Taco vs. Fajita – Is One Better?
Tacos are 9 times higher in carbohydrates, including dietary fiber, and 2 times higher in calories, fats, and protein. Fajitas contain 4 times more cholesterol.
Taco has more vitamin B12, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, and copper. Taco also is 2 times lower in sodium. On the other hand, fajita has more vitamin B6, vitamin B3, phosphorus, and selenium.
Table of contents
Fajitas and tacos are popular Mexican dishes that are now considered fast food. We’ll discuss their differences and similarities, focusing on nutrition and health impact.
What’s The Actual Difference?
Tacos and fajitas have a lot in common. They have almost similar seasonings and have tortillas as an important ingredient. However, the main difference between fajitas and tacos is that tacos often have fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and other raw vegetables on top, while fajita ingredients are almost always grilled, including veggies.
A taco is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla (usually corn or flour) filled with various ingredients. Fajitas is a Tex-Mex dish that originated in Texas but has Mexican influences but originated in Texas.
Tacos are filled tortillas that can contain a variety of ingredients, while fajitas consist of grilled meat with onions and peppers, typically served with tortillas and other accompaniments. The tortilla is usually soft and can be either steamed or lightly grilled.
At the bottom of this page, you can find a nutrition infographic to help you better understand the differences in the nutrition of fajitas and tacos.
For a fair comparison, we have chosen to provide nutritional infographics for 100g servings of taco and fajita. However, one average taco weighs around 69g, while one strip of fajita is equal to around 9.4g.
Tacos have nearly 2 times more calories than fajitas. Fajitas have 135 calories per 100g, while tacos have 206 calories per 100g.
Both can be considered medium-to-high-calorie foods.
Tacos are significantly higher in carbohydrates, providing 9 times more per 100g serving. In this serving size, tacos contain 19.85g of carbs, while fajitas have 2.23g.
This difference is partially due to the taco's dietary fiber content. Tacos are a great source of fiber, falling in the top 22% of foods as a source, while fajitas lack this nutrient.
Tacos have over 2 times more fat than fajitas. It has 12.7g of fats per 100 g, whereas a fajita has only 5.73 g per 100 g.
Taco contains 4․4g of saturated and monounsaturated fats and 3g of polyunsaturated fats. Fajita, on the other hand, provides 1.6g of saturated, 2g of monounsaturated, and 1g of polyunsaturated fats.
Fat Type Comparison
Despite the lower fat content, fajitas are 4 times higher in cholesterol, providing 88mg per 100g, whereas tacos have 28mg.
Fajitas provide considerably more protein, containing about 10g more per 100g. Overall, fajitas and tacos are good sources of protein, providing 18.6g and 8.9g, respectively, per 100g serving.
Naturally, fajitas are richer in all of the essential amino acids.
The mineral content of tacos is higher than that of fajitas.
Taco contains almost 7 times more calcium, 4 times more manganese, and 3 times more copper than fajitas. Iron, magnesium, and zinc levels are also higher in tacos.
On the other hand, fajita has more selenium, potassium, and phosphorus than taco. The amount of sodium is lower in tacos.
Tacos provide 5 times more folate, 3 times more vitamin E, and 76 times more vitamin K than fajitas.
The amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B12 are also higher in tacos.
On the other hand, fajita contains 4 times more vitamin B6 and vitamin B2, also more vitamin B1 and vitamin B3 than tacos.
Based on the PRAL values, the acidity of a fajita is about 12.6 (acidic), while that of a taco is 4.5 (acidic). This makes fajitas more acid-forming than tacos.
Overall, the health impact of these dishes depends on their ingredients and cooking methods. Since these are not constant, it’s hard to talk about a specific health impact caused by tacos or fajitas.
That being said, it has been researched that cooking meat at high temperatures, such as grilling and barbecuing, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes compared to cooking at moderate temperatures, such as boiling, steaming, and stir-frying (1). The components that make up fajitas are usually cooked at higher temperatures.
The majority of the sodium we consume comes from salt. The daily sodium intake for adults is up to 2.3g (3). Excess sodium consumption is linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. While tacos have half the salt content compared to fajitas, both are high-sodium dishes.
Nevertheless, studies find that corn products, such as tortillas, are significant sources of phytochemicals and can be part of a healthy diet because of their high bioaccessibility and antioxidant qualities (3).
Red Meat Allergy
People with red meat allergies are usually sensitive to cat serum albumin, which reacts with pork albumin. Common symptoms include urticaria, vomiting, and stomach cramps, with anaphylaxis occurring in rare cases (4). Specific IgE antibodies to galactose-1,3-galactose (-Gal), an oligosaccharide found in non-primate mammals, are frequently associated with these cases.
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price||Equal|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||20µg||0µg|
|Omega-3 - EPA||0.005g||0g|
|Omega-3 - DPA||0.006g||0.007g|
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0.004g||0.01g|
|Omega-6 - Linoleic acid||2.708g|
|Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid||0.002g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.166g|
|Omega-3 - Eicosatrienoic acid||0.001g|
|Omega-6 - Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid||0.011g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.