Healthy Food

Taco Bell ‘front runner’ in healthy fast-food restaurants, here’s how

If you have a craving for Mexican fare, Taco Bell may be a better bet for your health and waistline than you think — as long as you know how to navigate the fast food chain’s menu.

“Taco Bell has become a front-runner in healthy fast-food restaurants,” Jen Hernandez, a Kentucky-based registered dietitian nutritionist, who is the founder and CEO of Plant-Powered Kidneys Inc., told Fox News Digital.

“They focus on including more fresh plants, plant proteins and low-sodium options,” she said. “In many ways, they help consumers eat healthier without even realizing it.”

That said, not everything on the menu is exactly a dietitian’s dream.

For Ella Davar (, a longevity dietitian and gut health nutritionist based in Miami and New York City, Taco Bell is not a top pick for healthy eating, although “it doesn’t mean that we can’t find healthy options there, ” she said.

Read on for tips from Davar and Hernandez on how to order better-for-you meals at Taco Bell.

Fox News Digital reached out to Taco Bell for comment.

Black Bean Soft Tacos

Hernandez recommends that soft taco aficionados choose the Black Bean Soft Taco with cheese, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

If you love your tacos, this black bean soft taco might be for you, especially since you can get 20% of your daily fiber with just one order. Taco Bell

“It has just 390 milligrams of sodium but still packs five grams of fiber,” she said, commenting that this amount is 20% of your daily fiber needs, from just one taco.

Black Bean Chalupa

The Black Bean Chalupa is Davar’s personal favorite, as it’s “high in plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants and polyphenols from vegetables.”

The black bean Chalupa is a source of plant-based protein and fiber thanks to the bean’s gut-friendly nutritional content. Taco Bell

She called this dish a great alternative to other menu items and recommends it as a substitution for a classic taco, so everyone can “benefit from the bean’s gut-friendly fiber content.”

Black Bean Crunchwrap

You may be seeing a theme with fiber- and protein-rich black beans.

Davar said he likes that this crispy, crunchy wrap is “high in fiber from beans” and comes with a generous portion of lettuce and tomatoes.

You can also add some jalapeño peppers for additional vegetables.

Overall, Davar said he thinks this wrap is an “excellent” lunch option.

Breakfast California Crunchwrap

Davar says this breakfast order, which consists of fluffy eggs, bacon, tomatoes, guacamole, cheddar cheese and a hash brown wrapped inside a warm flour tortilla, is “high in complete protein,” making it a filling way to start the day.

Taco Bell

Plus, “as a dietitian, I love the generous addition of tomatoes and avocados for an extra nutrition boost,” says Davar.

Veggie Power Bowl

Hernandez said that for this order, you should feel free to make some changes to boost its nutrition specs.

(Taco Bell makes it easy to customize orders at the store and online or through its app.)

The veggie power bowl is an option if you want to customize your order. Taco Bell

“Go easy on the rice and cheese, but add extra beans, guacamole and lettuce,” she said.

“Add the Creamy Jalapeño Sauce for the flavor and lower sodium option if you like. “All of this will get you 12 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, which will help fill you up,” Hernandez added.

Nachos Bell Grande

Another Taco Bell menu offering that you can modify to enhance its health profile is the Nachos BellGrande, per Hernandez.

“Take the Nachos BellGrande and make it a filling plate. Swap the meat for black beans, which still provide some protein but also give you the added benefit of fiber,” she said, noting that you shouldn’t eat too much (if any) of the nacho cheese sauce, but you should add the guacamole for healthy fats and more fiber.

Taco Bell has become one of the leading healthy fast food restaurants. Taco Bell

One more thing: “Be sure to pile on the veggies — lettuce, tomatoes, and onions all belong on nachos,” Hernandez says.

She pointed out that ordering the menu selection that way gives you 12 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber for under 650 calories.

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