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The Healthiest Menu Items at this Fast Food Restaurant Will Shock You

Taste of Home logo Taste of Home 4 days ago Ceara Milligan
a sandwich sitting on top of a table © Duplass/shutterstock

Craving Taco Bell but don't want to overindulge? You're in luck! Because, believe it or not, Taco Bell is considered one of the healthiest fast food chains. Over the past few years, the chain has been working to create healthier options for eaters, including menu items with fewer calories and less sodium and fat.

Taco Bell also gives customers the power to customize most menu items to make dishes a bit healthier. The chain's official website even provides ideas for what to order if you're counting calories.

Before you hit the drive-thru, learn how to chow down on the healthiest food at Taco Bell. Here are the top options to order:

Power Menu Bowl

The Power Menu at Taco Bell consists of items that are packed with protein, giving you the flavorful boost you need to get through the day. Here's the description according to the Taco Bell online menu: "Your choice of grilled chicken or steak, guacamole, reduced-fat sour cream, freshly prepared pico de gallo, seasoned black beans, crisp lettuce and seasoned rice, packed into a seriously powerful bowl." (To make it vegetarian, you can sub meat for a double scoop of black beans.)

Bean Burrito

Need a quick boost of energy without sacrificing flavor or texture? Fuel up on protein and vitamins with Taco Bell's longstanding bean burrito. Beans are full of protein, fiber and antioxidants, which makes the bean burrito a great option for a quick and healthy meal.

Don't have time to hop in the car? Make your own black bean burritos at home.

7-Layer Burrito, Fresco Style

Ah, the classic 7-layer burrito. Refried beans, rice, guacamole, shredded lettuce, three-cheese blend, diced tomatoes, reduced-fat sour cream...all rolled into a warm, soft tortilla. And when you order it "Fresco style," you replace the unhealthiest ingredients with pico de gallo—a blend of diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro—ultimately saving you calories and fat.

Soft Taco, Fresco Style

Load up on meaty goodness. Whether you opt for chicken or steak, you'll still be able to enjoy delicious, nutritious Taco Bell tacos without the guilt. Protein, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo (if you get it Fresco style) on a warm, chewy tortilla...sounds and tastes like heaven. Recreate the magic at home with these chiles rellenos grilled chicken tacos or these grilled steak and onion tacos.

Mini Skillet Bowl

For just $1, you can enjoy a wholesome fast food breakfast. The mini skillet bowl is a simple medley of scrambled eggs, potatoes, pico de gallo and nacho cheese sauce. If you want to save a few calories, simply omit the cheese and add hot sauce for a zesty kick.

If you're seeking healthful Mexican dishes to create at home, we recommend these tasty baked chicken fajitas, these guilt-free veggie bean tacos and these savory steak burritos.

P.S. Did you know Taco Bell's first location was in San Bernadino, California and its original name was Bell's Drive-In and Taco Tia? That's just one of many fascinating facts about the chain.

Related video: Taco Bell's massive nacho party pack is perfect for well, anything [via My Recipes]

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