A Run to the Bell

Today Eat by Stars is making a Run for the Border to Think Outside the Bun with our Doritos Locos Tacos.  Or something like that.

Taco Bell has a bad reputation of not using the highest quality products, but compared to other fast food chains there are several reasonably healthy options on the Bell menu.  Rumored Grade D meat notwithstanding.

(Bear in mind, this IS fast food.  There is not much food in drive thru establishments that warrants higher than a three star)

We’re gonna break this down by menu category.  Fresco, Tacos, Burritos, Gorditos & Chalupas, and Nachos are on tap.  All the salads are more than 700 calories so I’m not even gonna dignify them with a response.  I read something once about taco salads.

Fresco Menu®

This is Taco Bell’s “healthy” menu.  It’s not exactly healthy compared to a homemade salad or turkey sandwich on whole grain, but it’s provides solid options for fast food fare.  Per usual, the taco options outpace the burritos.

Fresco Crunchy Taco  calories 150, fat 8g, carbs 13g, protein 6g

Fresco Chicken Soft Taco  calories 150, fat 3.5g, carbs 18g, protein 12g

Fresco Burrito Supreme Chicken  calories 350, fat 8g, carbs 50g, protein 18g, (Sodium 50% DV)


The Bell’s namesake is one of the safer menu categories.  Remember the golden rule of tacos: Corn tortilla trumps flour.  And flour trumps some kind of strange stack combo thing.

Crunchy Corn Taco  calories 170, fat 10g, carbs 12g, protein 8g

Soft Taco Supreme calories 230, fat 11g, carbs 22g, protein 10g

Double Decker Taco Supreme® calories 350, fat 15g, carbs 40g, protein 14g


I love burritos.  Unfortunately they’re huge white flour tortillas stuffed with white rice and fixins.  Carbs wrapped in carbs doesn’t keep the waistline stable.  Some are worse than others. (Hint: A title using ‘XXL’ indicates a prediction for your gut.  Ditto for ‘Stuft’.)

Grilled Chicken Burrito calories 430, fat 18, carbs 48, protein 18

Beefy 5-layer Burrito®  calories 540, fat 8g, carbs 68g, protein 19, (Sodium 60% DV)

XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito®  calories 880, fat 42g, carbs 95g, protein 32, (Sodium 93% DV)

Gorditas & Chalupas

I’m putting these together because they eschew the traditional taco pockets of corn and flour tortillas for some style of flatbread.  The chalupa’s flatbread is fried.  Much to my college diet’s dismay, it’s a wise idea to Drop the Chalupa.

Baja Chicken Gordita  calories 310, fat 15g, carbs 28g, protein 17g

Baja Chicken Chalupa  calories 390, fat 23g, carbs 28g, protein 16g


I’m not sure why, but most folks get the impression nachos are a healthier option.  Maybe it’s the lettuce thrown in on occasion.  It’s a trick.  Skip nachos unless your sharing them with a group.  And then, it oughta be at sports bar.  Not the Bell.

Nachos Supreme  calories 440, fat 2g, carbs 42g, protein 12g

Nachos Bell Grande® calories 770, fat 42g, carbs 79g, protein 19g

Volcano Nachos®  calories 980, fat 60g, carbs 89g, protein 21g

Mexican Pizza 

Calories 540, fat 30g, carbs 47g, protein20g

Nostalgia and sentimentality require me to include this icon.  An icon to me, at least.  Sadly a trip down Mexican pizza memory lane will have to be a rare occurrence.





2 responses to “A Run to the Bell

  1. Pingback: 5 Healthy Habits to Steal | Essentials of Nutrition

  2. Pingback: My Favorite Lunch Spot | Essentials of Nutrition

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