Friday is Cinco de Mayo, but let’s be honest – any day is a good day for Mexican food. And good news for Taco Tuesday fans: tacos are among the lowest-calorie Mexican dishes. So to help you build an even better-for-you taco, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on her top picks and worst bets for taco shells!
At restaurants: Choose corn tortillas (hard or soft) over flour tortillas:
- One-third the calories with 50% less carbs
- A fraction of the sodium + more fiber
- Usually naturally gluten-free
- Per tortilla: 40 calories – 160 mg sodium – 9 grams carb – 6 grams fiber – 4 grams protein
- Ingredients include oat fiber, whole wheat flour, soy flour, wheat gluten, nonGMO canola oil, non-aluminum baking powder, sea salt, guar gum, xanthan gum
- Per shell: 55 calories – 80 mg sodium – 8 grams carb – 3 grams fiber – 1 gram protein
- Ingredients include whole grain yellow corn, canola oil, corn bran, water, salt, hydrated lime
- Per shell: 65 calories – 0 sodium – 7.5 grams carbs – 1 gram fiber – 1 gram protein
- Ingredients include organic stone ground blue corn masa flour, expeller pressed oil, trace of lime
Veggie Taco “Shells”
- Red, yellow, orange bell peppers, halved and de-seeded, or purple or green lettuce leaves for wrapping.
- <20 calories per “shell” or “wrap” with minimal sodium, carb, or protein
Corn Tortilla like Guerrero’s White Soft Corn Tortillas
- Per tortilla: 50 calories – 5 mg sodium – 10 grams carb – 1.5 grams fiber – 1 gram protein
- Ingredients include corn masa flour, water, cellulose gum, guar gum…
Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas – Fajita Style
- Per tortilla: 80 calories – 200 mg sodium – 13 grams carb – 10 grams carb – 3 grams protein
- Ingredients include modified wheat starch, whole wheat four, vital wheat gluten, vegetable shortening (hydrogenated oils), wheat protein isolate, cellulose gum, sucralose (Splenda), caramel color…
Old El Paso Spicy Cheddar Flavored Taco Shells
- Per shell: 75 calories – 140 calories – 17 grams carb – 1 gram fiber – 2 grams protein
- Ingredients include limed corn flour, oil, salt, MSG, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Cheddar Cheese, Blue Cheese...
Check out more better-for-you taco tips, including meats, cheeses, salsa, and toppings + Ochsner Eat Fit Tacos at local restaurants, in Molly’s Build a Better Taco column in NOLA.com.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD