what Heart cereal contains is also high in carbohydrates. This includes the added sugar content!

Tracy explains why this is not a problem for people who are low carb or keto: “One thing to note about heart cereals is that there aren’t very many options for recipes as of yet! That’s not a fault on their part, just an issue on our side.


what not to eat in cuba

Relying on restaurant menus or the health care community for tips is a bad idea in Cuba. Most restaurants have limited menu options and only one for each food type.

Most doctors and medical practitioners are unaware of the diet their patients are following, and they may not include liver in their recommendations. People living in Cuba often travel to the United States to get liver transplants, so having a transplant is a high priority.

If you would like your liver transplanted in Cuba, be aware that only around half of the North American liver transplant programs allow foreign patients on homecoming weekends, so you may have to look elsewhere.

Be aware that at many hospitals, you must go through an official procedure process before obtaining a transplant.

Tuna heart

what not to eat in cuba

The tuna you eat in Cuba is actually a different species called albacore. Most albacore tuna is from Japan and South America. However, there are a few brands made in Cuba, so don’t worry about missing out on this important source of vitamin D and protein.

The problem with the tuna you find in restaurants or bought at the store is that it may not have been properly processed. Tuna can be dangerous if it is not fresh and has been sitting on the shelf for a while.

Some processes of food processing include: placing canned food directly into water to drink, adding powdered sugar or powders to foods to make them taste nicer, and using raw meat products such as tuna fish or cheese that has not been cooked nor hardened yet.

Using fresh vegetables in recipes is another thing that people who live in Cuba forget about.

Tuna head

what not to eat in cuba

Make no mistake about it: Cuba’s national dish is tuna. There are actually several kinds of tuna found in the country, but none of them are recommended for human consumption.

The exception is the mackerel that’s typically paired with rice and beans. Both have high protein and omega 3 contents, making them a desirable addition to Cuban cuisine.

The problem is that neither can be eaten in Cuba due to their overseas shipment restrictions. Even if you could obtain it, the process of cutting up and preparing it puts you at risk for food-borne illnesses such as E- Coli or Hepatitis A or B.

Instead of buying canned tuna, people say the best bet is to try one of the many fresh fish dishes that are widely available. Chileaposto is a popular choice and can be ordered online or from a restaurant.


Squid is not a food you should eat in Cuba. The reason is that it is rife with mercury.

Cuba has very little natural mineral water, so most people drink tap water instead. This makes sense as most tap water contains lead, which is a mineral water ingredient.

However, when drinking from the source, you should still avoid drinking too much lead because of its negative effects.

First off, lead can be toxic even in small amounts. Second, the way that it gets into your body is through its taste and texture. Many people who travel with you eat contaminated food and drink too little water to prevent lead toxicity.

As both of these things are warning signs of toxicity and dehydration, looking out for them can help prevent serious harm.


what not to eat in cuba

Octopus is a strongly-recalled food group in which both eaters and writers agree there are way too many stories about how bad it is.

The news coverage of it and the stories about it are few and far between, making it a very sought-after food group in Cuba. Octopus is a very popular food group in Cuba, so be careful if you do not know what octopus is.

Many people find it hard to resist the sight of an empty canned octopus, tinged red and white, sitting on the countertop as they prepare their meal. While it can be difficult to assess its freshness due to its canned nature, chances are you will be happier with something else in your stomach.

The best bet would seem to be cooking your own octopus as soon as possible after buying one as there is always something new tricks to learn when you come back home.

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