Healthiest Eating Choices at Taco Bell

The company known for its “outside the bun” approach to fast food has recently re-launched its “Fresco-style” menu. This time as a permanent feature on their menu. Since January 7th, 2008, there are now 9 new Fresco selections with 9 grams of fat or less. These items feature Fiesta Sauce a mix of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, as a substitute for cheese or cheese-based sauces.

Let’s see how the new Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco compares with its former self, the Regular Chicken Soft Taco.

Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco 4 grams of fat 170 calories
Regular Chicken Soft Taco 14 grams of fat 270 calories

There’s definitely a savings there of 10 grams of fat and 100 calories! Considering that the average person usually eats 3 tacos, the new version offers an eye-popping total reduction of 30 grams of fat and 300 calories. I do believe that eating foods like these could go a long way towards dropping a few dress sizes before the swimsuit season! And that’s always good news!

Other items within the Fresco Collection include Fresco Crunchy Taco, Fresco Burrito Supreme Chicken, Fresco Burrito Supreme Steak, Fresco Bean Burrito, Fresco Fiesta Burrito, Fresco Soft Taco, Fresco Zesty Chicken Border Bowl and Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco.

Crunchy Taco Fresco Style 150 calories 7 grams of fat
Beef Soft Taco Fresco Style 190 calories 8 grams of fat
Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco Fresco Style 170 calories 4 grams of fat
Grilled Steak Soft Taco Fresco Style 170 calories 5 grams of fat
Beef Baja Gordita Fresco Style 250 calories 9 grams of fat
Chicken Baja Gordita Fresco Style 230 calories 5 grams of fat
Steak Baja Gordita Fresco Style 230 calories 7 grams of fat
Bean Burrito Fresco Style Fresco Style 350 calories 8 grams of fat
Chicken Burrito Supreme Fresco Style 350 calories 8 grams of fat
Steak Burrito Supreme Fresco Style 350 calories 9 grams of fat

But… and this may be a big but… how do these new selections compare in taste?

First. let me speak up and say that I love Mexican foods. And I think that, ever since my second pregnancy, I must have salsa flowing through my veins. I love the spice, the bold, smokey flavors, the crunch, and the cheese the glorious cheese! Although the Mexican-inspired items available at Taco are a far cry from truly authentic Mexican food, I still am a huge fan! (Unlike my husband, who refers to the restaurant as Taco Hell!)

After trying a few items from the new menu, I came away somewhat disappointed. Can you blame me? There’s no CHEESE on these new thing-a-ma-bobs! That said, the flavor of the Fiesta Sauce is excellent. I love the blend of fresh tomatoes, zesty onions, and sharp, stimulating cilantro. This sauce or salsa (as they should have called it) gives your mouth a punch of juicy, savory flavor. The juicy part can be a problem though, since your soft or crunchy taco will soon become a soggy taco if you do not eat with a certain degree of speediness.

Taco Bell has not shouted about its new items from the mountain tops. They are mostly relying on in-store signage (tray liners, posters, brochures, and banner ads) to pitch the new line of products. You just might see an occasional print ad in a health and fitness or women’s publication in the future, too. Perhaps they are aware that these items just don’t make the cut for the average consumer and their taste bud cravings.

But overall I commend Taco Bell for making more healthy choices available to its customers. If you are looking to drop a few pounds before the warm weather, you’ll have to forego the cheese anyway. So the Fresco selection is a good place to start it’s pretty tasty, awfully convenient, and, as always with Taco Bell, affordable.