When trying to make healthy food choices, it’s important to understand the calorie content of the foods you eat. Steak tacos can be a tasty option when dining out, but the calorie count may be higher than you expect. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the calorie count for Street’s steak tacos and provide some tips for enjoying them as part of a balanced diet.
A Closer Look at Street Steak Tacos
Street is a popular taco chain with locations across the United States. Their menu features tacos with a variety of meat fillings, including steak. Let’s focus on their Classic Steak Taco option.
Each Street Classic Steak Taco contains the following:
- Flour tortilla
- Marinated steak
- Onions and cilantro
- Lime wedge
- Tomatillo salsa
The exact calorie count can vary depending on the size of the taco and specific ingredients. According to Street’s website nutrition information, each taco contains approximately:
- Calories: 210
- Total fat: 9g
- Protein: 15g
- Carbs: 20g
Calculating Calories for 3 Tacos
Now that we know the basic nutritional breakdown for a single Street steak taco, let’s multiply that by 3 to determine the calorie count for 3 tacos:
- 1 taco = 210 calories
- 3 tacos = 210 x 3 = 630 calories
So 3 of the Classic Steak Tacos from Street would contain approximately 630 calories. This provides a rough estimate, but the actual amount could be a little higher or lower depending on any customizations or fluctuations in the ingredients.
Putting the Calorie Count in Context
630 calories is a significant portion of an average adult’s recommended daily calorie intake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides these general guidelines for daily calorie needs:
- Women: 1,600-2,400 calories
- Men: 2,000-3,000 calories
So 630 calories from a single meal would provide around 26% to 39% of a woman’s total daily needs, or 21% to 32% for a man. While not excessive, it’s a significant dent in the day’s calorie allotment.
Tips for Enjoying Street Steak Tacos as Part of a Balanced Diet
Here are some tips to help manage calories while still enjoying Street’s steak tacos in moderation:
- Split an order of 3 tacos with a friend to reduce individual calorie intake.
- Opt for healthier fillings like grilled chicken or vegetarian when available.
- Use lettuce wraps instead of flour tortillas to reduce carbs.
- Fill up on fresh veggie sides like street corn, cabbage slaw, or black bean salad.
- Balance out the meal with lower calorie foods the rest of the day.
- Limit high-calorie snacks and beverages around mealtimes.
- Add extra movement throughout the day to allow for a special treat.
With some mindful adjustments, you can still enjoy the great taste of Street tacos while maintaining a healthy calorie balance. Moderation and variety are key.
Nutritional Pros and Cons of Street Steak Tacos
In addition to calories, it’s helpful to understand the overall nutritional value of this menu option. Here’s an overview of some pros and cons:
- Protein: Steak provides a good protein boost with approximately 15g per taco.
- Vitamins and minerals: Ingredients like lime, onions, cilantro, and salsa provide some beneficial vitamins like Vitamin C, along with minerals.
- Non-fried: The steak is grilled instead of fried, making it lower in unhealthy fats.
- Fiber: The flour tortilla and salsa provide a few grams of fiber per taco.
- Saturated fat: Steak contains some saturated fats.
- Sodium: The seasoned meat and salsa contribute to the high sodium content.
- Carbs: Flour tortillas are higher in carbs than other wrap options.
- No vegetables: Only minimal veggies from onions, cilantro, and salsa.
Overall, steak tacos can fit into a balanced routine when enjoyed in moderation and combined with more nutrient-dense food choices.
Comparing Steak Taco Calories to Other Taco Options
Street offers steak, chicken, carnitas (pork), fish, and vegetarian fillings for their tacos. How does the calorie count compare between these options?
Here’s a calorie overview of Street’s main taco choices in a Classic (flour tortilla) serving:
|Taco Filling||Calories (each)|
As you can see, the steak and carnitas pork options are the highest in calories. Chicken and fish clock in a little lower, at 170 calories per taco. For the lowest calorie option, the veggie tacos are just 150 calories each.
Making the Most Nutritious Choice
While calories give us one comparison metric, looking at overall nutrition provides more context:
- Chicken – Lean source of protein. Lower in saturated fat than steak.
- Fish – Provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Lighter calorie option.
- Veggie – Highest in fiber with added vitamins from ingredients like beans or soy protein.
In terms of nutritional value, the veggie and fish tacos likely come out on top. But keeping calories within your daily needs, steak tacos can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a varied diet.
Comparing Street Tacos to Other Fast Food Options
Street tacos provide a convenient fast food option full of fresh flavors. But how do they compare nutritionally to burgers, fries, pizza, and other standard fast food fare?
Let’s look at calories for a few equivalent fast food meals:
- 3 Street Steak Tacos = 630 calories
- McDonald’s Big Mac + Medium Fries = 870 calories
- Wendy’s Cheeseburger + Medium Fries = 800 calories
- 2 Slices (1/4 Large) Cheese Pizza = 700 calories
- Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl = 705 calories
The taco meal clocks in lower than equivalent burger or pizza options. Tacos can be a lighter fast food choice depending on your toppings and sides. But fried sides like chips and queso could quickly add excess calories.
Making Healthy Choices at Fast Food Restaurants
To keep your fast food meals nutritious, consider these tips:
- Review calorie counts and nutrition info online before ordering.
- Opt for grilled, baked or roasted options when available.
- Choose smaller or “kids” sized portions.
- Flavor foods with salsa or mustard instead of condiments like mayo.
- Pair meals with fruit or low-fat dairy options, not fries or shakes.
- Split portions or take half home for later.
Street tacos can be a relatively balanced choice when using healthy preparation methods and keeping portions in check.
The Bottom Line
When dining at Street, 3 of the Classic Steak Tacos will provide around 630 total calories. This represents over 20% of most adults’ recommended daily intake, so it’s a significant calorie load from a single meal. To enjoy Street tacos while maintaining good nutrition and energy balance, consider these final tips:
- Select healthier fillings like chicken, fish, or veggie when possible.
- Use lettuce wraps instead of flour tortillas.
- Fill up on fresh produce from sides and salsa.
- Share an order or take a portion home.
- Balance out calories for the rest of your day.
- Add extra movement and activity as needed.
Tacos can be part of an overall healthy diet when approached mindfully. Understanding calorie counts is one tool for making the best choices for your needs while still enjoying delicious flavors.