What is the healthiest item at Del Taco?

When eating fast food, it can be challenging to find healthy options. However, Del Taco has several items that provide more nutritional value than typical fast food fare. In this article, we will explore the different menu items at Del Taco and determine which is the healthiest based on calories, fat, protein, and other nutrients.

Salads and Bowls

One of the best options for eating healthy at Del Taco is to choose one of their salads or bowls. These provide greens, beans, salsas, and other fresh ingredients that pack a nutritious punch.

Some of the salads and bowls on the Del Taco menu include:

  • Fresco Crunchy Taco Salad
  • Chicken Avocado Salad
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Baja Shrimp Bowl
  • Chicken Fiesta Bowl

The Fresco Crunchy Taco Salad is one of the lowest calorie salads, with only 340 calories and 15 grams of fat. It contains romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa casera, cheddar cheese, and avocado ranch dressing. This makes it a lighter option compared to some of the creamy, heavier dressings and ingredients found in other salads.

The Chicken Avocado Salad has 470 calories, which is still considered low for an entire meal. It consists of chopped romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, black beans, grilled chicken, avocado slices, and cilantro lime vinaigrette. The combination of lean protein, fiber from the beans, and healthy fats from the avocado make this salad filling and nutritious.

Nutrition Information for Del Taco Salads and Bowls

Item Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Fresco Crunchy Taco Salad 340 15 29 21
Chicken Avocado Salad 470 26 26 39
Chicken Caesar Salad 500 26 25 39
Baja Shrimp Bowl 500 19 44 34
Chicken Fiesta Bowl 480 13 57 37

As seen in the nutrition table, the salads and bowls range from 340 to 500 calories. The fat content is between 13-26 grams, carbs are 25-57 grams, and protein ranges from 21-39 grams. This shows they provide a balanced meal with plenty of nutrients.

Grilled Chicken Items

Grilled chicken is one of the healthiest proteins you can get at a fast food restaurant. Del Taco offers several menu items that feature grilled chicken and fresh veggies.

Some of the best options include:

  • Grilled Chicken Soft Taco
  • Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito
  • Chicken Taquitos
  • Chicken Roller

The Grilled Chicken Soft Taco is only 190 calories with 26 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein. It’s made with a warm flour tortilla, chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, Mexican cheese blend, and zesty pepper sauce.

The Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito is larger at 500 calories, but still nutritious with 56 grams of carbs and 32 grams of protein. It contains rice, black beans, grilled chicken, and fresh guacamole.

The Chicken Roller has 350 calories with 29 grams of protein thanks to the combo of a grilled chicken strip, beans, pico de gallo, and shredded lettuce wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

Nutrition for Grilled Chicken Items

Item Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Grilled Chicken Soft Taco 190 5 26 15
Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito 500 12 56 32
Chicken Taquitos 420 17 43 20
Chicken Roller 350 8 47 29

With 190-500 calories, 5-17 grams of fat, 26-57 grams of carbs, and 15-32 grams of protein, the grilled chicken options provide lean protein and essential nutrients.

Seafood Choices

Seafood is prized for its lean protein content. At Del Taco, you can get shrimp and fish tacos that provide a healthier alternative to beef and chicken.

Some of the best seafood items are:

  • Beer Battered Fish Tacos
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos
  • Shrimp Tacos
  • Shrimp Burrito

The Beer Battered Fish Tacos contain 470 calories, 16 grams of fat, 46 grams of carbs, and 27 grams of protein for two tacos. They are made with beer battered Alaskan pollock, crunchy cabbage, pico de gallo, and creamy sauce.

The Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos have just 320 calories for two tacos along with 42 grams of protein. The shrimp tacos and burrito are also lower in calories and fat compared to beef and chicken options.

Nutrition Facts for Seafood Items

Item Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Beer Battered Fish Tacos (2) 470 16 46 27
Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos (2) 320 6 24 42
Shrimp Tacos (2) 300 5 33 28
Shrimp Burrito 530 13 67 34

With 300-530 calories, 5-16 grams of fat, 24-67 grams of carbs, and 27-42 grams of protein, the seafood choices provide lean protein and healthy fats.

Veggie Items

Del Taco caters to vegetarians as well with several tasty meatless options full of veggies, beans, and rice.

Some of the top vegetarian picks are:

  • Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme
  • Veggie Burrito
  • CrunchTada Tostada
  • Fresco Bean & Cheese Burrito

The Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme packs a whopping 24 grams of protein along with 490 calories wrapped up in a crisp tostada shell. The Veggie Burrito has 400 calories with 10 grams of fiber from its mix of beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and Mexican cheese.

