The Health Meter for Taco Bell Beef

The Health of Taco Bell Beef

My Friday delicacy; how you complement movie night.
Aside from good taste, is your health rating a delight?
Are you and my belly in love without scorn?
Or, are you the food-savvy rose with hidden thorns?

If only Taco Bell delivered to my doorstep (perhaps they do in some areas…let me know). That would combine with a comfy pillow and Netflix for the perfect trifecta. No social media drama, or risking a salad that has a dicey expiration date. For less than $10 I can devour some yummy soft-shell tacos. Cue the confetti and background dancers.

Here’s the blindside; am I getting quality at that price-point? For a few crumpled up 1’s (or George Washington’s) in my pocket, no one is expecting Kobe beef. We concede this fact but still prefer to not travel far down the unhealthy rabbit hole. Chicken and nachos are also on the menu. But we keep coming back to the beef…like a forbidden love affair. So, let’s shed some healthy light on Taco Bell’s beef.

taco bell beef

Why We’re Pleased

Taco Bell beef has confirmed that they use real beef. Not beef-like or beef-alternative but real beef. Excluding one or two pit stops, it’s directly from your favorite the farm animal. And our bodies do require protein. So, unless you’re a vegetarian, Taco Bell beef isn’t a hard pass for your trifecta. If you’re a pescatarian and want to blow up this argument, then I’ll give you a gold star for creativity.

A Half-Smile

The words “premium beef” were used to describe Taco Bell beef. Is this the same as lean?

By U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards, a 3.5 ounce serving size with 10 grams of total fat, or 10%, is lean. You’ll have to check your next Taco Bell order and the food label. Premium doesn’t mean lean by USDA standards.

The Head-Scratcher

Other items in this beef raise a few questions:

Sodium phosphate is an umbrella term, used sometimes to thicken a food or aid in the baking process. Not the end of the world, but watch your overall salt intake.

Maltodextrin; aka sugar. A common food additive often used in candy and soda. No judgments here, as many of us have a sweet tooth. Those with diabetic issues should at least know this item is part of the Taco Bell beef formula. Caramel color, which is caramelized sugar, is also an ingredient falling under the sugar group.

The kicker here is modified corn starch. There are multiple applications used by companies to modify a food or food ingredient. Some are legitimate; others are chemically questionable. Modified corn starch is the gateway item that gets us thinking about genetically modified organisms and their need to be disclosed on food labels.

We just want our yummy vices on Friday night. No strings or hidden details. But we only get one body, so reading labels take precedence over comfort. Taco Bell isn’t the worst food in the world, but probably not the best option to have every week. See what else is out there; create a rotation. A trifecta that changes week to week is still a trifecta.

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