What is a torta bread?
A torta is a type of Mexican sandwich made with a special oval-shaped bread called telera or birote. The bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside with a slightly sweet flavor. Tortas are typically stuffed with various meats, beans, cheese, avocado, veggies and other fillings.
The torta bread itself is made from wheat flour, water, salt and a small amount of sugar. It has a denser texture than regular sandwich bread. Traditional torta bread contains no added fats or oils. This makes it lower in fat and calories compared to other breads.
Nutrition facts for torta bread
The nutrition content of torta bread can vary slightly depending on the exact ingredients and baking methods used. However, most commercial torta bread packs about:
- Calories: 90 calories per 1 oz (28g) serving
- Carbs: 18 grams per 1 oz
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
For a full 6-inch torta bread roll of around 3–4 ounces (85–115 grams), you would get:
- Calories: 270–360 calories
- Total carbs: 54–72 grams
- Net carbs: 48–66 grams
As you can see, a single serving of torta bread contains a moderate amount of carbs. The majority of these carbs come from the starch in the wheat flour.
A plain torta roll without any fillings or toppings contains 18–24 grams of net carbs, based on the nutrition information above. This carb count may be higher or lower depending on the exact size and recipe of the bread.
How torta bread fits into a low carb or keto diet
Torta bread is not considered a low carb food. However, it may potentially fit into a low carb, ketogenic or diabetic diet in moderation.
Here are some tips for enjoying torta bread on a low carb eating plan:
- Opt for the smallest torta roll available, around 3 ounces.
- Load up your torta with low carb veggies instead of high carb toppings like beans or plantains.
- Ask for extra meat, cheese, avocado or other keto friendly fillings.
- Eat only half of your torta and take the rest to go.
- Look for low carb tortilla options to use instead of torta bread.
- Limit yourself to half a torta just a few times per week.
One half of a small 3 ounce torta roll will provide about 9-12 grams of net carbs.
When paired with low carb fillings and sides, this can potentially fit into a keto meal plan providing under 50 grams net carbs per day. But torta bread is still a high carb food compared to other keto options.
Lower carb alternatives to torta bread
If you are following a ketogenic diet or watching your blood sugar levels, you may want to minimize or avoid torta bread.
Here are some lower carb alternatives you can use to make tasty Mexican “torta” sandwiches or tacos:
- Low carb tortillas – Large sizes can hold sandwich fillings. Look for ones made with almond or coconut flour.
- Lettuce leaves – Use lettuce cups or leaves in place of bread.
- Portobello mushrooms – Grill or bake portobello caps and use as the “bun.”
- Cheese shells – Make taco shells from cheese or use cheese slices.
These options remove the carbs and wheat found in traditional torta bread, allowing you to enjoy the delicious taco and sandwich fillings.
You can also make chaffles, flax tortillas, or cloud bread. Or simply eat your favorite taco toppings in a bowl without any bread substitute.
With a little creativity, you can recreate torta sandwiches and tacos to be low glycemic and keto/diabetic friendly.
Tips for reducing carbs in tortas
Here are some other simple tips for ordering and making torta sandwiches with fewer carbs:
- Ask for extra meat and cheese to help balance the carbs.
- Load up with low carb veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, radish, cucumber, cabbage, peppers, etc.
- Avoid bean spreads and starchy veggies like corn or potatoes.
- Skip the plantains, tortilla chips or rice on the side.
- Use jalapenos, salsa or other low carb toppings for flavor.
- Ask for less or no mayo or creamy sauces.
- Get your torta “sin pan” (without bread) wrapped in lettuce.
- Opt for a single torta instead of a torta ahogada dipped in sauce.
With smart customizations and high protein/high fiber ingredients, you can enjoy torta sandwiches while keeping your carb count in check.
Sample meal plan with a torta
Here is a sample low carb meal plan featuring a torta sandwich:
- 3 eggs scrambled with 1 oz cheese and salsa
- 1/2 avocado
- Coffee with heavy cream
- 1/2 chicken torta on 3 oz roll
- Filled with grilled chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos
- Side salad with olive oil dressing
- Grilled steak
- Zucchini noodles with red sauce
- Side salad
This provides around 30-45 grams net carbs, depending on torta size and veggie portions. It’s a balanced keto diet meal plan with the torta sandwich as the main carb source.
Low carb torta recipes
Here are some tasty low carb recipe ideas for keto torta sandwiches:
Chicken Avocado Torta
- Low carb tortilla or lettuce leaves
- Chicken breast
- Sliced avocado
- Onion, cilantro
- Monterey jack cheese
- Lime juice
Steak and Cheese Torta
- Thin portobello mushroom cap
- Skirt steak
- Melted mozzarella
- Caramelized onions
- Lettuce, tomato
Tuna Melt Torta
- Flaxseed tortilla
- Tuna salad with mayo and celery
- Melted cheddar cheese
- Sliced tomatoes
There are so many possible combinations for low carb torta-inspired sandwiches. Feel free to get creative with your favorite keto ingredients between “buns” made from cheese, low carb tortillas, mushrooms or lettuce.
Are corn or flour tortillas lower carb?
Traditional flour and corn tortillas contain similar amounts of net carbs. A 6-inch tortilla may have around 15-20 grams carbs, depending on thickness.
