A bean and cheese taco can be a healthy meal or a calorie extravaganza, depending on the recipe. If you're making your taco at home, lighten the calorie load by using reduced-fat cheese and a soft tortilla instead of a fried one. You can also keep your taco lean by choosing vegetable toppings such as pico de gallo rather than fatty sour cream.
A bare-bones taco contains 52 calories from a soft corn tortilla, 122 calories from one-half cup of pinto beans, and 114 calories from 1 ounce of cheddar cheese, for a total of 288 calories. With 2 tablespoons of salsa, you add 10 more calories, bringing the calorie count close to 300. Top off your taco with diced tomato and shredded lettuce and you'll up the nutrient content while adding only a few more calories.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.