Enjoying tacos is a great experience either by going to your favorite Mexican restaurant, having chips, salsa, and margaritas in hand or cooking them at home for Taco Tuesday.
However, if you do not have the time to cook or dine in, you can always opt for affordable and tasty tacos from your preferred fast-food restaurants. Unfortunately, fast food is often lacking in nutritional value, and fast-food tacos are not an exception.
“When it comes to fast-food tacos, there are a few options that are generally considered to be less healthy due to their high calorie, fat, and sodium content,” says Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD. Tacos with fried shells, cheese, creamy sauces, and lots of beef or pork are especially high in unhealthy ingredients that you may want to avoid.
Scroll down for a list of the unhealthiest fast-food tacos available today:
Per taco: 190 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein
The nutrition values for the Doritos Locos Supreme from Taco Bell may not seem terrible at first sight; however, these tacos are usually small, and people tend to eat more than one. The shell is also made from Doritos, which is a processed food with high sodium and artificial ingredients.
Per taco: 220 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 790 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 15 g protein
The Steak Fajita Taco from Taco Cabana may have marinated and grilled beef, tortilla, and various toppings, but it still has high amounts of fat and sodium. The sodium content is especially alarming, with just one containing 780 milligrams of sodium, which is almost half of your daily recommended intake.
Per taco: 170 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein
Jack in the Box’s beef tacos are high in fat and sodium and often receive criticism for being highly processed. It is best to avoid these tacos altogether.
Per serving: 600 calories, 33 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1,230 mg sodium, 59 g carbs (6 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 9 g protein
Jack in the Box’s Tiny Tacos Loaded and Sauced are overloaded with sauce and cheese and are high in total fat, saturated fat, and sodium. Just one serving contains more than half of the recommended intake for saturated fat in an entire day.
Per three tacos: 1,020 calories, 43 g fat, 1,560 mg sodium, 105 g carbs, 48 g protein
Carnitas Soft Taco from Chipotle with all the fixings is high in calories, fat, and sodium. To make your order healthier, you can ask for your tacos without sour cream and cheese. Additionally, you can try the veggie option instead, which saves you over half of the calories you would get from the carnitas.
Per taco: 370 calories, 20 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 trans fat), 830 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 15 g protein
The Fried Chicken Taco from Taco John’s is packed with 20 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 830 grams of sodium. It also contains trans fat, which is highly advised against consuming.
Per taco: 440 calories, 23 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1,140 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 14 g protein
The Buttery Garlic Parmesan Stuffed Quesadilla Shrimp Taco from Del Taco is high in calories, fat, and sodium, with just one containing 440 calories, 23 grams of fat, and 1,140 milligrams of sodium.
Be mindful of what you’re consuming when grabbing some fast-food tacos and choose healthier options whenever you can.