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Burrito vs. Taco - What's The Difference Between?

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 28, 2024
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Taco
vs
Burrito

Summary

Taco has more phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin B12, and zinc. It is also lower in sodium than burritos. On the other hand, a burrito provides more Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, iron, copper, manganese, and potassium. Burrito is also lower in saturated fats, sugars, and cholesterol.

Introduction

Do you know what the word “taco” means? The real meaning of it is a "light snack" in Mexican, which perfectly explains the name. The word "burrito" means "a little donkey" because Mexicans frequently resemble a finished burrito with a donkey's ear. 

Burritos and tacos are popular Mexican dishes that are often confused by people outside Mexico. So, how to distinguish between them? We’ll go through their actual differences, focusing on nutrition and discussing some health impacts. 

What’s The Actual Difference?

Size

Tacos are smaller in size than burritos. Tacos are well-known light snacks. Burrito is considered a full whole meal. In contrast, you need to eat several tacos to substitute a whole meal for it. Besides, burritos can have double filling compared to a single filling of tacos. 

Ingredients

Basically, the most important difference is the taste of these two which depends on the different ingredients they contain. Let's split them into three categories.

Wrap - the taco ingredients are filled in a light corn tortilla that is easy to crack due to its softness. In contrast, burritos are wrapped in a large flour-made wrap that often equals the size of a plate. Burrito tortillas may be flavored with tomatoes or spinach. 

Filling - here comes the most significant difference. Tacos are usually filled with only one kind of meat - chicken, pulled pork, beef, fish, or shrimp, plus some light adding - lettuce, tomato, cabbage, etc. In contrast, burrito filling is meat with a variety of extremely healthier mixes: beans, vegetables, rice, and cheese. 

Garnishing - burritos are usually served without any garnishing, while tacos may have onions, sour cream, or different sauces as a garnish. 

Nutrition

At the bottom of this page, you can find a nutrition table, which will help you better understand the differences in the nutrition of burritos and tacos. 

Calories

Overall, burritos and tacos have almost an equal amount of calories. Burritos have 206 calories per 100 g, while tacos have 226 calories per 100 g

100g servings of these foods are classified as medium-calorie foods. Consider that full burritos or tacos may weigh more than 100g and consequently have more calories. 

Fats

Tacos have higher amounts of fats than burritos. It has 12.7g of fats per 100 g, whereas a burrito has 6.22 g per 100 g. Taco contains 4g saturated fats and 4g mono/polyunsaturated fats. Burrito provides 3g saturated and 2g monounsaturated fats.

Cholesterol

Taco contains 14 times higher cholesterol than a burrito. It provides 28mg of cholesterol per 100g, whereas a burrito contains only 2mg of cholesterol.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Taco
2
:
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +102%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +452.1%
Contains less Saturated Fat -27.6%
37% 37% 26%
Saturated Fat: 4.384 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.411 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.042 g
54% 37% 9%
Saturated Fat: 3.174 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.184 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.551 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +102%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +452.1%
Contains less Saturated Fat -27.6%

Carbs

The level of carbs in burritos is higher than in tacos. It contains 32.92 g of carbs, whereas tacos have 19.85g of carbs per 100g. The number of carbs in the burrito comes from ingredients.

Proteins

Taco contains higher amounts of protein than a burrito. It has almost 2.5g more protein. Depending on the type of meat they contain, tacos and burritos may have different types of essential or non-essential amino acids. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Taco
3
:
Contains more Protein +36.7%
Contains more Fats +104.2%
Contains more Carbs +65.8%
Contains more Other +17.8%
Equal in Water - 52.53
9% 13% 20% 57%
Protein: 8.86 g
Fats: 12.7 g
Carbs: 19.85 g
Water: 57.02 g
Other: 1.57 g
6% 6% 33% 53% 2%
Protein: 6.48 g
Fats: 6.22 g
Carbs: 32.92 g
Water: 52.53 g
Other: 1.85 g
Contains more Protein +36.7%
Contains more Fats +104.2%
Contains more Carbs +65.8%
Contains more Other +17.8%
Equal in Water - 52.53

Minerals

The mineral amounts of burritos and tacos are almost equal. Taco contains two times higher phosphorus, calcium, and zinc than a burrito.

The amount of sodium is also lower in tacos.

Contrariwise, a burrito has two times more copper and more iron, magnesium, and potassium than a taco. The levels of magnesium and iron are also higher in the burrito.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Taco
4
:
Contains more Calcium +71.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +295.6%
Contains less Sodium -12.6%
Contains more Zinc +150%
Contains more Iron +74.8%
Contains more Magnesium +25%
Contains more Potassium +44%
Contains more Copper +126%
Contains more Manganese +60.6%
Equal in Selenium - 10.1
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 27% 45% 23% 77% 19% 52% 48% 26% 33% 51%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 16% 78% 29% 20% 27% 60% 20% 58% 53% 56%
Contains more Calcium +71.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +295.6%
Contains less Sodium -12.6%
Contains more Zinc +150%
Contains more Iron +74.8%
Contains more Magnesium +25%
Contains more Potassium +44%
Contains more Copper +126%
Contains more Manganese +60.6%
Equal in Selenium - 10.1

Vitamins

Burritos have a higher vitamin content than tacos. Burritos provide four times more Vitamin B1 and three times more Vitamin B2.

The amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, and folate are also high in burritos.

