We make numerous decisions every day when it comes to food. Oftentimes, that choice is whether to eat food from the grocery store or from a restaurant. The decision to eat at home may be fairly apparent if there are loads of tasty fresh groceries piled high in the fridge, while it could be equally obvious to grab food outside your kitchen for hectic evenings or weekends jampacked with errands. If you find yourself in the latter category, it might be helpful to know what foods to eat versus avoid.
Taco shops, whether small and local or big and corporate, are often an option when dining out. One such establishment that likely makes the list is Taco Bell. Taco Bell has a fairly limited menu (which can be a good thing when we need something fast) and offers customization for all their tacos. Taco Bell offers smart vegetable toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, beans, and jalapeno peppers to boost nutrition, while also presenting less-than-stellar toppings like sauces, cheese, and sour cream.
Here we have rounded up the 8 best and worst tacos at Taco Bell to help you “Live Más.” For more on what you should be ordering, check out 9 Healthiest Dishes to Order at Taco Bell, According to Dietitians.
The 3 Healthiest Tacos at Taco Bell
Best: Crunchy Taco – Fresco Style with Guacamole
Per taco: 180 calories, 11 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 350 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (4 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 6 g protein
Ordering this taco “Fresco style” eliminates the sour cream and cheese, while adding tomatoes and saving you around 45 calories per individual taco. Take it a step further by adding a fruit serving (guacamole is made from avocados, which are considered a fruit!) to your snack or meal.
Best: Spicy Potato Soft Taco – Fresco Style with Refried Beans & Onions
Per taco: 240 calories, 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (6 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 6 g protein
This hearty taco stars spicy potatoes and a savory chipotle sauce. To make it one of the healthiest Taco Bell tacos, we recommend ordering it “Fresco Style” for some extra tomatoes and adding onions and refried beans as supporting actors. The impressive 6 grams of fiber makes this taco a high-fiber choice.
Best: Black Bean Soft Taco – Fresco Style with Border Sauce
Per taco: 140 calories, 3.5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein
The 5 Unhealthiest Tacos at Taco Bell
Worst: Toasted Breakfast Taco – Bacon
Per taco: 230 calories, 14 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 550 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 11 g protein
This breakfast option contains only four ingredients: cheese, eggs, bacon, and a tortilla, but it falls short of the opportunity to include vegetables and the 5 grams of saturated fat is 25% of the Daily Value (DV).
Worst: Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Per taco: 490 calories, 28 g total fat (10 g saturated fat), 840 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 20 g protein
With a staggering 290 calories per taco and 28 grams of fat, this taco overdoes it, and not in a good way. The outermost layer of this taco is a flatbread, followed by a layer of three-cheese blend, then a hard-shell tortilla. All this before you even get to the inner contents, which include seasoned beef, spicy ranch sauce, and you guessed it, more cheese.
Worst: Chalupa Supreme – Beef
Per taco: 360 calories, 20 g total fat (6 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein
The real culprit of calories and fat with this taco is surprisingly the chalupa flatbread itself. According to Taco Bell’s nutrition calculator, the flatbread itself is 240 calories and 13 grams of fat, which is approximately two-thirds of the calories and fat of the whole taco order.
Worst: Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme
Per taco: 220 calories, 14 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 480 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 9 g protein
Salty-flavored chips aren’t the healthiest way to complement a meal, so making a tortilla shell out of it is no exception. This taco shell made from Doritos, combined with cheese, sour cream, and more beef, racks up the fat. In fact, there are 3.5 times more calories from fat than protein in this taco.
Worst: Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch – Nacho Cheese
Per taco: 500 calories, 28 g total fat (11 g saturated fat), 900 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 20 g protein
This taco tips the scales at 500 calories, 11g saturated fat, and 900mg sodium. It manages to accomplish this feat with another triple-layer shell (flatbread, cheese, and hard taco), red meat, spicy ranch sauce, and more cheese, along with a dash of lettuce.
To read more about healthy Mexican food, check out The #1 Healthiest Order at 9 Major Mexican Chains.