Image via Corner Booth
Tacos don’t have to be unhealthy. You can make healthy tacos with low-fat beef or turkey, lots of healthy veggies and beans, and whole wheat tortillas. But Taco Bell‘s effort to top the XXL Chalupa with reduced-fat sour cream isn’t enough to turn this monster into something that’s good for you.
This taco boat is loaded up with 650 calories worth of ground beef, “red strips,” nacho cheese sauce and three cheese blend–and a minimal amount of salsa and lettuce. The mysterious “red strips” are pretty much strips of corn chip that have been pumped full of artificially coloring. The XXL chalupa is basically a regular Taco Bell chalupa, only on a flatbread that’s about 50 percent bigger with additional filling.
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It’s one thing when a restaurant like Subway comes out with a “diet plan” (thanks to customer Jared Fogle) when the stores are stocked with fresh vegetables, whole grain breads and lean meats. It’s quite another when fast-food giant Taco Bell announces their own version.
At the entrance of 2010, just as everyone was scrambling to make their weight loss resolutions, Taco Bell announced its new Drive-Thru Diet, based on its Fresco menu.
The “star” of the new Drive-Thru Diet is Christine, a woman who lost 54 pounds in two years by reducing her calorie intake by 500 calories a day, as well as her fat intake. Her very brief story from the Taco Bell Web site leaves much to be desired, being nothing more than a paragraph echoing the copy from full-page magazine ads. She reduced her calories and one vice she didn’t want to give up was fast-food, so she started ordering from Taco Bell’s Fresco menu instead of the traditional menu.
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To add insult to injury- Oklahoma City/Tulsa showed up as the number one “junk food obsessed city” on a new Forbes list. Correct me if I’m wrong- but aren’t Taco Bell tacos junk food? Even if they are on a “healthier” menu?
I’m not trying to beat-up on Oklahoma City today. I love that city- I went to college at OU. It’s heartbreaking to see how poor the health is due to obesity, 27% of the population according to this Forbes report.
Also on the list:
3. San Antonio
9. Kansas City
13. New Orleans
While the Oklahoma City Mayor, Mick Cornett, is encouraging his city to lose a million pounds and get off the list of fattest cities in the US, there seem to be a lot of obstacles. Allowing Taco Bell to partner with the OKC Million Pound Challenge seems like one that could have been avoided. Oklahoma City should stand as an example for the many other cities it shares a place with on the obesity list.
What do you think about the cities on the list? Are weight loss efforts taking place in your own hometown? What do you think about Taco Bell partnering with OKC?
Somehow that just doesn’t quite sound right, but it’s true. Today’s Daily Oklahoman has a half-page advertisement from Taco Bell tying into the Mayor’s million pound challenge. Since we don’t really seem to be doing too well (average of 4.02 lbs lost over four months), Taco Bell is offering a little motivation. “When the milestone of 100,000 pounds is reached, we’ll give a FREE Fresco Taco to everyone in OKC!”
Taco Bell offers a Fresco menu with nine items under 9 grams of fat that is advertised on the home page of the OKC Million. If you sign up for the challenge, there’s a coupon to get a Fresco taco now. That would make two Fresco tacos, one now and one when Oklahoma loses 100,000 lbs.
I’ll leave it up to the experts to figure out whether nutritional values of the company’s Fresco menu is good or bad for dieters, but I think I better stay away for now. It’s just too hard to stop at just one!