Continuing its attempts to get people to "Live Más," Taco Bell has announced its new "Power Protein Menu," a protein-rich quartet of burritos and bowls whose creation, Taco Bell says, was driven by "balanced nutrition." But a cross-check with the restaurant's current menu suggests the foursome may have nutritional redundancies.

The Power Protein Menu (PPM) contains four items: the steak or chicken burrito, and the steak or chicken bowl. None of the four exceeds 420 calories, and they all have between 23-24 grams of protein. While Taco Bell claims it "understands" its customer base, the similarity between the PPM and currently existing menu options demands scrutiny, particularly as the fast food chain seeks to "take the steps to offer relevant meal options for our customers."

In a recent news release, Taco Bell stated that the modern consumer has evolving needs, and that Taco Bell has a role in catering to those needs.

"We listen to our customers and understand that their tastes and needs are evolving," the release stated. "They want great taste and more choices to meet personal dietary preferences."

Barring matters of taste, the news release's mention of "more choices to meet personal dietary preferences" would suggest the PPM has few peers on the restaurant's current menu, but that turns out not to be the case.

According to the nutrition information listed on Taco Bell's website, over a third of the burrito options — eight out of 21 — already fall in or around the Power Protein Menu's range of calories and protein. The six are listed below, with the three most similar to the PPM highlighted in bold:

Bean Burrito: 390 calories, 15g of protein

Black Bean Burrito: 410 calories, 14g of protein

Burrito Supreme-Chicken: 400 calories, 20g of protein

Burrito Supreme-Steak: 410 calories, 20g of protein

Burrito Supreme-Beef: 430 calories, 17g of protein

Chicken Burrito: 420 calories, 17g of protein

Chili Cheese Burrito: 380 calories, 16g of protein

Steak and Egg Burrito: 420 calories, 21g of protein

The difference between the current Burrito Supreme-Chicken and the PPM's Chicken Burrito is 20 calories and 4 grams of protein. Between the Burrito Supreme-Steak and its PPM equivalent are 10 fewer calories in the Burrito Supreme and 4 fewer grams of protein.

According to the news release, each burrito and bowl contains a double portion of meat, atop other characteristic ingredients, such as romaine lettuce, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, and reduced fat sour cream — the sour cream being the only ingredient listed as reduced fat.

"The Power Protein Menu is significant because balanced nutrition drove product creation," the release states. "This is the first menu item created with our new nutritional guardrails in mind."

Indeed, this raises questions as to where Taco Bell originally saw its "nutritional guardrails."

While the protein component of the PPM makes the burritos' addition more prominent, the underlying question is whether consumers will opt for the PPM burritos because of the 20 fewer calories and added 4 grams of protein, in order to fit their "personal dietary preferences," or simply whether the addition of "new menu offerings" will sway their decision.

Perhaps the most radical move in the PPM are the burrito bowls, which have been staple menu items at Mexican restaurants for decades and have grown in popularity in rival fast food restaurants like Chipotle and Qdoba, but nonetheless remove the added calories of a tortilla and, thus, make the meal healthier.

The closest items nutritionally to the Chicken Bowl and Steak Bowl currently live on the restaurant's Fresco menu — Taco Bell's waistline-friendly menu where each item has 9 grams or less of total fat. The Fresco Burrito Supreme-Chicken contains 350 calories and 18 grams of protein, while the Chicken Bowl has only 270 calories and packs 23 grams of protein.

Meanwhile, three other Taco Bell staples, the line of Enchiritos (an enchilada and burrito hybrid), boasts totals arguably healthier than the PPM. One Enchirito-Steak has 350 calories with 22 grams of protein; Chicken has 340/21, and Beef has 370/18.

The sixth-largest fast-food chain also has plans to test two zero-calorie beverages, including Pomegranate SoBe LifeWater and Brisk No Calorie Iced Peach Green Tea. Both sets of testing begin July 25 in Dayton, Ohio.

"We're not perfect," Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed told the Associated Press in a conference call. "We're just trying to get better."