Taco Bell made media headlines this week with an announcement about its efforts to cut sodium in its burritos, tacos, and other fare. The restaurant chain, which is part of Yum! Brands (along with Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut), has reduced sodium by an average of 15 percent since 2009. Selected menu items have been reduced in sodium by more than 30 percent.
Taste, however, was not reduced along with the reduction in sodium. Taco Bell aimed to cut the salt without losing flavor.
How did they do it? Taco Bell looked at all of the ingredients they were using and found places to use less sodium in their tortillas, chicken marinades, sauces, and more. When you reduce sodium in several ingredients in a recipe, the reductions can add up. It remains a trade secret how exactly Taco Bell made the changes and what other ingredients they might have changed up.
We commend Yum Brands for taking steps to reduce the amount of sodium in some of their restaurants’ menu items, but there’s still a long way to go in making restaurant and pre-packaged food healthier. This is a positive first step and I hope it spurs others in the food industry to make even more healthy changes to their offerings.
Taco Bell said that its customers are demanding healthier options. It said that even though its Fresco and Cantina menu options aren’t the best-sellers, it’s important that they are available.
What do you think? Would you be more likely to visit restaurants that offer healthy menu choices?