We all adore tacos, without a question, but do tacos also adore us? Learn how to make healthy tacos that still taste wonderful by following our straightforward procedure to dissect each component of these wraps.
The components we use to make tacos vary tremendously, and with them, the nutritional value of tacos can also vary greatly. Some low-fat tacos are wholesome Mexican food, while others are overstuffed with deep-fried fish and guacamole that would fill three avocados.
You don’t have to completely give up tacos if you’re trying to maintain a better diet, so keep your taco holder! Continue reading to know are tacos healthy?
As per historians, tacos originated in quite modest circumstances, with maize tortillas becoming a mainstay during the time of the ancient Aztecs and Mexican silver miners introducing wrapped tortillas, or the taco, into the mainstream of Mexican culture.
Tacos used to contain a lot of nutritious, whole foods, and they still can if you prepare them with health in mind. Check out our taco guide below to learn the best substitutions for the worst taco ingredients so you may cut calories without sacrificing flavor.
1. Are Tacos Healthy?
Tacos are a delectable, traditional Mexican dish that has gained popularity all over the world. They can be made in a variety of ways using a variety of components. Whatever your preference for tacos, you might be unsure of their nutritional value.
This article covers taco nutrition and offers some advice on how to make sure your tacos are loaded with nutrients and free of typical components that aren’t the best for your health.
1.1. Which taco shells are healthy: The outer shell
Our preferred taco starting point is the delightful doughy or crispy base. Although there is nothing like a warm, freshly made corn tortilla, there are also wheat tortillas, crunchy taco shells, and a variety of other flour options available.
If you can’t consume gluten, you should stay away from variations manufactured from wheat; nevertheless, maize or gluten-free flour tortillas are widely available and simple to make at home.
Tortillas made of flour frequently contain refined carbs. Dietary fiber is more abundant in whole-wheat or corn choices, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes. Although these nutritious soft taco shells won’t make your tacos fatter, low-carb diets shouldn’t use them.
Buy low-carb tortillas or prepare your own with almond or coconut flour if you follow a low-carb or keto diet. Better yet, use baked cheese to create a carb-free shell; it’s incredibly tasty and healthy. The manner of preparation is one of the main offenders that may rapidly transform a healthy taco into a fat bomb.
Restaurants and purists frequently cook those delectable soft shells in a lot of fat or lard for a tasty but calorie-dense dinner. To produce crisp tortillas at home, broil them for a few minutes on the stovetop in a cast-iron skillet with a little bit of oil.
1.1. What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Tacos?
Save calories by eliminating fried taco shell chips and choose baked tortillas or soft tacos instead. The soft corn tortillas are better than the bread tortilla in the sour version. Corn tortillas are higher in fibers and low in calories, and generally an ideal alternative to flour tortillas.
A piece of bread could have anywhere between 75 and 100 calories; on average, bread has more calories per serving than tortillas. A corn tortilla, on the other hand, usually has between 60 and 65 calories.
The hamburger isn’t as healthful as a taco, despite its appearance if it is covered in mayonnaise or another sauce. However, if you create a taco with the same lean meat, you’ll consume fewer calories and less fat.
2. How to Make Good Tacos for You?
So, tacos are they healthy? They certainly can be, though. To begin with, most tacos are a relatively nutritious food.
However, some people stuff their tortillas full of delicious toppings like cheese and sour cream. Others might overindulge in tacos while inebriated. However, there are several ways to maintain them pleasurable and healthy.
2.1. Choose the Tortillas Right for You
Consequently, there are no set guidelines. Tacos typically use maize tortillas rather than fried ones. However, choose tortillas based on what goes well with your preferred fillings, eating habits, or palate.
While ordinary flour and corn tortillas have certain nutritional advantages, corn is usually the healthier option. For added antioxidants from anthocyanin, seek for blue corn tortillas (or taco shells) in addition to yellow or white maize.
Although soft tortillas are thought to be healthier, using crispy, fried taco shells on occasion is acceptable. You may discover tortilla substitutes made from a variety of ingredients, including chickpeas, cassava, cactus, cauliflower, coconut, almonds, sweet potatoes, and more, if you’re looking for a grain-free or other option.
There are also tortillas made from egg whites. If you need to watch your carb intake or you just like greens, you may omit the tortilla altogether and substitute large leafy greens like collard greens.
2.2. Select a Nutritious Taco Filling
Typically, taco filling is high in protein. But it does not need to be large. Beans, tempeh, tofu, seitan, salmon, shrimp, eggs, and chopped nuts are all good sources of protein. All of which taste great when properly spiced and cooked with healthy oils.
