How many calories is in a small corn tortilla?

Quick Answer

A small corn tortilla (6 inches in diameter) contains approximately 60 calories. The exact calorie count can vary slightly depending on the brand and ingredients, but a plain corn tortilla with no added fat or oil will provide roughly 60 calories per tortilla.

Calories in Different Types of Tortillas

There are a few different factors that affect the calorie content of tortillas:

1. Flour vs. Corn

Flour tortillas tend to be higher in calories than corn tortillas. A 6-inch flour tortilla may contain 80-110 calories, while a 6-inch corn tortilla contains around 60 calories.

Corn tortillas are made from masa harina (corn flour) and water. They have fewer calories because corn is naturally lower in calories than wheat flour.

2. Size

The larger the tortilla, the more calories it will contain. A 12-inch flour tortilla may have over 300 calories, while a small 6-inch version may have 80-110 calories.

For corn tortillas, a 12-inch tortilla may have around 170 calories, compared to 60 calories in a 6-inch corn tortilla.

3. Added Fats

Some tortilla brands add oils, lard, butter or shortening to enhance the flavor and texture. These added fats will increase the calorie count.

A lard-enhanced flour tortilla may contain 140 calories or more per 6-inch tortilla. Non-fat tortillas are the lowest calorie options.

Here is a calorie comparison of different tortilla sizes and types:

Tortilla Type Small (6-inch) Medium (8-inch) Large (10-inch) Extra Large (12-inch)
Corn Tortilla 60 calories 85 calories 110 calories 170 calories
Flour Tortilla 80-110 calories 120-170 calories 150-230 calories 240-300 calories

As shown, corn tortillas are lower in calories than flour, and smaller tortillas contain fewer calories than larger sizes.

Calories in a Small Corn Tortilla

A plain corn tortilla that is 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter contains approximately 60 calories.

However, the exact amount may vary between brands based on:

– Thickness – Thicker tortillas contain a little more calories than thinner, lighter ones.

– Added ingredients – Some brands add small amounts of fat, oil or salt, which increases calorie content.

– Cooking method – Frying tortillas in oil increases the calories more than steaming or heating them.

To determine the calories in a specific brand of small corn tortillas, check the Nutrition Facts label on the package.

For reference, here are the calories for some common brands of plain corn tortillas that are 6 inches in diameter:

  • Mission – 60 calories
  • Guerrero – 60 calories
  • Foods of New Mexico – 50 calories
  • Calidad – 50 calories
  • La Banderita – 60 calories

As you can see, most plain, small corn tortillas from major brands provide right around 60 calories per tortilla.

Nutrition Facts for Small Corn Tortillas

In addition to calories, here are some of the key nutrition facts for a 60-calorie corn tortilla:

Total Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 10 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 12 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 1 g

Corn tortillas are naturally low in fat and saturated fat. They contain no cholesterol or trans fat.

The main nutrient in corn tortillas is carbohydrate from the corn. A small 6-inch tortilla provides 12 grams of carbs, including 1 gram of fiber.

Corn tortillas also provide small amounts of protein and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. Overall, they can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

Calorie Density of Corn Tortillas

In addition to counting calories, looking at the calorie density of foods can be helpful.

Calorie density is the number of calories in a given weight of food. It is often measured as calories per gram (cal/g).

Knowing the calorie density can help with portion control and weight management. Low calorie density foods provide fewer calories per bite or serving.

Corn tortillas have a calorie density of approximately 1.6 calories per gram. In comparison, here are the calorie densities for some other common foods:

Food Calorie Density (cal/g)
Broccoli 0.4
Carrots 0.6
Apple 0.5
Corn Tortilla 1.6
Whole Wheat Bread 2.7
Cheddar Cheese 4.0
Peanut Butter 5.7

As you can see, corn tortillas are low in calorie density compared to higher fat/higher calorie options like cheese, breads and peanut butter. Choosing more foods with a low calorie density can help support a healthy diet.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Corn Tortillas

For those looking to further reduce the number of calories in corn tortillas, here are a few options:

– Choose smaller size tortillas. The smaller the tortilla, the fewer calories it will have.

– Select thinner tortillas over thick varieties.

– Look for low-carb or high-fiber tortillas made with added wheat bran or oat fiber. These may have just 30-50 calories in a 6-inch tortilla.

– Use lettuce wraps or shells instead of tortillas in some dishes.

– Limit high-calorie toppings and fillings like cheese, sour cream, butter and ranch dressing. Load up on veggies instead.

– Opt for healthier cooking methods like steaming, grilling or baking instead of frying tortillas in oil.

– Enjoy tortillas open-faced instead of making dense, layered dishes like burritos or enchiladas.

– Skip the chips and enjoy fresh salsa with cut veggies for dipping instead.

With some simple substitutions and smart preparation methods, you can enjoy corn tortillas as part of a healthy diet. Moderation and portion control are key when incorporating tortillas into your meals.

Health Benefits of Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas can be a nutritious choice as part of a balanced diet. Here are some of the top health benefits this food provides:

1. High in Fiber

The corn bran in tortillas provides insoluble fiber that promotes regularity and overall digestive health. The fiber also helps you feel full.

2. Contain Antioxidants

Corn contains beneficial plant compounds like anthocyanins and zeaxanthin which have antioxidant properties.

3. Naturally Gluten-Free

Corn tortillas are safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. They provide a versatile gluten-free grain option.

4. Low Glycemic Index

Despite containing carbs, corn tortillas have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause sharp spikes in blood sugar.

5. Source of B Vitamins

Corn tortillas provide small amounts of B vitamins like thiamin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid.

6. Low in Fat

Made without added fat or oils, corn tortillas are almost fat-free and low in calories.

7. Contain Minerals

You’ll get small amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc from corn tortillas.

8. Versatile

Corn tortillas can be incorporated into tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, nachos, enchiladas and more. Their versatility makes them easy to enjoy regularly.

Overall, when eaten in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, corn tortillas can provide valuable nutrition without a lot of calories.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the calories in corn tortillas:

1. Are corn tortillas healthier than flour tortillas?

Yes, corn tortillas are generally healthier than flour tortillas. They are lower in calories, carbs and fat, while containing more fiber. Corn also has a lower glycemic index than flour.

2. Are fried tortillas less healthy?

Frying tortillas adds significant calories from oil or lard, plus more fat and sodium. Baked, grilled or steamed tortillas are healthier cooking methods.

3. How many tortillas should I eat per day?

1-2 small (6-inch) corn tortillas makes a reasonable serving. Limit tortilla intake to 1-3 servings daily as part of a balanced diet, and moderate higher calorie fillings and toppings.

4. What are lower calorie options besides tortillas?

Options include lettuce wraps or cups, mushrooms caps, zucchini rounds, collard greens, cabbage leaves, cauliflower slices, or other veggie vessels for fillings.

5. Are corn tortillas a good option on a weight loss diet?

Yes, in moderation. Corn tortillas are low in calories and fat while providing fiber. Be mindful of portion sizes and what you put on/in them for the best weight loss results.


A 6-inch plain corn tortilla contains approximately 60 calories, with 12 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of fiber. Exact calories may vary slightly by brand. While small in size, corn tortillas can provide antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They make a healthier choice than flour tortillas or fried tortillas. Be mindful of portion sizes, and fill your tortillas with lean proteins and veggies to maximize nutrition. Corn tortillas can be part of a healthy, well-rounded diet when consumed in moderation.

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