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The 9 Healthiest Dishes at Taco Bell

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

Health is wealth but Taco Bell is life. Thankfully, you can have both -- health and Taco Bell that is. Taco Bell has always been a champion fast food spot for vegetarians and vegans alike due to its highly customizable menu that can adapt to any diet, whether it be low carb or plant-based. There is a taco for everyone. 

We get it. It’s 2020 and you want to make healthier decisions -- but you can’t imagine a life without Taco Bell. Don’t worry, your health goals and Taco Bell can coexist. “Literally anything on the menu can be customized according to one’s lifestyle,” Missy Schaaphok RDN, Taco Bell’s in-house registered dietitian, told with Thrillist. “Using our Nutrition Calculator can help achieve the desired outcome. We cater to consumers’ lifestyle of choice -- like items high in protein, vegetarian, or low cal and low fat.”

In fact, as stated by Taco Bell itself, 75% of the menu is under 500 calories. Your favorites can also be made healthier by ordering them “fresco style,” which substitutes fresh pico de gallo in place of cheese, sour cream, mayo-based sauces, and guac. Taco Bell has even has a menu specifically catered to vegetarians, so if reducing your meat consumption is one of your goals, it’ll be easy at your local T-Bell. 

Here are nine of the healthiest options you can order at Taco Bell the next time you want to live mas.

Veggie Power Menu Bowl

480 calories, 19 grams of fat, 13 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein

Veggies! Power! The goodness in this bowl is already in the name.  As Taco Bell likes to describe it, “the power-up boost you get from the bowl is so similar to a power-up in a video game.” The Veggie Power Menu Bowl contains rice, black beans, cheese, romaine lettuce (see, vegetables), guacamole, pico de gallo, and creamy avocado ranch sauce. Skip the sour cream if you want to reduce fat and add a scoop of steak or chicken if you’re in need of some extra protein.

Chicken Soft Taco Fresco Style

150 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein

Chicken soft tacos are like the chicken noodle soup of the fast food world: reliable, comforting, and always tasty. Taco Bell’s, when created “fresco style”, rings in at a mere 150 calories with 9 grams of protein. Slather on some hot sauce and make your soft taco dreams come true.

taco bell bean burrito beans vegetarian veggie healthy
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Bean Burrito

380 calories, 11 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to order Taco Bell’s bean burrito. It clocks in at 380 calories with 9 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein. Replace the added red sauce with pico de gallo to further reduce your sodium intake and up your vegetable consumption.

Grilled Breakfast Burrito

340 calories, 14 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein

Breakfast on the go doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or filled with greasy hash browns. Taco Bell’s grilled breakfast burrito is under 350 calories and boasts 10 grams of protein, making it a satisfying, fulfilling start to your day. And at just a dollar off of Taco Bell’s dollar cravings menu, this burrito definitely gives you serious nutritional bang for your buck.

7-Layer Burrito Fresco Style

340 calories, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein

Honestly, any menu item from Taco Bell can be made more nutritious by making it “fresco style.” It’s like a not-so-secret life hack to having Taco Bell that’s still delicious but with a lot less fat. The same applies to their 7-layer burrito; when made fresco style, the entire thing comes out to 340 calories with 6 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and only 2.5 grams of saturated fat. We don’t know if the fresco style messes with the alleged seven layers but honestly we don’t care.

Spicy Tostada

210 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein

This spicy tostada gives you the crunch you crave from a visit to Taco Bell without all the extra calories (and dusty Dorito fingers). At just 210 calories, with 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, the spicy tostada is a great, more nutritious alternative to other crunchy tacos (plus it’s off the dollar cravings menu too, so feel free to go crazy and order two).

Mini Skillet Bowl

180 calories, 11 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein

The mini-skillet bowl is another great breakfast option from Taco Bell. The eggs provide 5 grams of lean protein and the potatoes pack enough heft to satisfy your hunger until lunch rolls around. Skip the nacho cheese sauce to reduce your sodium and fat intake and start the morning off right -- for just a dollar.

taco bell steak soft tacos fresca menu healthy
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Grilled Steak Soft Taco Fresco Style

150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein
 
You don’t have to live off of plain chicken to be healthy. Taco Bell’s Grilled Steak Soft Taco, which boasts 10g of protein and only 150 calories, will give you the beefy flavor you crave without filling you up with too much fat. Though ordering the steak taco fresco style eliminates the creamy avocado ranch sauce and cheese, you can still have bold flavor in your taco by requesting the addition of jalapenos. And if you’re looking to make your taco a bit heftier, adding a dollop of refried beans will up the fiber and protein.

black beans and rice taco bell healthy option tacos
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Black Beans and Rice

170 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein

Taco Bell has a bunch of great sides -- gooey Fiesta Potatoes, platters of nachos, and more -- that may not give you the most bang for your buck nutrition-wise. If you’re trying to round out your meal, but still want food that can be nourishing, opt for a simple side of black beans and rice. This side is less than 200 calories and will provide some fiber and protein without being ladened with too much fat from cheese and sour cream. Black beans and rice, paired with a simple fresco style burrito or taco, makes for a solid meal. 

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Kat Thompson is a staff food writer at Thrillist. Her favorite thing to order at Taco Bell is a Crunchwrap Supreme, which may not be the healthiest option, but is certainly the tastiest. Follow her on twitter @katthompsonn.