Google recently released its most Googled diets of 2016 list as part of its annual Year In Search report, and the breakdown of the top diet queries is pretty interesting. While some diets on the list are standard, like the Atkins low-carb diet, “taco diet” and “pizza diet” also cracked the top 10—with “taco diet” being the second most searched eating plan of the year. Here’s the full list:
- GOLO diet
- Taco diet
- Military diet substitutes
- Atkins 40
- Ketogenic diet foods
- Dissociated diet
- The wild diet
- Pizza diet
- Dukan diet results
- Mono diet
Taco diet searches likely stemmed from people who heard about the book The Taco Cleanse, a vegan cookbook that came out in late 2015. But the pizza diet…isn’t really a thing, even in that capacity. “It is surprising that some of the most searched diets aren’t really diets at all,” Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life with Real Food, tells SELF.
But Gina Keatley, a C.D.N. practicing in New York City, tells SELF that she’s not surprised by the list, because people often want to be able to diet while eating whatever they want. “Also, they’re just curious,” she adds.
Luckily, experts say it’s possible to regularly eat pizza and tacos and still have a healthy diet. “Pizza and tacos shouldn’t be demonized,” Keatley says. “Like every other food, if you choose good ingredients, portion properly, and don’t abuse the food by consuming too little or too much, it’s a recipe for a delicious diet.”
Tacos can be part of a healthy diet if you make them with the right ingredients, Warren says. She recommends opting for a corn shell, which is a good source of whole grains, and using lean proteins such as ground turkey or chicken instead of red meat. Swap heavy cheese out for avocados, a good source of healthy fat, load your taco up with vegetables, and you have a healthy, well-balanced meal, Warren says.
Pizza can also be a good base for using fresh and healthy ingredients, Keatley says. If you’re ordering takeout pizza, she recommends adding fiber and protein to each slice. “You should try leaner proteins, like sliced chicken breast or even Canadian bacon over regular bacon to cut your fat [intake],” she says. “Then add complex carbohydrates like spinach.”
It’s also a good idea to go for thin-crust pizza. “Choosing thin crust can cut off tons of carbohydrates and calories from your menu,” Keatley says. And, she adds, people tend to feel more satisfied without having as many calories and carbs as they would have consumed with regular-crust pizza.
Homemade pizzas that use whole grains and part-skim cheese are even better than healthy takeout options, especially if you load them up with vegetables, Warren says.
While pizza and tacos can be part of a healthy diet, Keatley says it’s still a good idea to eat them in moderation. If you’re a big fan of these items and don’t want to give them up as part of your healthy eating plan, Warren says you should just be sure to also eat plenty of lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, a lot of vegetables, and opt for whole foods in general. She recommends using the 80:20 rule—80 percent of the time, your diet focuses on these healthy factors, and the other 20 percent can be about indulgences. “If that means tacos and pizza the way you want them, then that’s your prerogative,” she says.