You are here

The Weird Reason for the Health Hype Around Taco Bell's New Fried Taco

Taco Bell is launching a new low-carb taco that swaps out the corn taco shell for a fried chicken version. It's called the Naked Chicken Chalupa—and at first taste, people have described it as "healthy" and "fresh." But is a deep-fried chicken shell really a healthy choice?


A photo posted by Q (@brandeating) on

Not a chance. It's not surprising that one of the first people to try it noticed it was super salty right away. Plus, saving on the carbs doesn't mean you're saving on calories, and this taco is a prime example of that.

If you're in a crunch and need a healthier choice at Taco Bell, go for the chicken soft tacos. Hold the cheese and load up on lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa, and hot sauce for max flavor and potential metabolism-boosting power from the chilies. Add some black beans for extra protein and filling fiber.

When you're faced with trying to make the healthiest choice at a fast-food restaurant, say no to anything that's breaded and/or fried (like fried chicken). Choose a grilled chicken sandwich or wrap on whole-grain bread and ask them to hold any mayo or fatty sauces; use mustard instead.

If you're low-carbing or sensitive to wheat, ask for a chicken or turkey burger wrapped in lettuce with tomato or get a salad and a light dressing. Add the dressing to your salad with your fork so you don't end up using more than you need.

And if you're ever in doubt about what to order at a fast-food restaurant, ask for nutrition information (if it's not already displayed). Most stores will have a pamphlet or nutrition details on their website so you can make the healthiest choice possible.


Christy Brissette, RD

Christy Brissette is one of North America’s top dietitians and a leading nutrition and food communications expert. She is the President of 80 Twenty Nutrition, a nutrition and food media company and private practice. Her mission? To end food confusion and dieting once and for all.  More →

More from Christy
  • The Healthy Pumpkin Spice Flavored Snacks You've Gotta Try
  • The Surprising Health Benefits of Almonds
  • The Post-Workout Drinks You Should Be Downing