It can be tricky to eat out when you’re on a diet. On the one hand, you want to do your best to stick with your eating plan; on the other, you still have to live.
Well, here’s good news for Taco Bell fans sticking to a keto way of life: You can still eat at the chain without torpedoing your diet. Just know that you might need to be a little creative. “When looking at the menu, you should be looking for protein,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “But at the Bell, sugar is lurking in these items as well.” Case in point: You might think it’s a good idea to get the sausage Grande Scrambler Burrito without the wrap, but the sausage patty is actually made with corn syrup and dextrose (both sugars, both not keto-friendly).
You’ll also want to take a pass on the beans, which are “too high carb to eat on the keto diet,” says Beth Warren, R.D., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl. But, she adds, “high fat additives like shredded cheese, bacon, sour cream, and guacamole are okay, along with the veggies and lettuce.”
With that in mind, here are the best keto-friendly menu options at Taco Bell. All of them require Bell staffers to make some tweaks for you, but they shouldn’t have trouble doing so.
Naked Egg Taco Bundle
The wrap is actually an egg with this taco, so—hey—no tortilla to get rid of! It is packed with potatoes, though, which need to go. Instead, ask for steak. If you want to kick things up a notch, you can add guacamole.
Breakfast Soft Taco With Bacon
Ditch the actual soft taco shell (“the shells and tortillas are very high in carbohydrates,” Keatley says) and zero in on the eggs and bacon. You can order a few and get them in a bowl for a hearty breakfast. Or, if you really want to go next-level, you can ask to have it wrapped up in the egg they use for the Naked Egg Taco Bundle.
Take a pass on the tortilla wrap and potatoes, and ask for the scrambler in a bowl. You’re left with eggs, bacon, cheese, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, and pico de gallo.
Mini Skillet Bowl
Swap out the potatoes for steak in this bowl. You can ask for a double order of eggs if you’re feeling extra hungry.
Power Menu Bowl
Take a pass on the seasoned rice and beans. While you could have the chicken, if you really want to be on your A-game, you can get rid of it and ask for a double order of the marinated beef instead (it has less sugar per serving than the chicken), Keatley says. You can also get extra romaine for added crunch and load up on plenty of guac and sour cream.
Beefy 5-Layer Burrito
Get rid of the tortilla and have your keto-friendly burrito in a bowl. Ask for it sans beans and load up on meat and nacho cheese. For a little something extra, get lettuce added to the mix.
Fiesta Taco Salad
Right off the bat, you’ll want to get rid of the crispy tortilla shell and ask for the salad in a bowl instead. Take off the rice and black beans, and don’t forget to ask for the tortilla strips that come on top to be taken off as well. Load up on sour cream, pico de gallo, cheese, and veggies.
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