We asked 3 nutritionists what they would order at Taco Bell for a high-protein meal

Taco Bell's Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito
Taco Bell's Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito has 40 grams of proteinTaco Bell
  • Insider asked nutritionists what they would order from Taco Bell for a high-protein meal.

  • They recommended Power Menu Bowls, but consider a higher-protein side if you get the veggie one.

  • Protein is important for general health, and helps with muscle growth and fat loss.

Protein is one of three essential macronutrients for general health, and it's particularly important for fat loss, muscle growth, and recovery.

US adults are advised to eat 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight a day, but active people require more to help with athletic performance.

It's possible to get high-protein meals on-the-go, including from fast-food chains like Burger King, Subway or McDonald's.

Fast-food in general can be high in fat, salt, and highly processed so unhealthy in excess, but in moderation it can be part of a balanced diet, nutritionists say.

Dietary restriction, whether cutting out food groups or dropping calories too low, can lead to what some health professionals call a "binge-restrict cycle."

Here is what three registered nutritionists told Insider they'd order if they wanted to choose a high-protein meal at Taco Bell.

Lily Soutter: Chicken Power Menu Bowl

Taco Bell Chicken Power Menu Bowl
Taco Bell's Chicken Power Menu BowlTaco Bell

Registered nutritionist Lily Soutter said she would opt for the Chicken Power Menu Bowl.

"This balanced bowl comes with seasoned rice, lettuce, and tomatoes which provide carbohydrates and veggies," she said. "Ingredients such as fiber-rich beans and lean chicken add a protein punch, and the dollop of guacamole has those heart-friendly monounsaturated fats."

Soutter would also add extra vegetables such as jalapeno peppers and onions, she said.

Luke Hanna: Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito, or Chicken Power Menu Bowl

Taco Bell's Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito
Taco Bell's Double Steak Grilled Cheese BurritoTaco Bell

As an active person who mostly eats "moderate calorie meals," personal trainer and registered nutritionist Luke Hanna told Insider he would choose a Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito, which has 920 calories, 44 grams of fat, 91 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of protein.

"For those who eat out regularly and are looking for something a little more balanced, I'd recommend going for something like the Power Menu Bowl," he said. "This is more sensible on the calorie side while also providing some lean protein, healthy fats, and nutrients."

The Chicken Power Menu Bowl contains 460 calories, 21 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbs, and 27 grams of protein.

Hanna would "save on the liquid calories" by ordering a Diet Pepsi or water, he said.

Emilia Thompson: Veggie Power Menu Bowl and a Bean Burrito

Taco Bell's Vegetarian Power Menu Bowl
Taco Bell's Vegetarian Power Menu BowlTaco Bell

Registered nutritionist and personal trainer Emilia Thompson told Insider she would order both a vegetarian Power Menu Bowl and a Bean Burrito.

"The veggie bowl provides a variety of plant-based foods and essential fat," she said. "The best thing we can do to support our gut is consume a wide variety of plant-based foods, and one of the best things we can do for our health is to consume sufficient fiber — this ticks both of those boxes."

The Veggie Power Menu Bowl has 420 calories, 20 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of protein.

Taco Bell's Bean Burrito
Taco Bell's Bean BurritoTaco Bell

Thompson said the lower protein content of the bowl probably wouldn't fully satiate her, so she'd also order a Bean Burrito to provide more fiber and protein.

The Bean Burrito contains 350 calories, nine grams of fat, 55 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of protein.

With 770 calories and 26 grams of protein in total, Thompson's meal would fill her up for hours, she said.

Read the original article on Insider