Taco Casa is a fast food chain with more than 35 restaurants in Texas. Taco Casa offers affordable Tex-Mex food made with fresh ingredients at an affordable price. House specialties include tacos, nachos and burritos. There are some healthier options on the menu, but a few items have a full day's worth of calories and two days' worth of sodium and should be avoided.
The smallest and simplest menu options are the healthiest. The taco may be the best choice, with 260 calories, 14 g of protein, 13 g of carbohydrates, 17 g of fat and 320 mg of sodium. Although the tostada has fewer calories and fat, it has more than twice the amount of sodium -- more than 700 mg. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. A good rule of thumb is a 1:1 ratio of calories to sodium.
Taco Casa offers a lighter option, "Taco Lite," that is twice the size with twice the calories of a regular taco. Actually, it has double everything: the sodium, fat, carbs and protein. Many people who read a menu and see "lite" think it means that this is a healthy choice. However, the plain taco is still a more nutritious item.
Not So Super
The Super Taco, Super Burrito, Super Tostada and Super Nachos are nutritionally the worst items on the menu. The Super Nachos have more than 2,000 calories and 313 g of fat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends no more than 65 g of fat a day. This one item has an entire day's worth of calories and more than five days' worth of fat. It also has more than 5,300 mg of sodium -- more sodium than you should consume in three days, all in a single meal.
The sodium content of most items at Taco Casa are too high, and nachos are no exception. With 2,600 mg of sodium, 66 g of fat and more than 1,000 calories for a 10-oz serving, it's no wonder that CalorieLab says that Texas is the 13th fattest state in the U.S. and that 29.5 percent of adults in Texas are obese.
Frijoles and Chili Burger
If you're not in the mood for a taco, two other options may be the chili burger or frijoles. The chili burger has 250 calories, 14 g of protein, 28 g of carbs and 9 g of fat. Although it has more sodium than the 1:1 ratio suggests, with 560 mg for Taco Casa, it's still one of the healthier choices.
Frijoles have 260 calories and 940 g of sodium, which is too much, but has only 2 g of fat and is the lowest fat option on the menu. Considering that the one salad offered on the menu has 97 g of fat, the frijoles may not be a bad choice.