If you’re more of a carnivore, consider leaner options like fish, shellfish, pork, skinless grilled, roasted, or broiled chicken (breast or thigh). Salmon that has been pan-blackened and charred octopus are delicious. Taco fillings made of plants can also be filling, delicious, and hearty.
It’s not necessary for vegetarian taco fillings to be high in protein. Try grilling or sautéing mushrooms, poblano peppers, or maize; roasting butternut squash, cauliflower florets, or Brussels sprouts; and shredded jackfruit prepared in the carnitas way.
Are tacos healthy? Pair protein-friendly sides like bean salad or vegetarian refried beans with carb-heavy tacos for a balanced dinner. Be aware that certain healthy fillings, like sofrito’s, which is spicy adobo-braised shredded tofu, or carnitas, which is slow-cooked pulled pig, may contain additional sugars to counteract spiciness.
2.3. Pick a Lean Filling
Select a cooked protein that comes from an animal or a vegetable without cutting the fat. Grilling options for chicken include roasting veggies and broiled fish.
They often include fewer calories than the baked versions. Use a low salt taco seasoning or create your own with spices when seasoning your filling.
3. What are the Benefits of Eating Tacos?
The idea that tacos, particularly “street tacos,” are a cheap and quick lunch option has persisted for a long time. But what kind of health damage do those tacos cause? In particular, those from fast food places, how nutrient-dense are they really?
If tacos are prepared with healthy ingredients, they can be nutritious. Tacos can be lower in sodium and a great source of the vitamins and minerals required for both psychological and physical well-being when made from scratch.
Tacos may be gluten-free depending on the taco shell that is used. Are you willing to learn more wholesome ways to eat tacos? Dig in!
3.1. Tacos Provide a Balanced Meal
Tacos provide a complete meal for a reasonable price by combining protein, lipids, and carbohydrates in one dish. If you didn’t know, a balanced meal provides you with carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins all in one serving.
Tacos contain carbohydrates from the vegetables and the tortilla, as well as protein from the beef, chicken, or fish, and lipids from the cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.
3.2. Tacos Use Fresh Ingredients
Apart from frozen, pre-processed tacos, the majority of tacos are made with fresh, healthy ingredients. When cooked as closely as possible to the Mexican form, with lots of fresh ingredients and well-prepared protein, tacos are nutrient-rich and provide a complete meal.
Fast food tacos may even be healthier than other meals on the menu because they come with tomatoes, lettuce, and salsa.
3.3. Tacos Can Be Gluten-Free
Traditionally, corn tortillas—which are naturally gluten-free—are used to make tacos. Tacos are permissible for consumption by people with Celiac disease or gluten or wheat sensitivity.
Make sure to check the ingredient list for any gluten-containing products to see whether they were produced in the same facility as gluten-containing products if you are cooking homemade tacos.
3.4. Homemade Tacos Can Be Lower in Sodium
By adding specific seasonings to homemade tacos, you can reduce the salt content of the meat. You can also use sea salt, which has a higher concentration of trace minerals and a lower sodium content than table salt.
You may also create corn tortillas using corn flour, maize, plus a few other special components if you have the time. You may find numerous taco recipes online that will teach you how to prepare them.
3.5. Breakfast Tacos are Healthier than Cereal or Bagels
The majority of breakfast cereals are largely composed of sugar. There is hardly any vitamin and mineral content and no protein. Change up your routine if you enjoy eating cereal for breakfast but feel drained an hour later.
When you eat protein and healthy carbohydrates for breakfast, you won’t experience the terrible sugar crash an hour later. Breakfast tacos can be eaten in the morning just as quickly as cereal, but they will fill you up and prevent you from eating another snack an hour later.
All you need to do in the morning is microwave the fillings and assemble the tacos before eating if you have your fillings prepared the night before. Additionally, compared to cold cereal, you have a more well-rounded meal.
3.6. Prevents Anemia
Tacos are a good source of iron, which helps the body fight anemia, a condition where there aren’t enough red blood cells in the body. Diabetes-related problems like damaged eyes and nerves may be brought on by anemia.
Red blood cells need iron to continue functioning normally. In order to do this, diabetic people can top their tacos with foods high in iron.
3.7. Boosts Immune System
Tacos contain specific veggies that give your body beneficial minerals and vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and Vitamin A, which fight off illnesses and infections. As a result, tacos can strengthen your immune system.
