Keto is a relatively easy diet to follow when you eat at home. Grill some meat or fish, make a big green salad, and add some healthy fats – the perfect keto meal. But what about when you have to eat on the go? That’s when the problems start!
Eating out on keto has always been hard. Keto might be popular with dieters, but the food industry has not kept up with the demand for low-carb food. And as for takeouts? Avoiding carbs is often all but impossible. I mean, are there keto Taco Bell options?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes, but you are going to have to make some smart choices to ensure you do not derail your diet. Eating keto at Taco Bell is entirely possible. That’s good news if, like most low-carb dieters, you can’t prepare all your meals yourself and have to grab food when you are away from home.
Before you go
Forewarned is forearmed, or so the saying goes. You might head into Taco Bell to order low carb food but end up giving in to temptation when you are faced with all those yummy high-carb options. After all, even the strongest willpower cracks from time to time!
If you know you have willpower issues, make sure you know exactly what you are going to order before you go into Taco Bell. Don’t spend time perusing the menu and trying to make up your mind on the spot. If you are hungry, that’s when you are most likely to end up making non-keto food choices.
Instead, decide on what you are going to eat well in advance. Write down your order so that, if you have a brain block, you can’t forget your good intentions. Don’t be tempted to order the same meal as your dining companions either – it’s okay to be different. You could even look at the menu online to make deciding what to eat even easier. Experiment with various customization options to create your perfect low-carb Taco Bell meal.
Keto is a fantastic weight loss diet, but just a small serving of carbs will kick you out of ketosis and stop your body from burning fat. Because of this, and considering how long it took you to get into ketosis in the first place, eating carbs is self-defeating. Cheating on the keto diet never works.
To summarize, plan your meal in advance and then stick to your plan when you order. Stay strong, enjoy your meal, and walk away happy in the knowledge that you are still in ketosis and burning fat like a fiery furnace!
Best keto breakfast options at Taco Bell
Taco Bell has two menus, their breakfast menu and their regular menu. The breakfast menu is available until 11 a.m. so, because of this, make sure you take into account when you intend to eat as that will affect the availability of low carb fast food at Taco Bell.
With keto, typical breakfast foods like waffles, pancakes, and cereals are off the menu. However, keto staples like eggs, sausage, and bacon are perfect low-carb foods. Taco Bell has an excellent option for keto dieters: The Mini Skillet Bowl. With plenty of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and only six grams of carbs, this is a good way to start your keto day.
Consisting of eggs, steak, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, creamy chipotle sauce, make sure you hold the potatoes because they come as standard and even a small portion will disrupt your diet.
Another good keto breakfast option is the Naked Egg Taco. In this meal, the traditional tortilla has been replaced with an egg wrap making it all-but carb free. Again, skip the potatoes, and you’ll be true to your keto diet. Add some extra guacamole to increase your intake of healthy fats. A side of sausage will add protein to your meal.
If these two breakfast options don’t appeal, consider the Grande Scrambler Burrito. You’ll still need to say no to the potatoes and tortilla, but you’ll get a sizable portion of eggs, shredded cheese, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, and Pico de Gallo – a great way to start your keto day.
Skip that all-too-familiar breakfast beverage of orange juice. It’s loaded with sugar. Instead, have water or a black coffee. Iced black coffee is another good option – especially if you prefer a cold drink with your breakfast.
Lunch and dinner at Taco Bell
Rice and beans are staples of Tex-Mex food but, unfortunately, they are also high in carbs. The same is true of all tortillas and nachos. Potatoes, another common ingredient, are also off the menu when you go keto. Because of this, whatever you order at Taco Bell for lunch or dinner, make sure you skip these foods, most of which are included as standard.
Despite skipping these all-too-common foods, there are still some healthy options at Taco Bell for keto dieters.
The best choice for most people is the Power Menu Steak or Power Menu Chicken Bowl. Both contain less than eight grams of carbs and provide plenty of protein and fat. Add some extra guacamole, shredded cheese, and meat to make them more substantial if you have a big appetite. Without beans and rice, you may find this meal is not as filling as it could be so adding these extras can help keep hunger at bay.
The Beefy Five-Layer Burrito is another good keto-friendly option providing you hold the beans and tortilla. If you do this, you’ll end up with only five grams of carbs, which makes it very keto-friendly. The Burrito Supreme is equally low in carbs if you skip the tortilla and beans. It also contains some extra veggies, making it a marginally healthier choice.
