Managing Diabetes and taco Bell

Diabetes and Taco Bell, easy Low Carb Eating.

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A diagnosis of diabetes does not mean that you can no longer enjoy fast food. Knowing how to count carbs and taking the right amount of medication to compensate are key to managing blood sugar levels. When asking questions like, “What can a diabetic eat at Taco Bell?”, referring to the nutritional information provided will always help you make healthy choices. managing diabetes and Taco Bell menu choices doesn’t have to be hard.

what can a diabetic eat at Taco Bell
Diabetes and Taco Bell – making healthy choices.
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What can a diabetic eat at Taco Bell off of the menu?

The simple answer is to follow the allowed carbohydrates that your doctor or diabetic nutritionist recommends. Managing diabetes and Taco Bell eating is possible to achieve when you make the right choices. If you are insulin-dependent and taking an injection or a bolus before meals, you will likely know how to calculate how much insulin you need. If you are not insulin dependent or have a limited supply of insulin, then restricting carbs will likely be your goal.

Many Taco Bell menu items allow for customization. The example below shows how you can make your meal a little more diabetic-friendly. You can add and remove components of your meal. You can see what the nutritional information is for each component, making it easier to control your carb intake.

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Having a Food Counter Pocket Companion Guide is a handy reference tool. It lists many restaurants and their menu items (not all though) as well as checking online directing on the Taco Bell website.

what can a diabetic eat at taco bell
Managing Diabetes and Taco Bell – Customizing the menu Example

Taco Bell also has a”Lifestyle Filter” on its online menu. It allows you to filter for dietary needs such as avoiding gluten, avoiding eggs, avoiding fish, avoiding nuts and so on. Unfortunately, there is no option for low carb.

What menu items can you modify for Diabetics at Taco Bell?

Almost all of Taco Bell’s meal options are customizable. The only ones that are not are the desserts, add-ons, beverages and sauces.

There are limits on how far you can go when customizing. The shell choice (hard shell, soft shell) does not show up as optional, but it can be removed. You can add or take away some of the ingredients, such as sour cream and cheese for example. To remove the shell choice, click on the shell arrow. A pop-up window will open that shows the nutritional information for the shell. You can select the garbage bin icon and it will remove the shell. Unfortunately, you can not replace the shell with another. Every time you change an ingredient the nutritional information is automatically updated.

10 choices for diabetics at Taco Bell that have 15 grams of net carbs or less.

This is not an extensive list. There are certainly more options on the Taco Bell menu, but this will give you an idea of what is available for under 15 grams of net carbs for diabetic-friendly eating at Taco Bell.

  1. One Doritos Locos Taco Supreme – a shell, seasoned beef, cheese, cour cream, diced tomatoes and lettuce – 190 Calories, 12 net carbs.
  2. One Steak Soft Taco – steak, 3 cheese blends, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce – 170 calories and 15 net carbs.
  3. One Beef Crunchy Taco Supreme – Crunchy Taco Shell, seasoned beef, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, reduced fat sour cream, shredded lettuce and red sauce – 200 calories and 12 net grams of carbs.
  4. One Chicken Soft Taco – one flour tortilla, grilled marinated chicken, cheddar cheese and shredded lettuce. – 170 calories and 15 grams of net carbs.
  5. One Fresco Beef Soft Taco – one flour tortilla, seasoned beef, 3 cheese blends, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce. – 180 calories and 15 grams of net carbs.
  6. One Bean Crunchy Taco – one taco shell, seasoned refried beans, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and border hot sauce – 170 calories and 15 grams of net carbs.
  7. One Fresco Chicken Soft Taco – flour tortilla, grilled marinated chicken, 3 cheese blends, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce. – 170 calories and 15 grams of net carbs.
  8. Chicken Power Bowl – Omit the rice and beans – order with Chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomatoes, ranch sauce and sour cream – 240 calories and 4 grams of net carbs
  9. Steak Power Bowl – omit the beans and rice – order with steak, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole and ranch sauce – 250 calories and 6 grams of net carbs.
  10. One Chicken Crunchy Taco Supreme – taco shell, seasoned grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce and red sauce – 190 calories and 13 grams of net carbs

What’s the highest calorie and carb item on the Taco Bell Menu?

It is the Spicy Beef Supreme Nachos, weighing in at 1450 calories and 149 grams of total carbs and 27 grams of fibre leaving a whopping 127 grams of net carbs. The spicy beef supreme nachos have seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, three cheese blends, sour cream, jalapenos, and guacamole atop a bed of nacho chips.

Some Diabetic Friendly take alongs for your next trip to Taco Bell.

Taco Bell used to offer salads on their menu, but no longer offers them. You could bring along a small salad of your own, order a power bowl (no rice or beans) and make it a meal. I love Bento Boxes. They are easy to take along anywhere. They usually have compartments and some have a dressing holder. The compartments allow you to separate your ingredients to keep them from getting soggy.

Take a bento box to Taco Bell with salad, dressing, and even a couple of sugar-free cookies. I have done this many times when I am going somewhere where the menu is less than diabetic-friendly. My experience at Taco Bell has always been positive. I always order whatever I can and then use my Bento box to compliment their menu and make it diabetic-friendly. I did ask at my local Taco Bell, before writing this and was told, that as long as it is related to dietary restrictions that were not available on their menu, they understand and it is not an issue. Different locations may respond differently.

What Diabetic Friendly sides are available at Taco Bell?

The lowest would be a side of black beans at 70 calories and 7 grams of net carbs. If you want to enjoy fries or chips, you will need to eat about a half-order or less to stay under 25 grams of carbs. Most of the sides are high in carbs and calories.

what can a diabetic eat at Taco Bell
Managing diabetes and Taco Bell – making healthy choices.

High-Carb menu items at Taco Bell that diabetics should skip.

The Chalupas, nachos with cheese and Burrito meal options are pretty high in carbs. All desserts are very high in sugar, making them high-carb menu items. One more reason to have a bento box. Bring along your own diabetic-friendly dessert or sweet snack.

Drinks – Stick with diet soft drinks or water. The Baja Blast (20-ounce size) has 270 calories and 74 grams of carbs. Definitely avoid those!

Sauce packets – These are listed as having under 1 gram of carb per packet, so they appear to be a safe condiment to add to any meal.

Plan ahead when going to Taco Bell.

Taco Bell has an easy-to-navigate menu allowing you to customize and view the nutritional information as you go along. Take advantage of it. In some places, you can order online and pick up but if you are going to dine in, just record what you want to order before you get there and then enjoy easy ordering when you arrive.

It is always a good idea to have a second option, just in case they are out of your first choice.

How to make Taco Bell menu choices more diabetic-friendly.

Most of the carbs come in tortilla shells, wraps and chips. Removing the shells, or asking for the items in a bow without the wrap, will significantly reduce the carbs. You can also check the nutritional information by choosing any menu option from the meals and deleting the shell.

For example – A beef Chalupa Supreme has a shell, seasoned beef, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and diced tomatoes with 370 calories and 24 grams of net carbs. Removing the shell will leave you with 120 calories with 3 grams of net carbs.

I hope that you find a post on Diabetes and Taco Bell useful. Try these recommendations the next time you go to Taco Bell and enjoy your meal without the guilt.

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