Taco Bell’s menu, like all fast food chains, is loaded with a lot of unhealthy food choices. Just look at their Cheesy Gordita Crunch and you’ll see why. It contains 500 calories and has over 2,000mg of sodium. It’s like eating two unhealthy tacos in one meal. But there are Taco Bell menu items that are fine to eat even when you’re watching your diet.
As a matter of fact, the whole chain is trying to regain their once popular motto of being the healthiest fast food chain in the world. It is the first fast food chain in the US that offers meat-free meals certified by the American Vegetarian Association. The chain has even pledged to get rid of all artificial additives and preservatives by 2017.
If you want to step into a Taco Bell store now and make sure you don’t eat an innocent-looking taco that can ruin your diet, you might want to consider some of the following menu selections:
- Grilled Steak Soft Taco – one of the main ingredients here is avocado, a favorite among many weight loss programs for its nutrient density and healthy fat. It also has USDA-selected grilled steak, crisp iceberg lettuce and fresh tomatoes; plus it uses natural flour tortillas. The only downside is that it also features a lot of cheddar cheese and, for the time being, artificially flavored ranch sauce. It’s still pretty amazing with 200 calories, 10g of fat, 16g of carbs and 13g of protein.
- Soft Taco – take out the grilled steak and replace it with seasoned beef and you’ll end up with a taco that offers less than 200 calories. It still packs a punch with 500mg sodium which is about a quarter of the daily requirement (average) but it is a very satisfying meal that will keep you going for a few hours.
- Crunchy Taco – this may have only been around for the past few years but it is as close to a genuine taco as you can get in a fast food chain. It only has an average of 170 calories, just over 320mg of sodium and less than a single gram of sugar. This is almost the healthiest taco you can get in Taco Bell but there is just one more taco choice that edges out by a small margin. Also make sure to differentiate this from the Crunchy Taco Supreme which is loaded with a lot more excess ingredients that can really throw your diet off.
- Chicken Soft Taco – swapping the seasoned beef with chicken and you’ve got the taco with the lowest amount of calories, fat and sugar. The only issue is that it uses soft flour tortillas instead of the crunchy variety so you will need to contend with a slightly higher sodium count. If you know how to balance your daily meals then this shouldn’t be an issue.
5. Bean Burrito – not every menu item from Taco Bell is a literal taco. Take the Bean Burrito for example, which has 370 calories and just over 1,000mg of sodium. It’s nowhere near as healthy as the tacos listed above but it does make for a good argument for those who really want to eat a burrito. The refried beans are a customer favorite and are preferable to the black beans option.
6. Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller Burrito – this is arguably the healthiest burrito you can get from Taco Bell. It has 350 calories and less than 900mg sodium and only 16g of fat. Add in the fact that it’s delicious as you could ever hope for thanks to its inclusion of chicken and you’ve got a winning formula right here.
We should also mention black beans which are without a doubt the best side dish you can order from the list of Taco Bell menu items. They’re good for the heart and the brain and they only contain roughly 80 calories.
If you’re looking for something healthy and you love Mexican food, well, now you know where to go.