A regular body metabolism depends on the production of metabolic enzymes, which vitamin B has the capacity to do. Scurvy is one of the diseases that vitamin C helps to avoid, and vitamin A acts as an antioxidant in the body, reducing oxidative stress and enhancing vision.
3.8. Prevent Heart Disease
Are tacos healthy? Tacos include a lot of potassium, which lowers blood pressure. Adding too much salt to your taco can be dangerous and increase blood pressure, even though tacos are good for lowering high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease.
Tacos with a moderate sodium content can help diabetic individuals avoid developing high blood pressure and, eventually, heart disease, which can be fatal.
4. Junk Food vs. Traditional Tacos
Food items that are either pre-cooked or can be prepared more quickly than conventional food is referred to as junk food. They have spices that make it more pleasant but have more sugar, salt, and dietary fiber. Junk food is quite harmful and has no nutritional value. However, consumers still enjoy fast food since it is convenient to prepare and eat.
Whereas salsa, avocado, and seasoned, hot meat are typical ingredients in traditional tacos. Additionally, they provide a balanced meal. Junk food taco options haven’t been discussed much thus far since, for the most part, they aren’t a decent option.
Most junk-food restaurants fry their food in oil, add a ton of salt, cheese, sauce, and seasonings, and use few fresh vegetables since they are pricey and because they always strive to keep costs down.
Junk food shouldn’t be completely eliminated from a person’s diet, but it should be consumed sparingly and viewed as a pleasure rather than a replacement for a healthy meal.
5. Some Taco Recipes that You Will Love
Tacos are enjoyable to cook and eat and frequently call for ingredients that are reasonably priced, making them ideal for feeding a crowd. They can be dressed up with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cabbage, or try sliced radishes and pickled onions for a street taco feel. They are also completely customizable.
Any dietary requirement can be met by tacos. Both hard and soft corn tortillas, which are naturally gluten-free, can be used in many recipes. Try fillings like oyster mushrooms, Soyrizo, guacamole, or even just pan-fried potatoes and vegan cheese for plant-based diners. Below are some amazing must try tacos recipes.
5.1. Instant Pot Easy Chicken Tacos
In a bowl, mix the cilantro, lime juice, all the spices, and the minced garlic. The spice mixes should be applied to the chicken, mixed thoroughly, and allowed to marinade for 30 minutes. Select sauté on high when the pressure cooker is turned on. Chicken should be sautéed in warm oil for five minutes on each side.
Lock the lid by covering it. Choose to pressure cook for 18 minutes on high. Allow the pressure cooker to warm up after it beeps so that the pressure can freely release.
Get your tacos’ ingredients ready. When the valve drops, let go of the pressure and carefully open the lid. Juice and chicken should be mixed before serving. A great tortilla and all the fixings are a must.
5.2. Slow-Cooked Shredded Chicken Tacos
Add to the slow cooker all the cut vegetables. all of the dry seasonings specified for chicken (from paprika to ground black pepper). Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, then add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and cilantro. Cook for eight hours with a cover on a low heat setting.
When the chicken is finished cooking, remove a few pieces of the meat and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the liquid and place them in a big bowl. Shred the meat with two forks. Up till all the chicken is shredded, add chicken and some broth to the bowl.
Meat can either be kept in a separate bowl for simple taco construction or transferred back into the cooker to maintain warmth.
5.3. Plant-Based Tacos
In a big cast iron skillet or another stick-resistant skillet, fully heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the poblano and corn, and sauté for approximately 4 minutes, or until the poblano is gently browned and the corn starts to crackle and pop. To use as a garnish, take 1 tablespoon of the corn out.
Add the baby bellas to the skillet of vegetables, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are thoroughly softened and the mixture is browned.
To taste, include the chili powder, cumin, salt, and lime juice. Serve tacos stuffed with the veggie mixture, crema, guacamole, tomatoes, cilantro, and the reserved corn garnish.
6. Final Words
In conclusion, tacos can be part of a healthy diet depending on the ingredients used to make them. Tacos made with whole-grain tortillas, lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and a moderate amount of cheese or salsa can provide a balanced meal with a good amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
However, tacos can also be high in fat and calories if they are made with fried tortillas, large portions of fatty meats, and excessive amounts of cheese or sour cream. It is important to make informed choices and be mindful of portion sizes when eating tacos.
Overall, tacos can be a tasty and nutritious food option, as long as they are prepared in a balanced and healthy way.
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