Jill Layton
February 24, 2016 3:14 pm
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Fast food restaurants aren’t exactly known for their healthy options. Mainly because healthy options at fast food joints are few and far between. Even at the spots that offer salads or lower calorie meals, “healthy” seems like the wrong way to describe the food.

But of all the fast food spots, there are definitely healthier choices. And Taco Bell is claiming to be one of them. During her four years as Taco Bell’s dietitian and product developer, Missy Nelson has pledged to cut artificial ingredients and switch to cage-free eggs. So far, she’s definitely taken the brand in the healthier direction.

Taco Bell has debuted the lower-calorie Fresco menu, the high-protein Cantina menu, and a vegetarian menu certified by the American Vegetarian Association. Between all the new menus, there has been a 15% reduction in sodium.

If you’ve been to Taco Bell recently, you may have noticed that they really do have quite a few healthier options. “We just really encourage people to customize to however it fits their lifestyle,” Nelson said. Taco Bell offers online and mobile ordering platforms to make it easy for the customer to order exactly what they want — and that includes vegetarian and vegan options. To pass on the cheese, rice and sour cream, simply click the “make it fresco” option.  “It’s one click and it automatically does it for you,” says Nelson of the Fresco option. “Now we’re seeing a huge increase in Fresco-style orders through our mobile ordering.”

All ordering platforms come with the option to customize your meal however you’d like — and that doesn’t mean by only making it healthier. You can create your own monster burrito by filling it with any of the available options. And no matter what you decide to order, you can easily figure out the nutritional information with the customizable nutrition calculator.

So what really makes Taco Bell a “healthier” option? According to Nelson, it’s choice. Now it’s just up to the customers to make that choice, because there are certainly a lot of unhealthy options to choose from (shout-out to the Doritos Gordita and Taco Supreme).

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