Taco Bell is known for its crazy and inexpensive Mexican food (think Doritos Locos Taco and the Dollar Cravings menu), but it's actually one of the healthiest fast-food chains out there. You can even order many items "Fresco style" which replaces the dairy-based sauces and cheese with pico de gallo, making the food lower calorie and lower fat.
If being health conscious is your goal, you can definitely "Live Mas" at the California-based fast-food chain, as long as you don't eat these seven things on the Taco Bell menu. These menu items are the worst for you in terms of calories, fat, and sodium, so skip them at the drive-thru if you want to eat healthy. You'd be better off sticking to things like crunchy tacos or regular soft tacos, something with healthier black beans, or specifically healthy options with fewer grams of protein and fewer carbs.
This cross between a beefy burrito and a cheddar cheese quesadilla packs a whopping 650 calories, 33 grams of fat (12 of which are saturated fat), and 1,390 milligrams of sodium. And with all that cheese, you get a fifth of your recommended cholesterol intake for the day. Yes, the cheese is the best part of the quesadilla, but maybe only get this one every once in a while.
Nachos Bell Grande
The Taco Bell menu, of course, features excellent nacho options, but these packed nachos come with refried beans, nacho cheese sauce, seasoned beef, reduced-fat sour cream, and diced tomatoes (though you can always add more toppings). It also comes with 750 calories, 38 grams of fat, and 1,310 milligrams of sodium.
Triple Double Crunchwrap
We all know that anything that uses the phrase "triple-double" is going all in, so it's not likely to be the healthiest thing on the menu. You get double layers of ground beef and nacho cheese sauce, plus a tostada shell, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. All that triple-double means 700 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 1,580 milligrams of sodium (that's 66 percent of what an adult needs daily). Oh, and that's before you add sauce or extra cheese.
Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze or Strawberry Skittles Freeze
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We shouldn't have to say this, but here it is. These frozen drinks are in no way healthy. They range from 160 to 230 calories, depending on size and flavor, and around twice the recommended amount of sugar recommended for an individual per day. A small Baja Blast Freeze has 51 grams of sugar, while a large has 64 grams. The Skittles version comes in a tiny bit better, with a small at 43 grams of sugar and a large with 54 grams.
XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito
Again, if it has XXL in the name, it's go big or go home. To rephrase a quote, you don't have to home, but maybe don't stay here on the Taco Bell menu. This burrito is exactly what the name says, stuffed with beef, a three-cheese blend, rice, refried beans, reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, avocado ranch, and pico de gallo. It's also stuffed with 870 calories, 40 grams of fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, and an XXL serving of sodium at 2,140 milligrams.
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The breakfast menu at Taco Bell isn't, generally speaking, on the healthy side. Starting the day off with almost your entire recommended amount of cholesterol and sodium probably isn't the best idea. If you think skipping the Cinnabon Delights in favor of a breakfast burrito will get you to a healthier option, you might be surprised. Stuffed with bacon, eggs, cheese, and potato bites, this grilled breakfast burrito comes with 650 calories, 33 grams of fat, 225 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,470 milligrams of sodium.
Fiesta Taco Salad
We know; if it's a salad, it's healthy. And that should be true, but it isn't with this taco salad on the Taco Bell menu. It has 760 calories, 39 grams of fat, and 1,330 milligrams of sodium. And again, that's before you add any extras like guacamole or a creamy sauce. This is the one time we'll tell you to skip the salad.
This article was originally published on September 14, 2018.
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