Did you know that you can eat Mexican food even if you're on keto?
Yes, that's right!
If you're a Del Taco fan, you'll surely be excited to hear about this!
But hold your horses!
Don't head to Del Taco without reading this guide.
After all, you don't want to make a mistake by ordering a high carb dish that can potentially kick you out of ketosis, right?
We thought so.
Before you head out and order at your favorite Mexican fast food (not just this one but others as well), you may want to read this article first.
We've shared all our Del Taco keto hacks in here, so you should get started!
The Do's and Don't’sDon't's of Eating Low Carb at Del Taco
Yes, you can eat low carb at Del Taco.
But since you're on keto, there will be some restrictions. To help you navigate your way through the Del Taco menu in the most keto-friendly way possible, here are some of the do's and don'ts you must keep in mind:
If you want to order tacos, do go for the crunchy ones.
When at Del Taco, you'll surely be tempted to order the tacos! If you've been resisting the temptation for so long and you just want to give in, you can! (1)
However, you should be wise in how you do it. Even though you're giving in to your cravings, it's a must that you still find a way to minimize your carbohydrate consumption.
You can do this by ordering a crunchy taco. What's the difference between the two? Well, the hard taco shell is easier to dispose of than the tortilla wraps. Additionally, there will be less mess when you separate the taco contents from the hard shell.
With that in mind, you should avoid ordering wraps and burritos.
Don't order the meal with the sauce.
Mexican dishes won't be complete without their sauces. But as sad as it may seem, you must ditch the sauces that come with the tacos if you wish to stay within your keto diet.
There's no doubt that their sauces add flavor to the dishes, but these contain hidden sugars, which you should steer clear of if you want to stay in ketosis.
Do replace the sauce with low-carb options.
The good news is there are plenty of low-carb toppings that you can use in place of their sugary sauces.
When ordering, don't forget to ask the servers to hold the sauce, but do ask for keto-friendly toppings like sour cream, bacon, avocadoes, sour cream, and many more. These toppings won't just make your tacos more flavorful but more filling as well.
Don't get the unhealthy side dishes.
There are many food items that you can enjoy at Del Taco, even if you're on the keto diet, but the side dishes are not one of them.
As much as we hate to admit it, they have some of the unhealthiest side dishes. Some of the sides that you should shy away from are bean, cheese cups and fries.
By fries, we mean all the fries they offer—deluxe chili cheddar fries, chili cheddar fries, queso loaded fries, and carne asada fries.
If you want something to eat your tacos (or its insides), we recommend ordering side salads instead.
Don't order the platos.
Del Taco is known for its fantastic platos because these offers are packed with their bestsellers. Unfortunately, their bestselling dishes are packed with high crab sides like chips, salsa, beans, and rice. These are big no-no's if you're on keto.
Yes, you can easily set those aside. But since half of their platos is made up of only sides, you won't be able to make the most out of their meals. Instead of saving your money, you'll end up wasting it.
Do order their burgers to satisfy your fats requirements.
When on keto, it's a must that you get around 70-80% of your daily calories from fats. (2) Because of this, you should incorporate food items that are high in fats in your diet.
The burgers at Del Taco are great keto food options as they are high in fats. Some of the burgers also have bacon and cheese, which further increase their fat content.
No matter how tempting it is, don't order alcohol.
Let's face it—tacos are best eaten with alcoholic drinks like beer, margarita, and the likes. However, alcohol is one of the worst drinks that you can enjoy on a ketogenic diet. (3)
That's why you should never order alcoholic drinks if you want to stay low carb at Del Taco. If you're going to drink other beverages aside from water, we recommend going for their unsweetened drinks.
Do get some salads to boost your fiber intake.
One of the essential nutrients keto dieters tend to miss out on is fiber. This is because most of the fiber-rich food options also contain a high amount of carbohydrates.
Green and leafy vegetables are a significant exception. That's why ordering a salad is a good idea. However, most of the salads from Del Taco come with tortilla strips, so you may need to ask the server to hold the strips. Additionally, make sure to go for low-carb dressings to keep the salad as keto-friendly as possible.
If you also wish to boost your fat and protein intake, you can also order a few salad add-ons like bacon, chicken, shredded cheese, avocado slices, and many more.
What to Order Low Carb at Del Taco?
Armed with the Del Taco keto hacks and tips that we mentioned, we hope you are now more confident in exploring the Del Taco menu. If not, don't fret! We'll share some of the low carb food items that we've found in their menu below:
Low Carb Salads at Del Taco
Let's start with the safest and essential food item of them all—salads! More than just providing you with the amount of fiber you need, did you know that consuming fiber on keto also offers plenty of health benefits? (4)
However, you should note that not all salads are created equal, and not all of them are suitable for the keto diet. This is because of the amount of carbohydrates in certain toppings and dressings that they come with.
For example, the salads that we're going to share with you come with tortilla strips and black beans toppings. Both of these are high in carbs and must be avoided. To make the salads keto compliant, we recommend asking the server to hold these ingredients.
The salads also come with salsa casera, which is a tasty yet high-carb dressing. To boost the salad's flavor without increasing its net carbs, we suggest asking for a side of cilantro ranch or sour cream instead.
