Taco Bell is an American fast-food chain and one of the most well-known restaurants in the world. It has about 7,000 branches worldwide and catering to over 2 billion customers per year. They offer mostly Texan and Mexican cuisines such as Tacos and Burritos.
When you think of Taco Bell, you might imagine that you cannot order anything healthy on their menu. Especially individuals on a weight management program, they may have a hard time finding any snacks that suit their diet needs.
Fortunately, dieticians say that you can both enjoy Taco Bell and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Surprisingly, Taco Bell offers numerous snacks that are preferable even for health-conscious individuals. In fact, Taco Bell themselves stated that about 75% of what is listed in their menu is below 500 calories.
Also, most of their menus offer customizable items which include Fresco styled meals which replace reduced far sour cream, sauces that contain mayo, guacamole, and cheese with freshly prepared Pico de Gallo.
In this article, we’ll provide six of these healthy meals recommended by dieticians.
6 healthy options in Taco Bell as recommended by nutritionist
1. Fiesta salad
The usual serving of fiesta salad comprises beans, seasoned beef, seasoned rice, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, and red stripes. Popular add-ons include cheese blends, chicken strips, black beans, jalapeno peppers, onions, potatoes, seasoned fries, steak, and shredded chicken.
One order will cost you $5.49 and each serving can provide about 760 calories without any extras.
To make this meal healthy, you have to skip the cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, and beans. You’ll also want to remove the shell to maintain a healthy diet. By doing this, you’ll not only make this meal a healthy choice but also suitable for a paleo diet.
2. Power Bowl
This meal option at Taco Bell is termed as Power Bowl because it’s high in protein that it can give you a power-boost that is similar to online games where you can up upgrade your characters. Usual ingredients include grilled chicken or steak, reduced-fat sour cream, cheese, guacamole, seasoned rice, black beans, Pico de Gallo, avocado ranch sauce, and lettuce.
You can choose from a variety of add-ons which include beans, cheese blends, Fritos, onions, jalapeno peppers, lettuce, seasoned fries, potatoes, seasoned beef, red strips, tomatoes, and shredded chicken. Their popular sauces, on the other hand, include spicy ranch, Mexican pizza sauce, chipotle sauce, creamy jalapeno sauce, salsa, red sauce, and nacho cheese.
A typical serving is $5.29 and has about 500 calories without add-ons.
Power Bowl is a healthy option because you can customize your meals and remove unhealthy ingredients. To make the menu keto-friendly, you can customize it by opting for steak or chicken, lettuce, reduced sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. Skip the rice but you can add a serving of cheese on your plate.
Side dishes are okay if you’re still hungry after your meal. To your cravings, dieticians say that you can order side dishes comprises of guacamole and chips. However, you can only eat small amounts of these snacks because they contain carbohydrates.
3. Chicken Soft Taco
A serving of chicken soft taco usually comprises of ingredients such as lettuce, cheese, and shredded chicken. Popular add-ons you can choose from including black beans, beans, chicken strip, Fritos, cheese blends, jalapeno peppers, red strips, potatoes, onions, red strips, cubed tomatoes, seasoned rice, seasoned beef, and seasoned fries.
Each serving will cost you $1.99 and contains about 170 calories without any add-ons. It includes 9g of protein, 6g of fat, and 2g of fiber.
Its calorie count can still be lowered to 150 is prepared as a fresco styled chicken soft taco.
4. Power Bowl for vegetarians
This menu is specially designed for individuals on a vegetarian diet. It’s similar to a power bowl and still includes reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, cheese, seasoned rice, and avocado ranch sauce. However, the only difference is that the meat is replaced by seasoned black beans.
One order is still priced at $5.29 but lower on calorie which is about 480 without any add-ons.
Just like a regular order of power bowl, it’s recommended by dieticians because the meal is customizable. In restaurants, any menu that’s customizable is always preferable because it puts you in control of what goes inside your body. Dieticians suggest that to make your meal healthy, you can retain the black beans and add as much Pico de Gallo and lettuce as you want. The advisable sauce would be guacamole because it contains less sodium.
5. Shredded Chicken Burrito
Each serving of a shredded chicken burrito provides 420 calories that can keep you energized for the entire day. It’s also affordable; each order will only cost you $2.39. A usual serving includes shredded chicken, avocado ranch sauce, cheese, and seasoned rice.
According to some dieticians, this particular menu can be a healthy choice for individuals trying to maintain their nutrition intake in check. A serving contains a total of 14g of lean protein and has small amounts of fats. Also, the tortilla used is made of long-grain rice which increases the total fiber content to 3g.
Dieticians recommend customizing this menu to a fresco style to reduce the calories. It substitutes the reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, and sauces that contain mayo with Pico de Gallo. By eliminating these ingredients, the fat content is reduced by about 25%.
6. Bean Burrito
Bean Burrito is mostly made up of plant-based proteins which about 14 grams. It’s excellent for individuals on a ketogenic and vegetarian diet. Its primary ingredients include onions, red sauce, black beans, and cheese. A serving is priced at $1.29 and can give you 380 calories.
Black beans, in particular, are rich in nutrition such as magnesium, folate, and iron. Its nutritional value is believed to increase when added with other plant-based ingredients such as onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. You can also cut-off the tortilla if you’re on restrict carbohydrate intake.