Are you a fan of tacos or burritos? While these foods are often made of wheat flour tortillas sometimes it’s made of corn instead. If you’re counting calories then you’ll want to know the nutrition facts like how many calories in 1 corn tortilla. That can help you to stay on track in terms of your weight loss goals, for example.
Even if you’re on a low-carb diet that counts carbs you should also watch your calories since it can lead to weight gain. That’s definitely something to avoid when you’re trying to lose weight. Fun Fact: A typical tortilla chip serving size is 10 chips. However, every chip counts when you’re on a “cutting diet.”
Why should you consider corn tortillas? One of the main differences of this option versus white flour is it’s a whole grain. There are also whole wheat flours available. However, sometimes they’re tougher to find. In that case, it might be easier to find corn-sourced tortillas.
If you’re a fan of corn over wheat then this is another reason to consider these tortillas. There are other X-factors that might cause you to pick corn tortillas instead. There’s no right or wrong answer so it’s a matter of choosing wisely.
What Are Corn Tortillas All About?
This is the first question to take up if you’re picking a tortilla at the supermarket or Mexican food store. Most of us are more familiar with the flour tortillas. They’re sometimes whole wheat but usually made of refined wheat flour. However, like corn chips, you can also find tortillas made of corn.
What’s the difference? There are several issues to take up. If your options are refined flour and corn then keep in mind that corn is a whole grain. This makes it healthier because it’s different from white wheat flour that’s missing two layers.
Whole grains are much healthier in terms of different nutrients. They include protein, amino acids, vitamins/minerals, and fiber. The situation is just like comparing whole wheat bread and white bread. If you’re on a whole foods diet then the next best step is whole grains. The tortillas are still processed in a factory but there’s less of it than versus white flour.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that at least half of your grains be whole grains. This includes options like:
- Brown rice
- Corn kernels
Some of these are seeds/cereals but they’re still whole instead of processed.
So, in theory, let’s say you’re eating a few tacos, burritos, or quesadillas in a day. In order to maintain the 50/50 whole/refined grains split you should eat one that’s whole wheat flour or corn, and one white flour tortilla. It’s even better if they’re all whole grains.
Another issue is that corn tortillas tend to be smaller than wheat ones. What’s the big deal? This can actually be a minus if you’re making burritos, for example, if you want a loaded one with lots of meat, rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole then it’s going to be smaller. This might help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
How Many Calories in 1 Corn Tortilla?
Here are the nutrition facts for one corn tortilla:
You get 52 calories on one flour tortilla. This is about 2.5% of your daily total if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. Keep in mind you’ll be filling the tortilla with stuff so this isn’t the total for your meal. That said, you’re getting a whole grain so your grains for the meal are covered unless you add some rice to a burrito, for example.
There’s 11g in one corn tortilla, which is somewhat high. It’s about 20% of what you’re allowed for a full day on the Keto Diet. If you’re on Keto or Atkins you’ll be doing carb-counting. As with calories, you’ll also have to factor in the carbs of the taco/burrito so it’s not the total carb count.
There are a few options if you want to go lower-carb. You could use a lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla since it’s rock-bottom in carbs. You could also make a taco or burrito “bowl.” This has all the ingredients of traditional versions minus the tortilla. It’s like the breakfast bowls that have been trending in recent years.
There’s 1.4g of protein in the tortilla. It’s not too much but can help you reach your daily value. If you add ingredients like meat, beans, and rice, you can get more protein that way. Grains aren’t sky-high in protein with a few exceptions like quinoa—which is a seed/cereal actually.
There’s less than 1g of fat in the tortilla. It includes a little saturated fat and more of the healthier unsaturated fat. This will help you stay on track while on Keto or Atkins. Keto requires fat to be at least 70%, while Atkins allows an unlimited amount. One of the plusses is you get mostly good fat with the tortilla, versus meat-based saturated fat or trans-fat.
Easy Ideas for Low-carb Burrito Bowl
If you choose to swap out wheat and corn tortillas here are some ingredient ideas for burrito bowls:
This is a go-to ingredient for tacos and burritos. You can go with store-bought versions but fresh is best. You’ll need tomatoes, jalapenos, lime, and salt. It’s a basic recipe that’ super-easy and provides a nutritious and delicious low-carb ingredient to your burrito bowl.
2. Shredded Cheese
No options are cheesy whether it’s sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack. This is a keto-friendly food since it’s low-carb and high-fat. Cheese is high in healthy fats, protein, and other nutrients. Make sure to go with full-fat cheese since it’s higher in good fats.
3. Cauliflower Rice
This one might sound weird at first. However, it actually provides a similar taste and texture versus the real deal. Plus, it’s low carb. You get lots of nutrients from cauliflower such as Vitamin C and calcium. The fastest option is a food processor that lets you pulse the cauliflower pieces into “rice.”
4. Sour Cream
This is another go-to ingredient for your burrito bowl. It provides a creamy texture and a slightly tart taste. Sour cream also gets a thumbs up on the Keto Diet since it’s low-carb. The smooth texture will work well with the other ingredients like meat, rice, beans, and veggies.
You have several options including pork, beef, chicken, and fish. You could even make “taco meatballs” if you want to mix things up—literally. Real meat is 0-carb so adding extra carbs won’t be a problem. You’ll also be getting all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs), iron, zinc, Vitamin B12, etc.
It goes without saying there’s no tortilla in a burrito bowl, but it’s still worth noting. The 11g of carbs in a corn tortilla is somewhat high when you’re counting carbs. You can reduce more carbs after learning how many calories in 1 corn tortilla.