If you thought eating keto meant having to give up your love of taco-flavored things, think again. Taco Bell is launching a new line of snacks inspired by its famous sauces and they also happen to be low in carbs.
The fast-food chain's Cheddar Crisps are made with baked cheese and come in three flavors: Nacho, Mild Sauce, and Fire Sauce.
According to a press release, all three varieties of the crisps come in two sizes and are currently available at participating 7-Eleven and Kroger locations. They will also soon be available via Amazon. In addition to being keto friendly, they’re gluten free and vegetarian.
This isn’t the first time Taco Bell has taken its flavors from the drive-thru to the grocery store. In 2018, the chain launched a line of tortilla chips in Fire, Mild, and Classic flavors. Taco Bell later expanded the line with limited-edition Diablo and Reaper Ranch flavors.
“Taco Bell has a long-standing history of creating cheesy menu items on shelves at nationwide retailers. As masters in this space, the brand relied on cheese to be the ultimate source of flavor and crunch, and serve as a keto-friendly option for all fans,” a Taco Bell spokesperson told TODAY Food.
The keto diet, a low-carb, high-fat eating plan, has soared in popularity over the last few years thanks to several celebrity endorsements and devotees who say they've been able to lose weight quickly. Plenty of companies have hopped on keto bandwagon to offer dieters more snack options that fit into the restrictive plan.
Keto-friendly brand High Key sells a similar snack to Taco Bell’s new Cheddar Crisps called Cheese Crunches. They come in four flavors (cheddar, cheddar and bacon, Parmesan cheddar and everything spice), and are made with cheese and egg whites. The cheddar flavor has 180 calories per serving and contains 14 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein with zero carbs.
Another popular snack brand, Whisps, sells a similar baked cheese cracker. These little rounds are made like High Key’s Cheese Crunches, minus the egg whites, and contain just cheese and various spices. Whisps' cheddar cheese flavor contains 170 calories per serving, 14 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs.
In comparison, Taco Bell’s Cheddar Crisps contain 160 calories, 11 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein, and 3 grams of carbs per serving.
While keto dieters rave about the positive effects they see after following the diet plan, registered dietician Shahzadi Devje told TODAY that there is "insufficient research to make firm conclusions about the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet on certain health parameters," so a strict keto plan may not be the best choice for everyone.
If Taco Bell’s Cheddar Crisps aren’t enough to satisfy a real craving for something spicy and cheesy, Taco Bell’s in-restaurant menu offers options that suit many diet types, including vegetarian and keto, since everything on the chain's menu can be customized to order.