Let’s “Taco”-bout it: Easy Swaps to Make Taco Night Guilt Free

Dr. Angela Seabright
Koraima Guillen

| 3 min read

Whether it’s Taco Tuesday at your house or a midnight run for fast-food tacos, we can all agree that this flavorful Latin meal is blissful.
With their reputation for flavor and mouthwatering ingredients, you have to wonder how healthy tacos really are. Here’s a hint: if you’re packing your tacos with unhealthy ingredients, they’re not doing you any favors.
Tacos have been a staple in Mexican culture and can be traced to the indigenous people of Mexico. As tacos have been modified through the years and become a form of fast food in a lot of countries, they have become an extremely unhealthy meal.
Sure, fried tortillas filled with beef, smothered in sour cream, and drizzled with cheddar cheese are tasty, but not so healthy. These types of tacos can be filled with calories and saturated fat that leave you hungry and wanting more. Before you take a trip to the local taco truck or buy artificial hard shells at the grocery store consider these fresh and nutritional swaps that will give your old, unhealthy taco a run for its money!
  1. First Layer: The base of the taco begins with its shell. Depending on the shell you can lower the amount of calories and fat. Instead of using a fried tortilla or a flour tortilla consider a corn tortilla or a large lettuce leaf. Corn tortillas tend to be more fulfilling and have less calories than flour tortillas. Large lettuce leaves are great for non-carbohydrate tacos and reduce the amount of fat that is being consumed.
  1. Second Layer: The heart of a taco is its protein. A great way to reach your daily protein intake and fulfill your hunger is by adding healthy protein to your taco. Instead of using beef that is cooked in grease, think about using shredded chicken or baked fish of any kind with light seasonings. If you are a vegetarian, think about using beans for the protein.
  1. Third Layer: If protein is the heart of a taco, toppings are the life of the party! Think about your topping options and what you can add to make your taco healthier and tastier. Try to eliminate some of the cheese and sour cream and up the vegetable count. Instead of just tomatoes and lettuce, consider green peppers, red onions, maybe even some fruit like mangos. Don’t forget about the salsa! Salsa is a great topper, especially when you make it yourself with fresh vegetables. It provides a lot of flavor without a ton of calories.
Next time you’re planning tacos for dinner, plan to make these healthy swaps for a healthier, flavorful feast.
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Photo credit: jeffreyw

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