While there is no such thing as a keto taco bowl at Taco Bell, you can still enjoy their tasty Fiesta Taco Salad providing you ask for a bowl instead of the tortilla shell, no rice, beans, or tortilla strips, and add extra sour cream, Pico de Gallo, cheese, and veggies.
You might come over as a fussy eater as this is major customization but remember, you are the boss, and it’s perfectly okay to modify your meals to match your dietary requirements. These changes mean that what would have been a very high-carb meal now only contains five grams of carbs, making it a keto diet winner.
Side orders and extras
One of the great things about Taco Bell is that you can customize your meal by adding or subtracting ingredients. This means that meals that do not seem to fit the low-carb diet can be made to do so. While it costs nothing to skip things like potatoes, rice, beans, and tortillas, to may cost you a little extra money to add certain ingredients, but Taco Bell is pretty cheap anyway, so this needn’t be a deal breaker.
Good keto-friendly sides and extras at Taco Bell include:
- Eggs (0g carbs, 5g fat, 3g protein)
- Bacon (0g carbs, 5g fat, 5g protein)
- Avocado Ranch Sauce (0g carbs, 3.5g fat, 0g protein)
- Sausage Crumbles (0g carbs, 5g fat, 2g protein)
- Romaine Lettuce (0.5g carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Sausage Patty (0.5g carbs, 9g fat, 5g protein)
- Fire Grilled Chicken (0.5g carbs, 3g fat, 16g protein)
- Pico de Gallo (1g carb, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Cheddar Cheese (1g carb, 4g fat, 6g protein)
- Marinated Grilled Steak (1g carb, 2g fat, 8g protein)
- Guacamole (1.5g carbs, 3g fat, 0g protein)
- Jalapenos (0.5g carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Nacho Cheese Sauce (2g carbs, 2g fat, 0g protein)
- Sour Cream (2g carbs, 1.5g fat, 0g protein)
Keto-friendly beverages at Taco Bell
Don’t ruin your low-carb breakfast, lunch, or dinner by chugging down a sugar-loaded soda with your meal. Even the smallest regular soda contains over 40 grams of sugar, and who has one of those? Most of us will order at least a medium or large size, and that’s a massive amount of sugar and carbs. Orange juice, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Lemonade, and Candy Freeze are all off the menu because they are all similarly high in sugar.
Instead, slake your thirst with one of the sugar-free alternatives available at Taco Bell. Your options are:
- Diet Pepsi
- Pepsi Zero Sugar
- Unsweetened Lipton Iced Tea
- Iced coffee – no sugar or creamer
- Coffee – no sugar or creamer
Given that the keto diet can lead to dehydration, and that makes all of the symptoms of keto flu much worse, water is probably your best beverage choice. Also, sugar-free and diet drinks are often sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which may be unhealthy. If you do have a diet soda, make it a small one and don’t drink it too often. Think of diet soda as a treat and not a beverage mainstay.
Ordering dessert at Taco Bell
Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you like to end your meal with a dessert? Bad news folks, at Taco Bell there are no keto-friendly dessert options. They offer cinnamon twists and Cinnabon delights which all look, sound, and taste amazing but they are all so high in sugar and carbs you’ll be out of ketosis before you finish your first bite!
If you crave something sweet after your savory low carb fast food at Taco Bell, pop a stick of sugar-free gum in your mouth and get chewing. Gum sweetened with sugar alcohol xylitol is especially good. As well as being sugar-free, xylitol is healthy for your teeth and gums and is an effective tooth whitening agent. Chewing gum is a sensible way to bring your meal to an end without having dessert.
Most towns and cities have at least one Taco Bell. Their food is tasty, well-priced, and ready in minutes. More flavorsome than just a burger, Taco Bell is a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner option for keto dieters.
However, you are going to have to modify almost anything you choose from this fast food franchise, and a lot of their food items are off the menu. Even a small portion of beans, rice, potatoes, or tortillas will kick you out of ketosis so fast your head spins!
Does this mean that eating at Taco Bell is healthy? It’s certainly not the worse place you can eat. Many of their meals contain plenty of vegetables, and there are some decent protein and healthy fat choices too. However, mass-produced food will never be as healthy as the food you make for yourself.
For example, you could make a very healthy Tex-Mex burrito filling with lean ground beef, vegetables, and spices, and then wrap it in lettuce leaves topped with shredded cheese, full-fat sour cream, and homemade guacamole. This meal would take no more than 15 minutes to make.
Eating fast food is convenient, but that convenience may come at a cost. You can definitely find keto-friendly fast food options but view them as a last resort. Instead, do your best to prepare your own food so that it is not just low in carbs but healthy too.