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Is Taco Bell Bad For You?



Short answer

When it comes to fast food, healthy options are hard to come by. Taco Bell is one of the worst fast food offenders, with few healthy choices to be found on the menu.



Long answer

Taco Bell is a popular alternative to fast food restaurants that serve the standard burgers and fries. As one of the most popular Mexican fast food chains, Taco Bell serves over 2 billion tacos every year. The food may be convenient, but it’s also full of ingredients that will pack on the pounds and take a real toll on your health.

A major issue with food from Taco Bell is the processing that goes into creating the ingredients. A regular bean burrito alone contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs), artificial preservatives, TBHQ, and a long list of additives. Although we won't be covering each ingredient in detail, it's imperative to know that each one does come with its own laundry list of side effects. Just as an example, TBHQ - a preservative used to increase shelf life - has been linked to asthma, dermatitis, and hyperactivity. GMOs, although still being studied, are said to have the potential to create new diseases never seen before. 

The chain regularly shares that their beef recipe consists of 88% Premium Beef and 12% Signature Recipe. A few years back, their recipe was just 35% beef, but after being sued, they quickly made a change. It should also be noted that Taco Bell previously included the full list of ingredients in the signature recipe on their website, but strangely enough, replaced the information with a short statement about their seasoning and a commitment to using more simple ingredients.

In an effort to lose their reputation as being one of the most unhealthy fast food options, Taco Bell also committed to removing artificial trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and palm oil from their menu items. However, that initiative didn’t apply to co-branded menu items like the Doritos Locos Tacos or any of the beverages offered.

The move to remove some of these ingredients was a step forward, but hasn’t solved the larger problem of a menu filled with saturated fat, calories, sodium, GMOs and various additives. At the very least, those ingredients will cause weight gain. More importantly, they can lead to a wide range of health issues including (but definitely not limited to) high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. While the $1 tacos might be tempting, this cheap and easy food probably isn’t worth your health.

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • hyperactivity

Possible long-term side effects

  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • weight gain
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of

Big is taco bell bad for you.


  • cost effective

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Written by Healthy Living 35 | 01-15-2016

Written by Healthy Living 35
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