However, flour tortillas are made with refined wheat flour, while corn tortillas use corn masa flour. For this reason, corn tortillas are naturally gluten free and considered a “whole grain” option.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, corn tortillas are the clear choice. They also offer a slightly different flavor and softer texture compared to flour.
For keto and low carb diets, there are more factors to consider:
- Fiber: Corn tortillas have a bit more fiber than flour, so the net carbs are marginally lower.
- Glycemic index: Corn has a lower GI than wheat flour, causing a slower blood sugar spike.
- Specialty options: There are more very low carb flour tortilla options than extra-low carb corn tortillas on the market.
Ultimately, both regular flour and corn tortillas are still quite high in total carbs for low carb diets. Opting for a low carb alternative made with almond or coconut flour is best for keto.
Should you avoid tortillas on a low carb diet?
On a strict keto or low carb diet, traditional wheat or corn tortillas should be minimized or avoided. A single small 6-inch tortilla can contain 15-20 grams of carbs — which could use up your entire carb budget for a meal.
However, you don’t necessarily have to eliminate tortilla flavors from your diet. Here are some tips:
- Look for low carb tortilla options with only 5-10g net carbs.
- Use lettuce or cabbage leaves instead of tortillas in tacos.
- Make taco bowls by pan-frying meat and topping with taco fixings.
- Add chili powder, cumin and lime to “tortilla-less” taco fillings.
- Opt for low carb burritos wrapped in cheese shells or low carb tortillas.
With flexibility and creativity, you can still enjoy tex-mex flavors and fixings in low carb ways. Limit high carb tortillas, but don’t fully eliminate garlic, chili, cilantro, salsa, avocado and other taco tastes you love.
Should you eat tortillas on a diabetic diet?
Corn or flour tortillas may fit into a diabetic diet plan occasionally in small portions. However, moderation is key.
Here are some tips for diabetics enjoying tortillas:
- Stick to one small or medium tortilla per meal.
- Pair tortillas with protein and healthy fats like avocado to prevent blood sugar spikes.
- Choose whole grain, high fiber corn tortillas instead of refined flour.
- Look for lower carb tortilla options made with coconut flour, almond flour, etc.
- Monitor your blood glucose carefully when eating tortillas.
- Avoid large burritos with multiple tortillas stacked together.
Corn tortillas have a lower glycemic index than flour, making them a better choice for diabetes. But portion control remains essential.
It’s also smart to enjoy tortillas along with veggies, healthy fats and proteins to slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes.
Healthiest low carb tortilla options
When shopping for low carb tortillas, read labels carefully and look at the total net carb counts. The lowest carb options use nut flours, seed flours or soy protein instead of wheat or corn flour.
Here are some of the healthiest low carb tortilla brands to look for:
- Tumaro’s: Tortillas made from chia seeds, wheat protein and inulin fiber. 8g net carbs.
- La Tortilla Factory: Tortillas made with teff flour. 10g net carbs.
- Mission: Carb Balance whole wheat tortillas. 9g net carbs.
- Ole’: Xtreme Wellness tortillas made with soy protein and wheat gluten. 5g net carbs.
- Siete Foods: Almond flour tortillas. 5g net carbs.
Some other brands like Toufayan and Franz make low calorie pita breads with around 5-7g net carbs as well.
Note that some low carb tortillas contain gluten, egg and dairy. Always check the ingredients for allergens if needed.
Healthiest homemade low carb tortilla recipes
You can also make healthy homemade low carb tortillas with coconut flour, almond flour or flaxmeal:
- 1/2 cup golden flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup oat fiber
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup water
Coconut Flour Tortillas
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
Almond Flour Tortillas
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
These recipes make grain-free and gluten-free low carb tortillas with only around 5 grams of net carbs each. Adjust the ingredients to achieve your preferred texture and thickness.
Is sourdough or sprouted wheat bread lower carb?
Sprouted wheat breads are slightly lower in net carbs compared to regular or sourdough wheat bread:
|Sprouted Wheat Bread (2 slice)||13g|
|Sourdough Bread (2 slice)||20g|
|Whole Wheat Bread (2 slice)||20g|
Sprouted bread is made from whole grains that have started germinating. This unlocks some nutrients and makes the carbs more digestible.
Sourdough uses wild yeast fermentation, which creates a thicker, chewier texture and tangy taste. But sourdough does not significantly lower the carb content compared to regular bread.
So for keto and low carb diets, sprouted wheat bread would be the best choice. However, regular wheat breads of any type are generally too high carb to eat regularly on a ketogenic diet.
A 6-inch torta bread roll contains around 18-24 grams of net carbs. This is quite high for keto and low carb diets, but tortas can fit into a moderate low carb meal plan a couple times per week in smaller portions.
There are also many ways to “low carb-ify” traditional tortas:
– Use lettuce wraps or low carb tortillas instead of the torta bread.
– Load up on meat, cheese, veggies and healthy fats inside the torta.
– Avoid bean spreads and starchy toppings.
– Opt for a salad or low carb side instead of tortilla chips.
With the right customizations and ingredient swaps, you can enjoy delicious Mexican torta flavors while maintaining low carb macro targets. Sprouted bread or low carb tortillas are your best options to substitute torta bread in low glycemic versions.