Are Nachos Healthy? – Everything You Need to Know

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Nachos are that one snack that you can enjoy with all your friends or alone while watching a movie or doing some other activities. Americans eat nachos the most along with melted cheese.

Who does not love nachos? There are so many varieties that you can choose from when you are having nachos.

But, should you not know what they really are before you consume them? Do you not wonder, are nachos healthy? Or, how to make nachos healthy? Are there healthy nachos for weight loss? Are Doritos nachos healthy?

If you are wondering about all these questions, then you are on the right track. This article will help you get all the answers to your questions. So, stay tuned.

Nacho Nutrients

Here is the nutrient content of 113 grams of nachos.

  • 356 calories
  • 19 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of saturated fat
  • 18.1 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 815.9 milligrams of sodium
  • 171.8 milligrams of potassium
  • 36 grams of carbs
  • 9 grams of protein
  • Vitamin C 2% of the Daily Value
  • Calcium 27% of the Daily Value
  • Iron 7% of the Daily Value
  • Vitamin b6 10% of the Daily Value
  • Cobalamin 13% of the Daily Value
  • Magnesium 13% of the Daily Value

What Are Nachos?

Usually, nachos are made with tortilla chips, beans and meat, cheese, and vegetables. Let me explain a few things about these ingredients.

Tortilla Chips

Are plain nachos healthy? It depends on what ingredients you use to make them. Americanized nachos typically are not a healthy go to meal.

Usually, these fried tortilla chips are the base of the ingredients for the rest of this snack. Unfortunately, they are fried and high in calories and fat. So, are nachos fattening?. Yes.

The American Heart Association suggests you avoid these fried chips and shells. You can use baked tortilla chips to make healthier nachos. Moreover, You can make your own tortilla chips.

A registered dietitian named Dawn Clifford at Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center recommends that you cut triangles out of whole-wheat tortillas and lightly broil them to get the crispiness.

You can make corn chips this way as well.

Beans and Meat

If you want meat on your nachos, it is good to use lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey while seasoning them with cumin, pepper, and chili powder.

Beans can provide your nachos with fiber and heart-healthy protein, while canned beans can offer you variety and convenience.

You can include black beans or pinto beans as well. If you want to add refried beans, you should check the labels so that you can avoid any lard-ladened brands.

Making healthy nachos without chips will not make them nachos. It will become some sort of a salad with meat, bean, and cheese.


The holy grail of nachos is the cheese. You should choose cheese that would give your nachos a lot of flavors in smaller servings so that you can control the fat content and calories. Do not use glue like orange cheese.

Maybe you can try using pepper-jack cheese or cheddar cheese. But, you should definitely avoid any kind of canned cheese or cheese sauces.


You can use a variety of vegetables on your nachos. Pile up your nachos with different types of vegetables such as chopped onions, shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, and chopped tomatoes.

Sliced olives or avocados will provide your nachos with heart-healthy fats. You can use french spinach instead of iceberg lettuce and add chopped bell pepper to add more color to your nachos.

Health Benefits of Nachos

Despite the fattening properties that store-bought nachos can provide, there is a healthy alternative to nachos, which is homemade baked tortilla nachos.

And there are a lot of health benefits to these homemade nachos. Let us explore them down below.


Because of the fresh vegetables and beans in nachos, this snack can provide you with a lot f goof dietary fiber, which is good for your body as well as weight loss.

Eating a lot of fiber can make a meal very filing and control your appetite. This way, you can achieve your weight goals easily.

Dietary fiber is also essential for gut health, reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease, preventing constipation, and maintaining the glucose levels in your blood.

Strong Bones

As we all know, the holy grain of nachos, which is cheese. The cheeses that you use  in nachos can be very beneficial for you, depending on what cheese you are using.

You might use both cheese and sour cream on your nachos, which can have a lot of health benefits for you. 

Both of these provide you with phosphorus and calcium, which are great for your bone health. And, as calcium is vital for bone production, the cheese and sour cream in nachos are really good for you.

Muscle Growth

Nachos are not any good without the meat content that we use on them. The taste of nachos is not the same without meat such as chicken, pork, or ground beef, or even all of these combined if that is what floats your boat.

These kinds of means could provide you with both plant-based and animal proteins, which are essential for the development of muscles as well as the growth of muscles.

Weight Management

Nachos with baked tortillas and a good amount of cheese is a balanced meals. It can cover all the food groups that are major, providing you with fiber, fats, carbs, and protein.

So, nachos can keep you feeling full for quite a while without causing spikes in your blood sugar. This way, you can easily manage your weight and enjoy a tasty meal.

How to Make Healthy Nachos

You need to prepare each ingredient carefully in a way that makes your nachos healthy. Let us take a look at how you can do that.

Bake Your Chips

There are some whole wheat tortillas that have a calorie count from 80 to even 300. You should choose the ones that have about 80 calories. Then, you can bake those tortillas chips yourself.

Cutting Back on Your Cheese

Cheese is important for making nachos. But, when you have lots of toppings such as ground beef, sour cream, black olives, and tomatoes, you do not have to use a ton of cheese to get to your satisfactory flavor.

Use Less Beef and More Veggies

Seasoned ground beef is tasty, but you do not need a lot to make your nachos delicious. Instead, use a lot of mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions. 

The chopped vegetables will give you a sort of meaty texture. Plus, if you are cooking them in the same pan as the beef, you will get some of its taste as well.

Use Low-Fat Sour Cream

Instead of using full-fat sour cream, why not use low-fat sour cream? It adds all the benefits of sour cream while ensuring your nachos are healthy.

Final Word

Are nachos healthy? Not in general, but you can make healthier nachos yourself at home by baking the tortilla chips, adding more vegetables, cutting down on your cheese and beef intake, and using low-fat sour cream.

If you make it the right way, nachos can be very healthy indeed. It can provide you with a lot of protein, fiber, calcium, and other nutrients, which are good for you.

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