Tacos, Lightened Up

Fried shells, fatty meats and piles of high-cal toppings can make tacos a belly buster. But they don't have to be; use our tips to give a make healthier tacos.
FOODNETWORK_20081002_250.tif

FOODNETWORK_20081002_250.tif

Fried shells, fatty meats and piles of high-cal toppings can make tacos a belly buster. But they don't have to be; use our tips to give a healthier spin to this Cinco de Mayo favorite.

Nutrition Facts

Whether it’s fast food or home cooking, the calories and fat in tacos can get crazy. Greasy cuts of meat and many of the classic fixings like cheese, sour cream and guacamole are high in fat. Home taco kits also come equipped with sodium-filled taco seasoning packets. A super stuffed taco could easily top 500 calories – and who eats just one?!

Lighter, Fresher

The fresher, the better! Use these tips to make tacos that are scrumptious and healthy.

  • Swap nonfat Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Keep the guac! Use about one tablespoon per taco for a dose of healthy fat.
  • Replace fried shells with soft corn tortillas – you’ll save about 50 calories each.
  • Pile on the salsa and hot sauce – little calories, big flavor.
  • Season meat and fish fillings with chili powder and fresh citrus juice.
  • Add veggies like grilled or roasted onions and peppers.
  • Use a light sprinkle of low-fat shredded cheese.
Recipes to try:

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Fish Tacos, Lightened Up

Warm weather is prime time for fish tacos, but some recipes can do some serious damage to your beach ready body. Try our lightened up versions – even your favorite fried recipes can be made more bikini friendly.

Cupcakes, Lightened Up

They may come in pretty little packages, but cupcake calories can get ugly! Here are some lighter ways to enjoy these tasty pastries.

Strawberry Daiquiris, Lightened Up

Most recipes are cloyingly sweet and filled with booze – lighten up this classic summer cocktail.

Eggs Benedict, Lightened Up

Eggs Benedict is my all time favorite breakfast, but it can be a bit heavy. Here’s a traditional recipe with a few healthy twists.

Eggplant Rollatini, Lightened Up

Eggplant Rollatini is not the lightest dish on the menu. One serving can deliver 600 calories, 38 grams of fat and 900 mg of sodium. Ouch. But, there's hope!

Pasta Salad, Lightened Up

Traditional pasta salad is swimming with hidden calories that’ll have you hiding from bathing suit season. Find out how to lighten up this summer classic and still keep your svelte shape.

Cheesecake, Lightened Up

Velvety smooth, sweet and creamy, but with more than 600 calories and 45 grams of fat per slice, can it be part of a healthy diet? Here’s how you can have your (cheese)cake and eat it too!

Brownies, Lightened Up

I’m a brownie kind of girl—my friends and family can vouch for me. There are in fact ways to lighten up this delectable dessert. What’s the secret? Read on to find out.

Grilled Cheese, Lightened Up

Who doesn’t love the ooey-gooey goodness of a grilled cheese sandwich? You can enjoy the scrumptious combo of toasted bread and melted cheese without throwing your healthy eating plan out the window.

Iced Tea, Lightened Up

A tall glass of iced tea is perfect is perfect for chilling -- and re-hydrating -- in the summer heat. You can make a large batch in no time (please, none of that powder stuff!), but knowing what to put in it is the important part. Here are some mixtures to try.