Tacos are an international sensation. These popular foods are thought to originate in Mexico long before the Spanish arrived. People used only the freshest ingredients to make soft, flat corn tortillas and often chose cooked organs and fish as fillings.
Today, tacos are a popular delicacy that is versatile, easily available, cheap, and simple to make. The question is: how can you include tacos in a balanced meal? Are tacos good – in a healthy way? Tacos are an excellent option for you to sneak more veggies into your diet.
Overall, tacos could be a good source of fiber and protein, as some may not be packed with calories. But, certain items and condiments, amounts of salt, and fat can increase the number of calories you consume. When you dine out, one order of tacos might have over 60 grams of fat and 1,500 calories.
Here is a quick guide on how to add tacos to a balanced diet.
Why Are Tacos a Good Meal?
When buying tacos, there is something for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or meat lover; you can find a taco that’s tailored to your taste. Because of their infinite varieties and opportunities, tacos make it easy to improvise.
There are hard and soft tacos made with flour or corn tortillas filled with beef, turkey, chicken, or pork. Of course, there are also seafood tacos and vegan substitutes like rice, potatoes, and beans. The best thing about eating tacos is that you can customize the product to your diet preference.
Tacos can also be healthy. You can include a range of ingredients that contain antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. But, whether the tacos are healthy enough depends on how you prepare them. Let’s take a look at the overall healthiness and main nutrients of different types of tacos.
Chicken tacos are packed with protein. In 100 grams of hard chicken tacos, you get 13 g protein, 255 calories, 3 g fiber, and 14 g fat. Chicken is a great source of vitamin B, selenium, iron, and zinc. Lean cuts of chicken meat are often recommended for reducing the odds of chronic disease.
Beef tacos are readily available foods. They often contain a lot of fat and calories. In 100 grams of a hard beef taco, you get 9 g protein, 226 calories, 4 g fiber, and 13 g fat. Although beef has healthy vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids, consuming too much-processed beef can increase the odds of some chronic ailments.
Shrimp and Fish Tacos
Seafood tacos are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. But, if you want a fish taco that can accommodate a well-balanced diet, then opt for tacos with fatty fish. They are highly concentrated in omega-3 oils. This can be beneficial for brain health.
In a classic 100 grams of a hard fish taco, you get 10 g protein, 229 calories, 3 g fiber, and 12 g fat. However, these foods do smell.
Veggie tacos are a go-to choice for weight loss. They contain the least amount of salt, fat, and calories. If you pick a taco with super healthy veggies, like tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, or green chiles, you can get a hefty dose of nutrients.
Other popular vegetables used in healthy tacos are cauliflower, pinto beans, black beans, and mushrooms. In 100g of hard bean taco, you get 6 g protein, 170 calories, 7 g fat, and 4 g fiber.
What Is a Healthy Way to Eat Tacos?
Want to know what is the healthiest way to make tacos? Studies show that the biggest associations with weight gain were found in people who consumed too many potato chips, potatoes in general, processed and unprocessed red meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
To keep a taco from being too high in salt, fat, or calories, you might want to avoid using sour cream, mayonnaise-based sauces, salsa with sugar, refried beans cooked with lard, etc. When you are not using too many garnishes and toppings, you can control the calorie intake and still enjoy a delicious meal.
Here are a couple of tips to make tacos healthy:
- Skip the chips
- Make salsa at home to reduce the salt intake
- Choose corn or whole-grain tortillas
- Use fish, chicken, or turkey in your tacos
- Skip greasy ground beef
- Choose a vegetarian taco if you are on a low-cholesterol diet
- Season with herbs, fresh garlic, or lime instead of store-bought seasoning
- Serve with low-calorie veggies
Are Homemade Tacos Healthy?
Making a taco at home can be a healthier choice, mainly because you are in control of the ingredients, seasonings, and toppings you use. Homemade tacos often have less salt and more veggies. To make the healthiest homemade tacos, stick to lean meat, fresh ingredients, and portion control.
Even if you are eating a taco with healthy ingredients, you need to watch the amount of food you consume. Visual cues for portion control are a great way of balancing food intake. According to experts, people have higher odds of eating more when they are offered food in bigger portions.
Portion control helps you mitigate these challenges and keeps the weight off. So, when you are eating tacos, try to avoid overindulging in food.
Can You Eat Tacos Every Day and Be Healthy?
Tacos come in so many varieties. All the different textures and flavors make tacos a popular food. But, tacos are best consumed in moderation. Especially if you are eating tacos that have a combination of cheese and meat, which could be high in saturated fat.
Your body obtains all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from a diverse diet. So, instead of eating just tacos, try to add different types of foods, veggies, and fruits to your diet. You will be surprised at the various meals you can make.
You can include tacos in your nutritious and balanced diet. When you opt for quality ingredients, you can supply the body with the necessary nutrients and still maintain a healthy weight. Just make sure to eat a variety of healthy foods, not just tacos, to keep the organs in good shape.