Craving a late-night crunchy taco? Yes, Taco Bell is a convenient option and a staple when looking for something quick and easy (no matter the time of day) … but did you know the fast-food chain has some pretty healthy options?

According to the company’s site, starting in 2008, Taco Bell has made efforts to reduce the sodium count of their entire menu by 15%, with hopes to reduce it by 25% by 2025. Additionally, they replaced all artificial colors and flavors with natural alternatives, removed any unsustainable palm oil, sourced 100% cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free chicken (with efforts to do the same as beef), and 50% of their drink menu should have less than 100 calories and 20 grams of sugar.

Plus, with limited fried food options and tons of menu items featuring fresh vegetables, the menu is surprisingly full of nutritious options for you to choose from—and health experts agree.

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“Taco Bell has a really extensive menu that allows you to easily customize an order to meet your nutrition goals,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, a recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. Specifically, Burgess points out that she’s a “fan of the menu items that contain veggies and beans, as this is a winning combination of healthy protein and fats.”

So what items in particular should hungry Taco Bell customers look for? We asked Burgess and other registered dietitians about the healthiest options at Taco Bell that you can order next time you’re looking to keep mealtime simple and “live más”—while still keeping things relatively healthy. Here are their suggestions.

1. Power Menu Chicken Bowl

“The Power Menu Bowl is where it’s at for this dietitian! At its core, succulent grilled chicken reigns supreme, delivering a protein punch of 26 grams that helps satisfy your cravings and keep you full,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, LD , CSSD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook.

Plus, with the added rice, black beans and vegetables, Goodson points out that the bowl is not only full of all kinds of textures and flavors, but it even includes a whopping 8 grams of fiber per serving.

“Real Cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream combine to keep this tasty and low-calorie,” she continues. “The Avocado Ranch Sauce infuses zesty goodness, and the creamy guacamole elevates it to the next level for less than 500 calories (460 calories to be exact)! A true fiesta on your plate!”

2. Power Menu Veggie Bowl

If you want to keep your diet vegetarian—or even focus on a vegetable-forward approach—the Power Menu Bowl also comes with a veggie-only option.

“The Veggie Power Menu Bowl is filled with black beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, reduced-fat sour cream and avocado ranch sauce,” says Burgess. “This provides 420 calories, 12 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat and 11 grams of fiber. While this is a great target calorie count for a meal, you could even skip the sour cream and sauce to reduce the total fat in this meal .”

“Even though tacos have the fewest calories, this bowl provides you with a well-balanced meal that is primarily plant-centric,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, author of Up Your Veggies: Flexitarian Recipes for the Whole Family. “The beauty of ordering at Taco Bell is that I can modify it as I wish. I go ‘easy’ or light on the cheese and take out the sour cream, which cuts down the calories to 370 and also cuts down on the sodium. ”

3. Crunchy Tacos

“A Crunchy Taco at Taco Bell is a surprisingly low-calorie, high-protein option that is also relatively low in sodium,” says Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES, a dietitian located in Washington, DC “With 170 calories, 13 grams of protein and 300 milligrams of sodium, this is a well-rounded snack (or double up for a meal!) that will actually keep you full.”

4. Burrito Supreme “Fresco Style”

While a burrito may not seem like the healthiest option on the Taco Bell menu for many, there are a few clever ways to enjoy a burrito while keeping things nutritious.

For example, Maggie Michalczyk, RDN, from Once Upon a Pumpkin, suggests ordering the Burrito Supreme, which includes a flour tortilla, refried beans, grilled chicken, red sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, Cheddar cheese and onions.

“I like the option of having a burrito for an on-the-go option, and you can opt for the ‘fresco style’ for more veggies and fewer calorie-dense toppings,” she says. According to the site, the “fresco style” replaces the dairy products (cheese and sour cream) with tomatoes.

5. Bean Burritos

Another delicious and easy burrito option is simply ordering Taco Bell’s Bean Burrito, which is at a good price point.

“Taco Bell’s Bean Burrito is a nutrient-packed option that is easy on the pocket and totally tasty,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC. “Beans are a source of plant-based protein, fiber and many nutrients. And the cheese addition adds a boost of bone-health-supporting calcium. While this burrito isn’t an everyday food that I choose, in a pinch, it can be a healthy option.”

How to Order Healthy Food at Chain Restaurants

What to Look For

No matter where you order from—whether at Taco Bell or some other fast-food establishment—Thomason says there are two things you should keep an eye on when glancing at the restaurant’s menu. “People need to look for options that are generally lower in fat and lower in sodium, as they tend to be commonly high in menu items at fast-food restaurants,” she explains.

One easy way to ensure your meal isn’t too high in saturated fat and sodium is to look for baked items instead of fried ones. Sauces also tend to be higher in saturated fat and sodium, so Thomason suggests ordering sauces on the side; that way, you can decide how much goes into your meal.

As for what you should order, she suggests sticking to “the basics” of what to prioritize in a meal, aka menu items that are high in protein and fiber. “See if you can add in a veggie or a fruit for some volume and extra fullness, and then reduce fried foods wherever you can.”

What to Limit

“I would say if you can order a diet soda or a non-sugar-sweetened soda or beverage, then you are going to do yourself a lot of good there as well,” says Thomason.

As mentioned, sauces tend to add in more calories, sometimes even with sneaky added sugars. Reducing the amount of sauce you use on an item can significantly increase the nutritional value of your meal while still tasting delicious.

The Bottom Line

Compared to other fast-food options, Taco Bell tends to have a wider variety of nutritious options for customers to choose from. Registered dietitians suggest looking for items high in protein and fiber (especially meals featuring lean protein, vegetables and beans) to keep you fuller for longer. You can also improve the nutritional quality of any fast-food meal—whether it be at Taco Bell or somewhere else—by ordering items that are baked versus fried, as well as asking for sauces on the side to limit the amount of saturated fat and sodium that fast food tends to be known for.

Rather stay at home? You can still get the tastiness of Taco Bell—with a homemade twist!—by making these Homemade Crunchwraps or this Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza Recipe.

5 Healthy Options at Taco Bell, Recommended by Dietitians

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