Tacos at Jack in the Box are best avoided - they are loaded with fat, sodium, and preservatives. They may be tempting with their low price, but come with a laundry list of side effects when eaten regularly.
Familiar to anyone living in Southern California and a seeming “must try” for those just visiting, Jack in the Box is a West Coast eatery with over 2,000 locations. Despite an extensive menu offering everything from burgers to breakfast, tacos are the big draw at this fast food restaurant. Jack in the Box has been serving them for half a century and purports to sell in excess of 400 million a year to a devoted following.
Repeatedly called into question is the taco filling used at this fast food restaurant – an unattractive looking paste containing texturized protein – which is essentially soy flour with caramel coloring, as well as defatted soy grits. In their defense, Jack in the Box does not promote this menu item as a beef taco, and although some people have gone so far as they are suitable for vegetarians, they actually do contain both beef and chicken in addition to vegetable proteins.
Although a regular taco stuffed with this suspicious looking paste and topped with cheese and lettuce will only set you back 172 calories, it is important to recognize that 83 of these come from fat and that it contains 362 mg of sodium. If you take the restaurant’s advice and make your taco experience “awesomer” by ordering a Nacho Monster Taco, you’ll be logging 333 calories, 197 of these from fat as well as seriously upping the sodium intake to 930 mg. A further upgrade to the Bacon Ranch Monster Taco will net significantly less sodium, but more fat. Also noteworthy is the fact that all tacos at Jack in the Box are deep fried in a Canola oil “blend”.
A more general concern, from a health standpoint, is the fact that Jack in the Box offers cheap junk food. Regular tacos are offered at two for 99 cents, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be eating just one. If you’re tempted by a well-priced potato side – and there are many to choose from – you’ll be well on your way to a full day’s worth of calories and sodium allowance, without having ingested anything of nutritional value.
Possible short-term side effects
- water retention
- blood sugar spike
Possible long-term side effects
- kidney disease
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
Ingredients to be aware of
- soy flour
- caramel coloring
- defatted soy grits
- saturated fat
- excess calories
- "natural flavors"
- canola oil blend
- they are cheap
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Written by Healthy Living 35 | 12-29-2015
Written by Healthy Living 35
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