Taco Bell’s Low-Key Healthy Revolution
When it’s gotta be fast, healthy, and cheap.
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:
ItemCalories 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