Tacos are offered at many sit-down restaurants, as well as many fast-food joints. They can be healthy or unhealthy, simple or complex, but always flavorful. But is this favorite food, loved by millions, all it is cracked up to be?
While tacos are on the menu of many restaurants, they do have some disadvantages. Tacos can be high in calories, carbs, and sodium, which classifies some tacos as junk food. Tacos are messy to eat and can encourage overeating in many people. Tacos may also keep you awake at night.
If you love tacos, you need to keep reading to find out more disadvantages of your favorite food.
These are 12 drawbacks and disadvantages of tacos:
1. Tacos Can Be High in Calories.
Tacos are typically made with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole, which, when combined in one food, there can be many calories all at once. Not only do they contain a lot of fat, but the shell can be high in carbohydrates.
The best way to lower the calorie count in tacos is to use a soft corn tortilla, lean protein, vegetables, and salsa. If you want cheese, try goat’s cheese or fontina.
2. Tacos Can Be High In Sodium.
The high sodium comes from the tortillas used, as well as the meat seasoning. People who watch their sodium intake may want to have tacos as a once in a while treat and not an everyday meal. Homemade tacos would be better, as you can use soft corn tortillas while controlling which ingredients make it into your taco. You can also control how the meat is prepared by making seasonings at home that contain little to no sodium.
3. Fast-Food Tacos Might Be Considered Junk Food.
Some fast-food restaurants and street vendors might serve tacos that could be considered junk food, because of how the tacos are prepared. Sometimes, the taco shells are fried in a lot of oil, and the toppings are high in fat, with very little vegetables.
Whole grain taco shells, lean sources of protein, and more vegetables would make tacos healthier.
4. Corn Tortillas Might Crack (or Break) Too Easily.
Usually, corn tortillas do not stand up to a lot of heavy fillings for very long, as the saturation makes them break easily. Even if you use soft tortillas, rather than a hard shell, the tortilla will break more easily than flour tortillas, especially if they’ve been sitting for longer than a few minutes.
One thing that you can do to minimize breakage is to nestle a hard shell inside a soft corn tortilla using refried beans, sour cream, or black bean hummus before filling. The double-decker style taco will not break so easily, ensuring fewer messes when eating.
5. Tacos Can Be High in Carbs.
Depending on how you make tacos, they can be high in carbohydrates. While a large corn tortilla contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, a medium flour tortilla includes 22 grams of carbohydrates. While that may not seem like a lot, consider that the average carb intake of a low carb diet is 50 grams of carbs per day, which means that one large corn tortilla is almost half of the day’s allotment of carbs.
Then there are the fillings. Now, if you keep the fillings low carb, your tacos could fit into the day’s macronutrient requirements. However, if you add fillers like corn and beans, you will have doubled the carb count of just one taco.
6. Tacos Are Messy to Eat.
There’s no right way to eat tacos that don’t involve them getting messy. Hardshell tacos are perhaps the messiest with soft corn tortillas coming in second. Soft flour tortillas work best for keeping the fillings in your tacos, as they stand up to a lot more than corn tortillas.
The other way tacos are messy is that when you’re eating them vertically, the fillings fall out to your plate. If your tacos are wrapped in soft tortilla shells, pinch the bottom closed, so this doesn’t happen.
7. Tacos Can Encourage Overeating.
Since tacos are light and palatable, it’s easy to keep eating them until you are satisfied. The problem is that because they are light, it’s hard to stop at the recommended serving size of three tacos per person. But many people have more than that when they eat tacos and may eat up to five or six tacos.
Many Mexican restaurants also serve rice and beans, along with tortilla chips, salsa, and other food with tacos. It becomes easy to overeat in a short amount of time.
8. Tacos May Keep You Awake All Night.
Because of the spices or greasy beef fillings, tacos may cause you to stay up all night with indigestion. Extra hot sauce may create heartburn that will give you a restless night.
If you have a problem with acid reflux or heartburn, it’s best to not eat tacos within three hours of going to bed. So that “fourth meal” that Taco Bell advertised once upon a time would not be wise.
9. Hard Shell Tacos Are Difficult to Fill.
Unless you have a taco stand for hard taco shells, it isn’t easy to put the fillings in the tacos and keep them there. When the filled taco is set on the plate, it naturally falls to the side, and all the stuffing comes out. Over the years, manufacturers have tried to remedy this problem with flat bottomed shells, but they didn’t win the popularity contest, especially in restaurants.
10. Tacos Usually Don’t Have Consistent Bites.
Since hard taco shells are difficult to fill, you don’t get consistent bites with your tacos. You might get a taste with mainly lettuce and tomatoes, but no meat. The next bite might be a lot of meat and very little vegetables.
One guy came up with a solution–mix the taco fillings before putting them in the shell. By doing that, you will have a more consistent flavor profile with every bite.
11. Double Decker Tacos Don’t Do Their Job Right.
Double-decker tacos- a hard shell nestled in a softshell held together with some sort of sticky food like sour cream- are meant to double the shell’s consistency so that it doesn’t break when you eat it. However, sticky food like beans or sour cream weakens the hard taco shell inside, making it soggy and unappealing.
12. Not All Tacos Can Be Called “Tacos”.
When you hear “taco,” normally, you would think about a shell stuffed with meat, cheese, and other fillings. But, it seems that for some, “walking tacos” should be a type of taco. Of course, these resemble nachos more than tacos.
Walking tacos consist of a bag of flavored tortilla chips with taco meat spooned into the bag, and then other toppings are added by the student. Then the lucky person uses a fork or spoon to dig out the contents to eat. While they may be called tacos (and might be delicious), they are not tacos (at least in my humble opinion).
In the end
Tacos can be a welcome addition to any healthy diet, as long as they’re eaten in moderation. Keep in mind that a healthy serving of tacos is three per person, so you may want to add low-calories options, like a salad, to your meal.
Of course, when people try to make tacos at home, not all turn out to be edible. Check out these taco fails found on HuffPost. Fusion tacos, banana and mayo tacos, and the infamous pocket taco have made most people’s attempts at homemade tacos look almost professional. Don’t feel bad at your efforts–these people’s attempts may be far worse!