The Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme is one of the most popular items on the Taco Bell menu. It consists of a flour tortilla filled with ground beef, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, nacho cheese sauce and a crunchy tostada shell. At first glance, the Crunchwrap Supreme may seem like an indulgent treat. However, a closer look at its nutritional information reveals that it may not be as unhealthy as perceived.
Calories and Macronutrients
The Crunchwrap Supreme contains approximately 520 calories, 24 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbs, and 21 grams of protein. This supplies a significant amount of calories, but is fairly balanced in terms of macronutrients. The fat content is a bit high, but most of it comes from the sour cream and cheese. The protein and carb content is moderate. Overall, the calorie and macronutrient amounts are reasonable for a meal.
Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to the macronutrients, the Crunchwrap Supreme contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The lettuce and tomato provide vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and folate. The meat supplies iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and niacin. The tostada shell adds fiber and calcium. So despite being a fast food item, the Crunchwrap Supreme delivers a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. This makes it more nutritious than other menu items like nachos, quesadillas or burritos which are mostly just tortillas and cheese.
Healthier Customization Options
One way to make the Crunchwrap Supreme even healthier is to customize it. Instead of ground beef, you can request grilled chicken or steak. This eliminates a lot of the saturated fat and calories. Getting it “Fresco style” replaces the cheese and sour cream with pico de gallo, further reducing fat and calories. Another option is to ask for extra lettuce and tomato instead of cheese, to increase the vegetable content. beans, rice or potatoes can also be added to turn it into more of a meal with complex carbs and fiber. Overall, the ability to modify the ingredients is a big plus for the health factor.
Nutritional Value Compared to Other Fast Food
Compared to other popular fast food chain items, the Crunchwrap Supreme is reasonably healthy. Here’s how it stacks up:
|Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
|McDonald’s Big Mac
|Burger King Whopper
As you can see, the Crunchwrap Supreme is lower in calories, fat and carbs compared to burgers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King. The only item with fewer calories is a basic McDonald’s hamburger. So nutritionally, the Crunchwrap Supreme is one of the better options in the world of fast food.
High Sodium Content
The one nutritional aspect where the Crunchwrap Supreme is not ideal is its high sodium content. It contains about 1,520 mg of sodium. The recommended daily intake of sodium is less than 2,300 mg per day. So the Crunchwrap Supreme supplies over half of the maximum daily amount. The cheese, beef, tortilla and special sauce drive up the sodium significantly. This level of sodium is quite high and excessive consumption may increase risk of high blood pressure.
Tips to Reduce Sodium
Luckily, there are some ways to reduce the sodium content of the Crunchwrap Supreme:
- Ask for no salty special sauce
- Get it without nacho cheese
- Replace beef with chicken or steak
- Add extra lettuce, tomato, beans and rice instead of cheese
- Request light salt on the beef
- Use only half of the tortilla
Implementing some of these tweaks can potentially cut a few hundred milligrams of sodium out of the Crunchwrap Supreme. This would make it much more cardiovascular-friendly.
Overall, is the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme healthy? The answer is…it’s relatively healthy for fast food. It provides a decent amount of protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals from its ingredients. The calorie, fat and carb content is moderate compared to most other fast food. However, the high sodium content is a concern, especially for those sensitive to salt. With some simple customizations like getting grilled chicken instead of beef, replacing cheese with veggies, and reducing salty sauces, the Crunchwrap Supreme can be part of a pretty balanced meal. In the fast food environment, it’s one of the healthier options available.
Healthier Homemade Version
For an even healthier Crunchwrap Supreme, it’s easy to recreate it at home with some simple substitutions:
- Whole wheat tortilla
- Ground turkey or grass-fed beef
- Refried beans
- Shredded lettuce
- Chopped tomato
- Low-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- Whole grain tostada shell
- Low-sodium taco seasoning
- Avocado slices
- Cook ground turkey or grass-fed beef with low-sodium taco seasoning
- Spread refried beans on whole wheat tortilla
- Top with cooked meat, lettuce, tomato, Greek yogurt and avocado slices
- Place whole grain tostada shell on one side
- Fold sides of tortilla over and wrap around fillings
- Heat in skillet until tortilla is lightly browned
This healthier homemade version of the Crunchwrap Supreme is lower in calories, fat, carbs and sodium. It has more fiber, more vitamins and minerals, and higher quality ingredients. So you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of the Crunchwrap Supreme, but make it much better for your health by tweaking the recipe at home.
The Bottom Line
Is the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme healthy? In moderation, yes it can be part of a balanced diet. It provides more nutrition than most other fast food options with a decent amount of protein and vitamins. However, the high sodium content should be reduced by customizing the ingredients. Overall, it’s one of the healthier choices at Taco Bell, especially when ordered fresco style. An even better option is to recreate it yourself at home with higher quality ingredients and less salt. As an occasional fast food treat, the Crunchwrap Supreme gives you a lot of flavor and satisfaction without being too detrimental to your health.