Corn vs. Flour Tortillas: Which One is Healthier?

on August 02, 2019

Three tacos on a plate

If you’re like most people, just the mention of Mexican food makes your mouth water. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, oh my!

It’s pretty much all delicious, but we all know Taco Tuesday can be a bit unhealthy if you don't choose the right ingredients. Cheese, sour-cream, veggies, they're all important- but the tortilla is the backbone of a taco, so you have to choose wisely.

It can be difficult to choose between corn vs. flour tortillas if you don't know much about their composition, but not to worry! If you love Mexican food but want to stay on track with your health goals, you can still indulge a little.

Take it easy on the cheese and sour-cream and we’ll help you figure out which tortilla you should choose next time you’ve got a taco craving.

Related: 5 Carb-Filled Foods to Eat to Lose Weight

What Are the Differences Between Corn and Flour Tortillas?

While both taste delicious and indulgent, corn and flour tortillas are pretty different from one another.

Corn tortillas are made from – you guessed it, corn! Corn is a whole grain which means it’s full of fiber and vitamins and minerals. The fiber in whole grains makes you feel fuller for longer amounts of time and can help lower cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk of having a heart attack.

Flour tortillas, on the other hand, are made from – yup, flour- which really doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value. Aside from iron, you’re not really going to get much out of these tortillas other than a yummy taste and super soft texture. It’s not that flour tortillas are bad for you, it’s just that they really have no vitamins to nourish your body.

Let's see how these tortillas crumble.


The Breakdown of A Single Tortilla

Let’s Taco-bout Calories

Tracking calories may seem scary when you're talking about treating yourself to some delicious Mexican food, but making the right decision when it comes to your tortillas can make a huge difference. 

A single corn tortilla is roughly 50 calories while a single flour tortilla can be upwards of 90 calories. 

Tell Me About the Fat Content

It's always important to be aware of the fat content in anything you eat and tortillas are no exception. Here's how corn vs. flour tortillas fare in the fat department.

A single corn tortilla contains roughly .7 grams of fat while a single flour tortilla contains roughly 3 grams of fat. 

And flour tortillas don't only trump their corn counterparts in fat and calorie count, they contain more sodium and carbs as well. 


    What Does This Mean?

    Flour tortillas contain more calories, fat, carbs, and sodium while corn tortillas have more nutritional value. In this regard, corn tortillas are healthier and provide better benefits to your body than flour tortillas. Flour tortillas do have more protein, but you can satisfy your protein requirement from the meats, beans, and fish you choose to put inside your taco, burrito, etc.

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    So Which Is Healthier? Corn or Flour Tortillas?Corn burritos

    If you have the choice between a corn tortilla or a flour tortilla, health-wise it's probably best to opt for the one made of corn. Not only is it healthier for you, but corn tortillas are less expensive than flour tortillas and are packed with extra flavor that makes Mexican food taste even more amazing.

    If you can’t part with your flour tortillas, eat them in moderation and try to make them at home as much as possible, so you can monitor the ingredients you use.

    Pro-tip: Make your flour tortillas with wheat flour to make them a little more nutritional. It won't drastically change the taste and you'll get a lot more nutrients. 

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