Taco Bell’s Low-Key Healthy Revolution 

by Tod Perry

January 6, 2017
via Twitter

Taco Bell has made billions selling Americans who want to get full on the cheap tacos with unhealthy names like Gordita, Double-Stuff, and Doritos Locos. When most people think about a calorie-conscious diet, this unapologetically-inauthentic Mexican cuisine isn’t what first comes to mind. But over the past decade, Taco Bell has quietly become one of America’s healthiest fast-food chains. 

The bar for being labeled “healthy” in the drive-thru space isn’t much to brag about, but Taco Bell has made a bigger commitment to providing low-calorie options than its competitors. Over the past few years, Taco Bell has released a Fresca menu that boasts 140-calorie tacos and recently debuted a high-protein “Cantina” menu as well. 

The chain has reduced sodium in its food by 15 percent since 2008 and is looking to drop another 10 percent in the near future. Plus, for the veggies out there, its vegetarian menu is certified by the American Vegetarian Association. Although the company has made great strides to appeal to healthier eaters, you won’t see Taco Bell screaming about it in the next ad campaign. “Us [Taco Bell] touting ourselves as a health halo – it’s not authentic and it’s not real,” Taco Bell spokesman Alec Boyle says. 

Looking to save a bit of money on your next meal while staying relatively healthy? Here are some of Taco Bell’s low-calorie options:

Item                                            Calories Grams of Fat

Fresco Chicken Soft Taco             150         3.5

Fresco Crunchy Taco                     140         8

Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco    160         4.5

Black Beans                                     80         1.5

Chicken Soft Taco                          170         6

Shredded Chicken Burrito            400        18

Black Bean Burrito                          390        11

Chicken Chipotle Loaded Griller 350       16 


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