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How many calories in a Power Menu bowl veggie?

Eating healthy can be challenging when you’re on the go. Many fast food restaurants offer seemingly healthy options, but it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting when you order. Taco Bell’s Power Menu bowls aim to provide more balanced options, but do they deliver? Let’s take a closer look at the Power Menu bowl veggie to find out just how many calories it contains.

An Overview of Taco Bell’s Power Menu Bowls

Taco Bell launched its Power Menu bowls in 2019 as a way to appeal to more health-conscious consumers. The bowls were designed to be lower in calories while still delivering the flavors Taco Bell is known for. There are three main varieties of Power Menu bowls:

  • Power Menu Bowl Veggie – Includes rice, black beans, reduced fat sour cream, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and seasoned vegetables.
  • Power Menu Bowl Chicken – Contains grilled chicken, rice, black beans, reduced fat sour cream, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and seasoned vegetables.
  • Power Menu Bowl Steak – Features steak, rice, black beans, reduced fat sour cream, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and seasoned vegetables.

The bowls can also be customized by adding or swapping ingredients. They aim to provide more fiber and protein than typical fast food meals.

Nutrition Information for the Power Menu Bowl Veggie

So what’s actually in a Power Menu bowl veggie from a nutritional standpoint? Here is the nutrition information according to Taco Bell:

Nutrition Facts Amount
Calories 520
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 780mg
Total Carbohydrates 69g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Total Sugars 3g
Added Sugars 0g
Protein 16g

As you can see, the Power Menu bowl veggie contains 520 calories. It also has 18g of fat, 69g of carbs, and 16g of protein. It provides a decent hit of fiber at 10g per bowl.

How the Calorie Count Compares to Other Taco Bell Items

At 520 calories, the Power Menu bowl veggie actually contains fewer calories than many other items on the Taco Bell menu. Here’s how it compares:

  • Cheesy Gordita Crunch (without meat) – 550 calories
  • Crunchy Taco Supreme – 210 calories
  • Soft Taco Supreme – 200 calories
  • Grilled Steak Soft Taco – 150 calories
  • Bean Burrito – 370 calories
  • Cheese Quesadilla (without meat) – 260 calories

The Power Menu bowl veggie has over 100 more calories than a steak soft taco, but about 80 fewer calories than a cheesy gordita crunch without meat. It lands around the middle of the pack in terms of Taco Bell menu items.

More Calorie-Dense Items

For comparison, here are some higher-calorie items from Taco Bell that contain significantly more calories than the 520 calorie veggie bowl:

  • Cheesy Gordita Crunch with seasoned beef – 800 calories
  • Nachos BellGrande – 750 calories
  • Double Decker Taco – 670 calories
  • Mexican Pizza – 670 calories
  • XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito – Steak – 880 calories
  • Quesarito – Chipotle Chicken – 610 calories

Lower Calorie Options

On the other end of the spectrum, these Taco Bell items all contain fewer than 300 calories:

  • Soft Taco Supreme – 200 calories
  • Crunchy Taco – 170 calories
  • Fresco Crunchy Taco – 150 calories
  • Fresco Soft Taco – 180 calories
  • Chicken Soft Taco – 200 calories
  • Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme – 270 calories

So the Power Menu bowl veggie offers a middle of the road calorie option at Taco Bell in terms of standard menu items.

How the Power Menu Bowl Veggie Fits Into a 2,000 Calorie Diet

The 520 calories in a Power Menu bowl veggie represent about 26% of the total daily calories in a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Here’s a breakdown:

  • One Power Menu bowl veggie = 520 calories
  • 2,000 calories per day in total recommended intake
  • 520/2,000 = 26%

The percent daily values on the nutrition label also give us an indication of how one Power Menu bowl veggie fits into a 2,000 calorie diet:

Nutrient % Daily Value*
Total Fat 28%
Saturated Fat 25%
Cholesterol 7%
Sodium 32%
Total Carbohydrate 23%
Dietary Fiber 36%
Protein 32%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

As you can see, one Power Menu bowl veggie provides over 25% of the recommended daily value for fat, saturated fat, and fiber. It’s moderately high in sodium at 32% DV.

Overall, the Power Menu bowl veggie can fit into a balanced 2,000 calorie diet, but it’s still fairly high in calories, fat, and sodium for a single meal. It would be best to balance it out with lighter meals and snacks for the rest of the day.

Tips for Making Your Power Menu Bowl Veggie Healthier

If you want to lighten up your Power Menu bowl veggie even further, here are some tips:

Skip the Sour Cream

The reduced fat sour cream adds 60 calories and 5g of fat. Omitting it is an easy way to save calories and fat.

Go Easy on Cheese

The shredded cheese contributes 110 calories and 7g of fat. Ask for light cheese or half cheese to reduce the calorie and fat content.

Pick Your Sauce Carefully

The creamy avocado ranch and chipotle sauces add significant calories and fat. Opt for salsa or hot sauce instead.

Add Extra Vegetables

Pile on the lettuce, tomatoes, and other free veggie toppings to add nutrients and fullness without calories.

Select Chicken or Steak Over Seasoned Beef

The chicken and steak have around 100 fewer calories than seasoned beef in most Taco Bell items.

Watch Your Serving Size

Stick to a regular size bowl instead of upsizing. Portion control is key.

Pair With a Low-Calorie Drink

Skip the 300+ calorie sodas and blended drinks. Opt for water or an unsweetened iced tea instead.

How to Burn off the 520 Calories in a Power Menu Bowl Veggie

Exercise is another great way to balance out the 520 calories you consume in a Power Menu bowl veggie. Here’s how long it would take to burn off all 520 calories through various activities, based on a 155 pound person:

  • Walking – 124 minutes
  • Jogging – 61 minutes
  • Hiking – 77 minutes
  • Biking – 51 minutes
  • Swimming – 51 minutes
  • Aerobics – 63 minutes
  • Dancing – 79 minutes
  • Weight lifting – 82 minutes

As you can see, just going for a brisk 60-minute walk would burn through most of the calories from the veggie bowl. Pairing the bowl with exercise allows you to enjoy the flavors while maintaining calorie balance.

The Bottom Line

So how many calories does a Power Menu bowl veggie have? A regular bowl contains 520 calories, which is moderate compared to other Taco Bell options. It provides a hefty dose of fat, sodium, and fiber. With some simple tweaks and exercise, the veggie bowl can reasonably fit into a healthy lifestyle. Focus on customizing your bowl, controlling portions, and balancing it out across your total daily diet and physical activity.