Healthier Tacos: Increasing Dietary Fiber

The good news is that taco lovers (who make their own tacos at home) now have a healthier option:  Ortega Whole Grain Corn Taco Shells.   The bad news is that, while these whole grain shells do provide 10 less calories and nearly twice as much (5 grams) of dietary fiber per serving (2 shells) than their traditional non-whole grain counterpart, nonetheless each shell still contains the same amount of fat (6 grams), 50% less iron, and slightly more sodium.


Curiously, the nutritional data printed on the box I have at home is slightly different from the nutritional data posted on Ortega's website.  Although the discrepancies are relatively minor, the box says that the whole grain shells do not contain any saturated fat, while the website says that 2 shells contain 1 gram of saturated fat.  This might be somewhat of an issue for those individuals who are closely watching their consumption of saturated fat.


Taste-wise, the whole grain shells have a slightly grainier texture which may take some getting used to for certain people.  Otherwise, the taste is nearly identical to the non-whole grain shell.

Price-wise, at my local supermarket, the whole grain shells cost about 20% more than the non-whole grain version.

With everything else being practically equal, is the slightly higher price and less desirable texture worth the extra 2 to 3 grams of dietary fiber?  I would say that the answer is YES.   According to the Institute of Medicine, women need approximately 25 grams of fiber while men need approximately 38 grams of fiber per day.  Yet, the average American adult eats only 15 grams per day.   So, it would seem that in the dietary fiber department, the average American can use all the help s/he can get!












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