A keto-friendly meal from Taco Bell, recommended by Scott Keatley, R.D., featuring high-protein ingredients like steak, shredded cheese, bacon, sour cream, and guacamole, artistically arranged without taco shells or tortillas, set against a Taco Bell restaurant backdrop, emphasizing smart, ketogenic dining choices.

Taco Bell Is Actually Home To So Many Keto-Friendly Dishes—If You Don’t Mind Getting Creative

Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, provides insight into navigating the Taco Bell menu for those adhering to a ketogenic diet. He emphasizes the importance of selecting menu items rich in protein while being mindful of hidden sugars, even in seemingly keto-friendly options like sausage patties. Keatley advises against consuming beans due to their high carbohydrate content but suggests incorporating high-fat additions such as shredded cheese, bacon, sour cream, and guacamole, along with vegetables and lettuce, to stay within keto guidelines.

Keatley also highlights that the typical shells and tortillas are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided. He provides a variety of creative modifications for Taco Bell offerings to make them keto-compliant, such as ordering the Naked Egg Taco without potatoes and substituting with steak, or transforming the Breakfast Soft Taco into a bowl by removing the taco shell. For the Grande Scrambler and Mini Skillet Bowl, he recommends omitting potatoes and tortilla wraps, suggesting additional protein like steak or extra eggs to enhance the meal's nutritional value.

For those opting for the Power Menu Bowl, Keatley suggests skipping the seasoned rice and beans, potentially swapping chicken for a double order of marinated beef to reduce sugar intake, and adding extra romaine for crunch. He also outlines how to adapt other menu items, like the Beefy 5-Layer Burrito and Fiesta Taco Salad, into keto-friendly versions by removing high-carb components and focusing on meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Keatley points out that Taco Bell's signature sauces can be a low-carb way to add flavor to meals, with many sauces having minimal net carbs. This approach allows individuals following a ketogenic diet to enjoy Taco Bell options while maintaining their dietary restrictions, showcasing the importance of creativity and modification in adhering to a keto lifestyle even when dining out.