budget nutrition

Which Tortilla is The Healthiest for Your Taco?

My husband grew up in a gluten-free house, so he always ate corn tortillas. At my house we started out with flour tortillas, then as time went on that switched to whole wheat. And these days when you walk down the aisle at the grocery store, you’ll find tons of different tortilla options! Of course everyone has different taste preferences, but I had to wonder – which tortilla is the healthiest?

”Healthy” is a pretty general term, so I tried to quantify that with a few different categories: vitamins/minerals, fiber, net carbs, protein, and saturated/unsaturated fat. Then because I love saving money, I threw in a cost comparison just for fun. 😉

First we’ll take a quick look at the importance of each of these categories. Then we’ll break down white and yellow corn, white flour, wheat flour tortillas, carb balance tortillas, and spinach carb balance tortillas. (Other types of tortillas are out there, but I thought these cover the basics pretty well.)

Don’t have time for the details? Just skip ahead to the comparison!

The Tortilla Nutrition Categories

Vitamins & Minerals

Why are vitamins and minerals important? Our body needs vitamins and minerals, or micronutrients, to help our bodies function. Each vitamin or mineral plays a different role, and together they help our bodies stay healthy and strong. Studies have found that many Americans have serious micronutrient deficiencies, even though many Americans are also eating more calories than they need.

The short story is, the more vitamins and minerals you can pack into your food, the better!


Fiber plays a key role in digestion, hunger regulation, and blood sugar levels. Diets rich in fiber may lower the likelihood for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Once again, Americans usually get way too little fiber — 10-15 grams on average as opposed to the recommended 25-38 grams.

Eating fiber-rich foods will play a big part in your overall health.

Net Carbs/Protein

I originally wanted to evaluate the tortillas based on the Glycemic Index, an index developed to measure how much a food makes your blood sugar spike. Unfortunately, the glycemic index only has measurements for a couple types of tortillas.

Thankfully, you can also get a decent idea of how a food will affect your blood sugar by looking at the net carbs and protein content. (Hint: Protein offsets the effect of carbs on blood sugar, so more protein means less of a spike.)

The exact amount of carbs and protein a person needs will vary depending on their body weight and health goals. But the average person should get 50-175 grams of protein a day. (The more precise recommended daily allowance is 0.8 g/kg of body weight.) The recommended daily intake for carbs falls between 225 and 325 grams.

A food isn’t necessarily healthy or unhealthy if it’s high or low carb or high or low protein. But if you are insulin resistant, pre-diabetic, or diabetic, these numbers are crucial to track. And for the rest of us, being aware of a food’s macronutrient content can help us balance our diets accordingly. (For example, if you’re eating a tortilla that has lots of carbs and not a lot of protein, be sure to pair it with a healthy source of protein like beans or lean meat.)

Saturated/Unsaturated Fat

Once again, a food’s fat content doesn’t determine whether it’s healthy or not. That said, consuming foods high in saturated fat can increase bad cholesterol and lead to increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, getting enough unsaturated fat can improve cholesterol. Overall, fats should make up about 30% of your daily calories, with most of that coming from unsaturated fat.

So while you shouldn’t just look at a food’s fat content to decide if it’s healthy, foods that are low in saturated fat but with some saturated fat will probably be a good choice.

Tortilla Nutrition Comparison

Now that we understand the categories, let’s get down to the nitty gritty! (Information in this table was taken from nutrition labels on

Type of TortillaVitamins/MineralsFiber (g)Saturated/
Unsaturated Fat (g)
Net Carbs/Protein (g)Cost ($/oz)
White Corn
(47 g serving size)
-High in iron (20%)
-Some calcium &
potassium (2%)
Yellow Corn
(47 g serving size)
-Some iron, calcium,
& potassium (2%)
White Flour
(45 g serving size)
-Good source of iron
& calcium (6%)
Wheat Flour
(45 g serving size)
-Good source of
calcium & iron (6%)
-Some potassium
Whole wheat carb balance
(45 g serving size)
-good source of calcium (6%)
-some iron (2%)
Spinach carb balance
(45 g serving size)
-some calcium and iron (6%)151.5/23/60.41
Nutritional & Cost Comparison of Tortillas – Data taken from nutrition labels &

Tortilla Nutrition Analysis

So which tortilla is the healthiest? Like with most foods, it depends on your health background and nutrition goals. If you’re needing to watch your blood sugar, the carb balance tortillas will be your best bet. Unfortunately, they do come with a significantly higher price tag. You can hack the system a little by eating whole grain tortillas in combination with a higher protein food to avoid the sugar spike.

If you’re trying to get your iron in, then white corn tortillas should be your pick. White and yellow corn tortillas are the best low fat options, though they also are missing the benefits of those healthier unsaturated fats. And if you’re struggling to get in your fiber, the carb balance and spinach carb balance tortillas are your best bet. (Though adding enough fruits and veggies to your meal is one of the best ways to get your fiber for the day!)

Nowadays you can find a plethora of tortilla options depending on what you need — low carb, multigrain, spinach wraps, etc. Just be sure to look at the nutrition facts, not just what’s advertised on the front. Check for the micronutrients and macronutrients to see if it’s going to fit with what your body needs right now. And if you want an option that’s cost-effective, check the price per ounce too. 😉

Now go grab some tortillas and make yourself some tacos! And share this post with your taco-loving friends 😀

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