You know you’re living in the 21st century when you can order food from a truck and it comes with a digital code to tip the driver. But there’s something about street tacos that goes beyond their tech-savvy preparation. The taco is one of the most popular Mexican dishes, and while they are traditionally served as an entree, in recent years they have been reimagined as street food. Whether you call them gorditas, or tacos de la Calle, street tacos are smaller than typical tacos and don’t require utensils to eat. They are also quite different from traditional tacos because the shell is usually fried rather than grilled or softened over heat on top of another dish. For that reason alone, many people wonder if street tacos are healthy.
Are street tacos healthy?
Yes and no. Street tacos can be healthy if you make them at home with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. However, street tacos from a food truck or restaurant may not be as healthy because they often contain high levels of sodium, unhealthy fats, and calories.
Do You Think They’re As Healthy As Traditional Tacos?
- Tacos are usually served as an entree and can contain a variety of ingredients.
- Street tacos are smaller than typical tacos and don’t require utensils to eat.
- Street tacos are fried rather than grilled or softened over heat on top of another dish.
- Street tacos may be either corn or flour tortillas folded in half with fillings inside and fried, or they could be made from soft bread dough with fillings inside, sometimes topped with a fried shell.
- The taco has been around in Mexico for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became popular in the United States as street food and in other countries where immigrants have adopted it as a national dish.
- Street tacos are generally fried rather than grilled or softened over heat on top of another dish, which is what makes them healthier for some people to eat than traditional tacos which typically contain deep-fried meats and other ingredients.
- Although street tacos are smaller than traditional tacos and don’t require utensils to eat, they can be made from soft bread dough with fillings inside, sometimes topped with a fried shell.
- Street food is often healthier for people who don’t have time to prepare meals because it is less time-consuming and requires less cleaning up afterward. Street food also tends to be lower in calories, fat, and sodium than the typical meal you would prepare at home.
Nutrition In Street Tacos
1. Street Tacos Are Often Fried.
While street tacos are traditionally served as an entree, they are also served as street food. They are typically fried in a corn or flour tortilla rather than grilled or softened on top of another dish. As with any deep-fried snack, street tacos are high in fat and calories. In fact, some research has suggested that street tacos may be even worse for you than traditional tacos because they may contain higher amounts of trans fats and saturated fats. Street tacos may also contain more sodium than traditional tacos since they are cooked in oil rather than at the table.
2. Street Tacos May Contain Higher Amounts Of Trans Fats And Saturated Fat
The type of fat used to fry street tacos is different from the fat used for frying traditional taco shells made from corn or flour tortillas. While corn tortillas typically contain only small amounts of trans fats and saturated fat, fried tortillas made from wheat flour tend to contain a greater amount of these unhealthy fats. The oil used to fry street tacos may also contain a higher concentration of trans fats.
3. Street Tacos May Be Worse For You Than Traditional Tacos
Street tacos are smaller than traditional tacos and don’t require utensils to eat. Because of this, street tacos are often served as an entree rather than as a side dish with another taco or tortilla. As with other fried snacks, street tacos may be high in fat and calories and contain more sodium than traditional tacos since they are cooked in oil rather than at the table. Street tacos may also contain more trans fats and saturated fat compared to traditional taco shells made from corn or flour tortillas, which suggests that street tacos may be worse for you than traditional tacos.
How Do You Make A Healthy Street Taco?
- Keep it small. Street tacos are small and usually have only a few ingredients. In Mexico, street tacos are typically served with meat, beans, cheese, and salsa. If you try to create an entire meal out of one street taco, you’re likely going to end up with a lot of fried eggs and greasy tortillas. The trick is to keep the toppings light so that the taco can stand on its own as a complete meal.
- Dip your corn tortilla in oil before frying it in an iron skillet or griddle. A lot of people fry street tacos in the same oil they use for cooking tortillas or burritos, but this oil can be quite unhealthy because it’s often deep-fried for a long period of time at high heat. When you make your own street tacos at home, you can use clean oil that won’t be cooked for hours at high temperatures. If you do want to deep fry your street tacos, you should use a non-stick pan, which can help you keep your tacos from getting soggy.
- Keep it simple. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a good taco. For example, if you have a lot of ingredients (like meat and cheese) and little tortillas, the end result is likely to be messy rather than delicious. Keep the toppings to just a handful of items so that the tortilla stays crispy and the filling stays moist.
- Go for fresh ingredients whenever possible. If you can’t find fresh ingredients in your area, it’s best to opt for frozen ones instead of canned ones, which are more likely to contain preservatives or other additives that aren’t healthy for you. Since street tacos are typically served as an entree rather than an appetizer or snack, it’s important that they are packed with flavor so that they can stand on their own and the tortillas fresh, and you’ll make a great street taco.
What Ingredients Make A Street Taco Healthy?
- Street tacos are typically made with corn tortillas, which are made from corn flour, and they’re usually fried or deep-fried. Corn is a good source of fiber and protein, but it’s also high in carbohydrates.
- Street tacos are often made with small amounts of meat, which may or may not be used to make a traditional taco. This means that street tacos have fewer calories and fat than traditional tacos, but they still have more fat than a salad.
- Street tacos are also typically served with salsa, which is a condiment made from tomatoes and spices. Salsa is high in sugar (especially if it’s made with fresh tomatoes) and sodium.
- Street tacos are also typically served with onions and cilantro, which are both high in carbohydrates. Salsa and onions are both high in sodium, so street tacos can be high in sodium.
- Street tacos often come with cheese on top, which is a good source of protein but is also high in fat and calories.
Traditional tacos de la called are low-fat, low-carb, and high-protein. They contain whole grains, and lean protein, and are low in sodium. If you choose to add toppings to your tacos de la Calle, they may increase the fat, carbohydrate, and sodium content. The best way to make tacos de la Calle healthier is by reducing the number of toppings you add and asking for low-fat or no-fat ingredients.