Think all fast food is bad? Think again! Taco Bell is one of our favorite fast food picks for a healthy meal on the run—as long as you know what to order and what to avoid. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you make a healthy and informed decision next time that taco craving hits. Here’s how to order healthy meals at Taco Bell. Live mas!
1) Order from the Fresco Menu
All items on the Fresco menu contain less than 10 grams of fat and are 350 calories or less. In addition to the Fresco menu itself, you can ask for any item to be made “Fresco style.” This means fresh pico de gallo will be substituted for mayo-based sauces, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. Our favorite is the shredded chicken or steak taco, and try to keep your serving size to no more than two of them.
2) Try a power bowl from the Cantina Power Menu
All bowls are under 500 calories and pack in the protein and veggies to fill you up and hold you over.
3) Don’t be fooled by the salads!
Taco Bell serves their salads in a big crispy tortilla bowl that adds a lot of extra fat and calories. While the items inside are good, it’s best to order it without the crispy bowl, get dressing on the side and use it sparingly. Better yet, use salsa instead of dressing.
4) Watch the high calorie toppings!
Cheese, sour cream, salad dressing and guacamole can easily ruin an otherwise healthy meal. Subbing salsa, asking for light cheese, and choosing sour cream OR guacamole instead of both can save big calories.
5) Avoid the really high fat and calorie-filled items like nachos, burritos, chalupas, and crunchwraps
Most of these items are over 600 calories, have been deep fried, and contain unhealthy saturated and trans fats—best to avoid them altogether!
For more info, check out Taco Bell’s full list of nutritional content to learn more about individual menu items and see how your usual order stacks up.
Written by Amelia Seith, Registered Dietitian. Amelia has a Master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Northern Illinois University. She works as a health coach with a focus on weight loss, diabetes and cholesterol management, exercise, and tobacco cessation. Amelia has experience working with people from all walks of life including busy moms, shift workers, and professionals. She doesn’t promote fad diets, and instead encourages making small sustainable changes that will last a lifetime. Learn more about Amelia and how to work with her here.