Culture

SHOCKING: Taco Bell Is ... Healthy?

Taco Bell in Morgan Hill, Calif. (Shutterstock)

Looking at a menu, you’d never suspect it. Watching ads for the Crunchwrap Supreme, you might think this is a joke. But your friendly neighborhood Taco Bell is actually taking a huge leap forward in fast food nutrition.

“Today, we continue to provide the boldest and freshest flavors — food that’s customizable and fits your lifestyle, with a commitment to never compromise on flavor,” Taco Bell’s website explains. Here’s the kicker: “Whether you’re looking for vegetarian, made without gluten, high protein, lower calorie/lower fat, in the mood for something indulgent, or all of the above, Taco Bell has food for all.”

The website even has a detailed breakdown of nutrition facts for every item on the menu. For instance, the Crunchwrap Supreme is 530 calories, with 190 calories from fat, 1,190 milligrams of sodium, 71 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein. There are “power” options with high protein, “Fresco” options with lower calories, vegetarian options, and even information on the hot sauces!

Taco Bell has also reduced sodium across the board by 15 percent since 2008, and they’re pushing to get it down an additional 10 percent. The website also promises that Taco Bell has removed “added trans fat, high fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil from our food.” They’re pushing to reach 100 percent cage-free eggs for the core menu by January 2018, and to serve chicken raised with no human antibiotics ever in U.S. restaurants by early this year.

The fast food chain really has become healthier, and much credit for that change goes to Taco Bell’s dietician and product developer, Missy Nelson. Yes, Taco Bell has a dietician.

Never mind all that, however. The fast food chain isn’t beating its chest, but making changes subtly.

“Us touting ourselves as a health halo — it’s not authentic and it’s not real,” Taco Bell spokesman Alec Boyle told Business Insider.

Instead, the restaurant touts flavor, as it always has. It advertises the unhealthy options to make you salivate, but has the healthy choices to keep you coming — the perfect combination.

If you want to pig out at Taco Bell, be their guest. But if you want to make healthier choices, there’s a menu (and an app) for that, too. This gains consumer trust, while appealing to their taste buds for the ultimate win.