With that said, here are some of the low carb salads that you can enjoy at Del Taco:
Signature Taco Salad
From its name, this salad is packed with almost all the food items that you can find in a typical taco—avocado slices, salsa, grated nacho cheese, onions, bacon, diced tomatoes, ground beef, beans, and tortilla strips. All of these are beautifully arranged atop a bed of mixed greens.
The salsa already lends a delicious flavor to the salad, but if you want something creamy, you can also ask for a side of cilantro ranch or sour cream. You can also ask them to hold the salsa if you're on strict keto.
Mexican Chopped Salad
This one's a semi-healthier version of their signature taco salad as it uses freshly grilled chicken instead of ground beef. It would be perfect for people who are not a fan of beef.
Nutritional Content: One serving of the salad will give you 510 calories, 23g fat, 31g protein, 11g fiber, and 18g net carbs.
Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad
This salad comprises two of the best protein sources that you can have on the keto diet—chicken and bacon. The freshly grilled chicken comes with fresh avocado slices, pico de gallo, tortilla chips, and cilantro ranch.
Since it already comes with cilantro ranch, you no longer have to substitute the dressings. However, you do need to ask the server to remove the tortilla strips.
Nutritional Content: Finish the entire salad to get 550 calories, 40g fat, 23g protein, 5g fiber, and 22g net carbs.
Low Carb at Del Taco Fresca Bowls
One look at their Fresca Bowls, and you'll already know that they aren't for keto since these contain beans and cilantro lime rice.
Fortunately, you have the freedom to customize your meal at Del Taco so you can easily make these food items low carb by asking the server to remove those. You can also ask them to replace the rice with lettuce leaves.
Pollo Asado with Avocado
The Pollo Asado Fresca Bowl with Avocado comprises freshly grilled chicken, avocado slices, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Everything is placed on top of cilantro lime rice.
Nutritional Content: With the rice and beans, the nutritional content of this Fresca bowl is 580 calories, 21g fat, 28g protein, 13g fiber, and 59g net carbs.
If you're vegan or vegetarian, you'll be happy to know that they have a fresca bowl variant for you—the Avocado Veggie. This consists of avocado slices, diced onions and tomatoes, black beans, and a lettuce blend (Iceberg and Romaine) over a bed of cilantro lime rice.
Nutritional Content: Since this has no meat, it only has 490 calories, 16g fat, 14g protein, 12g fiber, and 60g net carbs.
Keto Tacos at Del Taco
Now, we're here at the most awaited part—the tacos! To make all of their tacos keto compliant, here's our simple tip: ask for a taco with no sauce. Once you've gotten your order, don't forget to toss the shell too!
If you feel that the tacos are a bit bland because there's no sauce, you can ask for an extra topping like guacamole, sour cream, or more cheese!
Crunchy Value Taco
If you like your tacos with no frills, this is the one for you! It only contains four ingredients—ground beef, lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and crunchy taco shell.
Nutritional Content: One Value Taco contains 130 calories, 8g fat, 6g protein, 2g fiber, and 7g net carbs.
The Del Taco
This is the signature Del Taco taco, and it's packed with everything you like in a taco—more flavorful ground beef, grated cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes, and crunchy shell.
Nutritional Content: This taco is cheesier and meatier than the value taco, containing more calories—310. Additionally, it has 20g fat, 17g protein, 2g fiber, and 12g net carbs.
Beyond Avocado Taco
Here's another fantastic treat for vegans. You can find seasoned Beyond Meat crumbles, diced tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and sliced avocadoes in between the crunchy taco shell.
Nutritional Content: Finish this to get 260 calories, 14g fat, 12g protein, 4g fiber, and 18g net carbs.
Keto-Friendly Burger Options
Even if you're more of a burger person than a taco one, you can also find low carb meal options at Del Taco. Here are some of them:
Double Del Cheeseburger
The Double Del Cheeseburger is the burger of dreams of burger lovers as it comes with 2 100% beef patties, 2 American cheese slices, crisp lettuce, 2 tomato slices, diced onions, burger sauce, and sesame seed bun.
Nutritional Content: Since it has two of everything, it's high caloric and high fat. It contains 690 calories, 47g fat, 30g protein, 1g fiber, and 34g net carbs.
Double Del Cheeseburger with Bacon
As if the Double Del Cheeseburger is not yet perfect enough, they take it to the next level by adding two more bacon strips!
Nutritional Content: The addition of bacon increased the burger's nutritional content to 740 calories, 51g fat, 33g protein, 1g fiber, and 34g net carbs,
When ordering these burgers, make sure to ask for no bun, sauce, and sides (if it comes with French fries).
Low Carb Breakfast Items at Del Taco
If you plan to eat at Del Taco during breakfast time, here are the low carb options that you can try:
- Breakfast Tacos (get carne asada instead of chorizo and toss the wrap)
- Huevos Ranchero Epic Burrito (Hold the beans and the wrap)
- Breakfast Burritos (Eat this without the wrap)
- Epic Scramblers (Get this without the hash brown sticks, taco shells, and red sauce)
Eating out is not recommended when you're on keto since you can really never know the type of ingredients in each meal.
But if Del Taco dishes are one of your comfort food, you can certainly pay a visit to your favorite Mexican fast food from time to time.
Choosing a dish at your favourite restaurants may be tricky while on diet, but it's not impossible! Just don't forget to follow these simple guidelines—ditch the shell, avoid the beans, and go for low-carb sauces!