When you think of Mexican style food, you probably conjure up images of hearty puffy rice, creamy guacamole and cheese, tangy sour cream, and beefy burritos! From Taco Bell to your local Mexican restaurant, there are ways to stay keto and still delight in tasty dishes.
Top Tips for Staying Keto at Taco Bell!
- Skip sugary soft drinks and select diet soda, water, or unsweetened coffee
- Ask for breaded items to be grilled instead
- Avoid rice and tortillas and ask for a side salad or extra veggies instead
You might have to get a little creative, but you can certainly stay keto at the popular fast food restaurant, Taco Bell. A Taco Bell taco is around 15 grams of net carbs, which is too high for most people on a ketogenic diet. Some meals at Taco Bell are especially high in carbs, like the Beef Crunch Wrap Supreme, which is around 67 net grams of carbs — a carb count that would definitely kick you out of ketosis. Other meals aren’t quite so high in carbs, but they’re still unsuitable for many keto dieters, such as the Beef Chalupa Supreme with around 25 grams of net carbs.
1) Add Fat and Ditch the Tortilla!
Choose a naked burrito bowl and add fat to your meal, such as:
- Shredded cheese
- Low-carb sauces (see below)
- Sour cream
Regarding shredded cheese, go for the cheddar and the three cheese options that only have 1-gram of net carbs per serving.
If you’re ever in doubt, order individual items that you know are keto a la carte. Like Chipotle, you can create a bowl using any of the following keto items at Taco Bell:
- Sour cream
- Beef, eggs, bacon, chicken, etc.
- Low-carb sauces
2) Choose Keto-Friendly Sauces
You can choose from various keto-friendly Taco Bell sauces, such as:
- Creamy Jalapeno Sauce (1-gram carb)
- Guacamole (1-gram carb)
- Nacho Cheese Sauce (1-gram carb)
- Avocado Ranch (1-gram carb)
- Creamy Chipotle Sauce (0-grams carb)
- Spicy Ranch (1-gram carb)
- Red Sauce (2 grams carbs)
- Hot Sauce (1-gram carb)
- Salsa Sauce (1-gram carb)
- Diablo Sauce (0 grams carb)
3) Swap Out the Carbs
Avoid the following ingredients and swap them for salad and extra protein and fat:
- Black beans
- Seasoned Rice
- Taco Shells and Tortillas
4) Bring Your Own Tortilla
You could bring your own keto-friendly wrap, such as coconut flour wrap, and make your own burrito or taco! Or just go for a naked burrito bowl.
Top Keto-Friendly Meals at Taco Bell!
Here are some keto-approved meals available at Taco Bell:
Mini skillet bowl (around 5 grams of net carbs)
Replace the potatoes with your choice of meat and add more fat with cheese, guacamole, and low-carb sauces. The mini skillet bowl consists of eggs, steak, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and creamy chipotle sauce.
Fiesta taco salad with chicken (around 10 grams of net carbs)
Order this salad and ask for no rice, no beans, no shell, and no red stripes chips. This way, your salad will be filled with lettuce, cheese, chicken, sour cream, salsa, and tomatoes. Add guac for more fat!
Power menu bowl (6 grams of net carbs)
Omit the beans and rice, and you’re left with high fat, high protein keto Taco Bell lunch or dinner. Add lettuce and bacon and wash it down with a diet soda or water for a healthier choice. You could even bring your own keto-friendly sweetener to sweeten your water!
Grande scrambler burrito (7 grams of net carbs)
Order the burrito as a breakfast bowl instead and ask for no potatoes. Top it with guacamole, tomato, or salsa. Enjoy cheddar cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and bacon, sausage, or steak.
Beefy 5-layer burrito (6 grams of net carbs)
Ask for this beefy burrito as a naked bowl to eliminate the carb-heavy tortilla and beans. You’re left with meat, cheese, tomatoes, and jalapenos with lettuce, salsa, and guacamole.
Remember, while some of these options might be keto-friendly, this doesn’t mean they’re the best choice for your health. For example, some of the low-carb Taco Bell sauces are probably made with unhealthy vegetable oils and trans fats. This might not be a problem occasionally, but health experts don’t advise making this a regular part of your ketogenic diet. It’s also something to think about if you have a medical condition, such as a digestive or autoimmune disease. Generally speaking, fast food restaurants don’t have the healthiest, high-quality ingredients that are optimal for health and wellness.
How Do You Stay Keto at Taco Bell?
Do you eat at Taco Bell? What are your top tips for staying keto at Mexican restaurants?
1) Fast Food Nutrition. Taco Bell Nutrition Facts. https://fastfoodnutrition.org/taco-bell
2) Taco Bell. Full Nutrition Info. https://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/info
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.