On the other hand, taco contains more Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D than burritos.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Taco
5
:
Contains more Vitamin B12 +86%
Contains more Choline +19.4%
Contains more Vitamin A +16.8%
Contains more Vitamin C +125%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +480%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +366.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +13.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +55.6%
Contains more Folate +110.5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 8% 12% 3% 2% 13% 14% 31% 0% 21% 15% 117% 18% 39%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 10% 0% 0% 3% 73% 65% 36% 56% 33% 30% 63% 15% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +86%
Contains more Choline +19.4%
Contains more Vitamin A +16.8%
Contains more Vitamin C +125%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +480%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +366.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +13.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +55.6%
Contains more Folate +110.5%

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of a burrito is equal to 37; a taco has a GI of 39. Both are considered low glycemic index foods.

Acidity

The potential renal acid load (PRAL) of food describes its acidity by indicating the acid production of the food within the body. The acidity of a burrito is about 3.2 (alkaline), while that of a taco is 4.5 (acidic).

Health Impact

Diabetes

One Indian study shows the correlation between burrito consumption and high BMI (body measure size) is present, leading to increased risks of developing diabetes [1]. Besides, research confirms the link between eating red meat and developing type 2 diabetes. Red meat, mainly processed meats, contains a lot of heme iron, which raises blood sugar levels [2].

Cardiovascular health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

When comparing a burrito and a taco in terms of cardiovascular health, several factors come into play:

The caloric content and portion size: tacos tend to be larger and can contain more calories compared to burritos. Consuming excessive calories can contribute to weight gain and obesity, which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

Sodium content: Both burritos and tacos definitely have high sodium content, which is directly linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that adults limit their sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of table salt. The recommended limits for kids under 14 are even lower [3]. 

Types of fats: Both dishes can contain fats from cooking oils, cheese, and meats. However, tacos are slightly higher in saturated fat than burritos. High consumption of saturated fats may increase cardiovascular risk (including the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke) [4].

In summary, portion control is crucial when it comes to enjoying tacos and burritos, as it helps prevent overconsumption of calories, fats, and sodium. By consuming them in moderation and incorporating other nutritious foods, you can significantly enhance your overall cardiovascular health.

Red meat allergy

People usually have red meat allergies if sensitive to cat serum albumin, which reacts with pork albumin. Urticaria, vomiting, and stomach cramps are common symptoms, with anaphylaxis occurring in rare cases [5]. These cases are frequently associated with specific IgE to galactose-1,3-galactose (-Gal), an oligosaccharide found in non-primate mammals.

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 28, 2024
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan

Infographic

Taco vs Burrito infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Taco Burrito
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in price Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Taco Burrito Opinion
Net carbs 15.95g 32.92g Burrito
Protein 8.86g 6.48g Taco
Fats 12.7g 6.22g Taco
Carbs 19.85g 32.92g Burrito
Calories 226kcal 206kcal Taco
Starch 14.78g Taco
Fructose 0.3g Taco
Sugar 0.9g Burrito
Fiber 3.9g Taco
Calcium 89mg 52mg Taco
Iron 1.19mg 2.08mg Burrito
Magnesium 32mg 40mg Burrito
Phosphorus 178mg 45mg Taco
Potassium 209mg 301mg Burrito
Sodium 397mg 454mg Taco
Zinc 1.75mg 0.7mg Taco
Copper 0.077mg 0.174mg Burrito
Manganese 0.249mg 0.4mg Burrito
Selenium 9.2µg 10.1µg Burrito
Vitamin A 131IU 153IU Burrito
Vitamin A RAE 20µg Taco
Vitamin E 0.6mg Taco
Vitamin D 4IU Taco
Vitamin D 0.1µg Taco
Vitamin C 0.4mg 0.9mg Burrito
Vitamin B1 0.05mg 0.29mg Burrito
Vitamin B2 0.06mg 0.28mg Burrito
Vitamin B3 1.65mg 1.87mg Burrito
Vitamin B5 0.92mg Burrito
Vitamin B6 0.09mg 0.14mg Burrito
Folate 19µg 40µg Burrito
Vitamin B12 0.93µg 0.5µg Taco
Choline 32mg 26.8mg Taco
Vitamin K 15.3µg Taco
Tryptophan 0.079mg Burrito
Threonine 0.244mg Burrito
Isoleucine 0.27mg Burrito
Leucine 0.504mg Burrito
Lysine 0.343mg Burrito
Methionine 0.107mg Burrito
Phenylalanine 0.351mg Burrito
Valine 0.319mg Burrito
Histidine 0.172mg Burrito
Cholesterol 28mg 2mg Burrito
Trans Fat 0.467g Burrito
Saturated Fat 4.384g 3.174g Burrito
Omega-3 - EPA 0.005g Taco
Omega-3 - DPA 0.006g Taco
Monounsaturated Fat 4.411g 2.184g Taco
Polyunsaturated fat 3.042g 0.551g Taco
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.004g Taco
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 2.708g Taco
Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid 0.002g Taco
Omega-3 - ALA 0.166g Taco
Omega-3 - Eicosatrienoic acid 0.001g Taco
Omega-6 - Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid 0.011g Taco

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Taco Burrito
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
22%
Taco
29%
Burrito
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
40%
Taco
41%
Burrito

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Taco
Taco contains less Sodium (difference - 57mg)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.9g)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 26mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.21g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in glycemic index (difference - 2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Burrito
Burrito is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Taco - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170689/nutrients
  2. Burrito - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172038/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.