Let’s face it: “No one orders the taco salad because they think it’s the most delicious thing on the menu,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. “They get it because they believe it’s the healthiest.”
But to make that base of nutritionally skimpy iceberg lettuce more appealing, restaurants often load it with dressing and what Middleberg calls the “Mexican-food fat trifecta”: cheese, guac, and sour cream.
And don’t overlook the crispy tostada shell. “Too much fat from the wrong sources, including deep-fried foods, can be a recipe for heart disease,” Middleberg says.
You’re better off with the beef burrito (tortilla, meat, cheese, rice and beans), which has more protein, less than half the fat and fewer calories. It’s not exactly light, though, so wrap some up to go. You’ll still feel muy satisfied.