The CrunchTada Tostada is lower in calories at 370 and contains crunchy veggies like lettuce, tomatoes and avocado along with refried beans layered on a crispy corn tostada.

Nutrition Facts for Vegetarian Items

Item Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme 490 17 61 24
Veggie Burrito 400 10 64 16
CrunchTada Tostada 370 16 46 12
Fresco Bean & Cheese Burrito 350 8 60 14

With 350-490 calories, 8-17 grams of fat, 46-64 grams of carbs, and 12-24 grams of protein, Del Taco’s vegetarian options are flavorful and nutritious.

Healthiest Overall: Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito

After reviewing the different categories of healthier menu items at Del Taco, the Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito emerges as the single healthiest option.

Here’s a recap of why the Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito is the healthiest choice:

  • 500 calories
  • 12 grams of fat
  • 56 grams of carbs
  • 32 grams of protein
  • Contains fiber-rich black beans and rice
  • Includes fresh, vitamin-packed guacamole
  • Features lean grilled chicken as the protein source

While the salads and bowls are lower in calories, the Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito offers a balance of macronutrients along with healthy fats and fiber. The combination of whole food ingredients like beans, rice, guacamole, and grilled chicken makes it stand out as the healthiest item on the Del Taco menu.

At 500 calories, it provides a substantial meal full of nutrition to keep you satisfied. The fat and carb content are moderate, while protein is high. When counting nutrients, it’s ideal to get some fat and carbs in addition to lean protein. This burrito achieves that nutritional balance.

Compared to other burritos featuring beef, sour cream, and cheese, the grilled chicken veggie epic burrito saves on fat and calories. Overall, it’s the one item at Del Taco that can give you the most wholesome bang for your buck.

Tips for Ordering the Healthiest Del Taco Items

Keep these tips in mind to customize a healthy Del Taco meal:

  • Go for grilled chicken over crispy chicken to limit fat and calories
  • Choose black or pinto beans as a fiber source
  • Add extra veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa
  • Order fresco style items to skip the cheese and sour cream
  • Opt for corn tortillas instead of flour to reduce carbs
  • Use salsa or pico de gallo to add flavor without extra calories
  • Don’t forget the guacamole for healthy fats
  • Avoid creamy-based dressings and sauces

You can also build a DIY salad or bowl using grilled chicken, shrimp, or vegetarian ingredients. Load it up with plenty of shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole and salsa.

Healthy Side Options

While Del Taco’s tacos, burritos and bowls make up the bulk of the menu, they offer some nutritious sides worth considering:

  • Black Beans – 80 calories, 5g fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Pinto Beans – 90 calories, 5g fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Guacamole – 80 calories, 7g fat per 4 oz
  • Black Beans & Rice – 150 calories, 5g fiber per serving
  • Chopped Tomatoes – 10 calories per 4 oz
  • Cilantro Lime Rice – 210 calories per serving

Pairing some of these sides with your main entree can help increase portions and nutrients for a filling, satisfying meal.

Healthy Beverage Options

To complete your healthy Del Taco meal, opt for one of these drink choices:

  • Water – 0 calories
  • Unsweetened Iced Tea – 0 calories
  • Diet Soda – 0 calories
  • Low-fat Milk – 100 calories per 8 oz
  • Fresh Lemonade – 150 calories for 16 oz

Avoid high-calorie sodas, sweet tea, shakes, and juices to minimize added sugar and extra calories. Stick with water as the top choice or unsweetened tea and diet soda for zero calories.

Final Tips for Eating Healthy at Del Taco

Here are a few final tips to recap how to select the healthiest options when dining at Del Taco:

  • Choose grilled chicken, seafood, or plant-based proteins
  • Build meals with lettuce, tomatoes, beans, rice, guacamole
  • Go for corn tortillas instead of flour if possible
  • Load up on salsa and pico de gallo for extra flavor
  • Stick to water, unsweetened tea, or diet soda for drinks
  • Avoid creamy sauces, cheese, sour cream to cut fat
  • Order fresco style when you want to skip cheese/sour cream
  • Grilled Chicken Epic Burrito is the single healthiest item

With a bit of customization and smart choices, you can enjoy Mexican fast food at Del Taco without sabotaging your healthy eating goals. Focus on lean proteins, fresh produce, whole grains, and lighter sauces to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

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