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Healthy Meals at Taco Bell That Are High-Protein

A run for the border doesn't have to mean a terrified dash from the scale.

Taco Bell has always had offerings that were comparatively healthier than other fast-food chains: higher in protein, lower in fat and calories. But the 'Bell now has some specialized menus that make healthy eating even easier: Its Fresco Style items swap out creamy sauces for fresh pico de gallo, lowering fat and calories, and its Cantina Power menu has a selection of high-protein bowls and burritos. Here are five of the healthiest orders for a range of tastes.

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Fresco Burrito Supreme: Chicken
Calories 340
Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Sodium 1,060 mg
Carbs 49 g
Fiber 6 g
Protein 19 g

Simple ingredients make this darn close to clean eating: Chicken, beans, pico de gallo, lettuce and onions. A good fiber-protein-fat ratio will keep you feeling satiated and less likely to snack. Upgrade your water or go back for a refill to offset the slightly bloated sodium count — and keep the bloating away from your belly.

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Fresco Bean Burrito
Calories 350
Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Sodium 1,040 mg
Carbs 55 g
Fiber 9 g
Protein 13 g

Taco Bell's classic, a favorite of impoverished college students since time eternal, is worth a dietary spotlight: A solid amount of protein and fiber, with zero cholesterol, make this a good choice.

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Two Fresco Soft Tacos: Shredded Chicken
Calories 280
Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 940 mg
Carbs 32 g
Fiber 4 g
Protein 20 g

This meal may be mini, but it isn't short on protein. Load up on hot sauce to get the fat-burning benefits of the capsacin in chili peppers — it's how to boost metabolism deliciously.

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Cantina Power Bowl: Chicken (with no guacamole, sour cream or avocado ranch sauce)
Calories 400
Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Sodium 1,110 mg
Carbs 45 g
Fiber 6 g
Protein 28 g

Choosing from the Bell's high-protein Cantina Bowl menu is a good idea, as long as you follow one rule: Leave out the guac, sour cream and avocado ranch sauce. You'll shave off 90 calories and 9 grams of fat, but only 1 gram of protein. Need one topping? Make it guac. It may add some extra fat, but it can help you slim down. Plus, we love all eight health benefits of avocado.

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Cantina Power Burrito: Steak (with no guacamole, sour cream or avocado ranch sauce)
Calories 370
Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Sodium 1,020 mg
Carbs 39 g
Fiber 3 g
Protein 27 g

Red-meat enthusiasts rejoice: You can indulge your inner carnivore, as long as you make some smart skips: Go without the guac and sauces. You'll save 100 calories and 9 grams of fat, leaving you with one of the best high-protein meals on the menu that will still satisfy. (See if they'll give you extra lettuce to boost the satiating fiber in your meal — for barely any extra calories.)

Outbound Image: Ken Wolter

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a seasoned writer and editor with a passion for helping people make life-improving decisions. Read more about Michael
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