Pizza Hut, Taco Bell are the latest food companies to offer healthier options

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Large food companies have been tripping over themselves in recent months to offer healthier options.

Chipotle bid farewell to GMOs; Nestle is dropping artificial colors and flavors from its chocolates; and Kraft is saying goodbye to the artificial ingredient that colors its Mac & Cheese.

McDonald's recently announced it would only source chickens raised without certain antibiotics, and Pepsi dumped the artificial sweetener aspartame from Diet Pepsi (though it replaced it with another artificial sweetener).

Now Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, both owned by Yum Brands Inc, are getting in on the game. The chains announced they will eliminate artificial flavors and colors from their offerings by the end of the year, reports The Associated Press.

One example of the change, Taco Bell executive Liz Matthews told the AP, is that now the chain will use real black pepper in its beef instead of “black pepper flavor.”

The company will also stop using Yellow No. 6, an artificial dye that is used to soup up the color of its nacho cheese. Artificial pigments will also be removed from its avocado ranch dressing and red tortilla chips.

Pizza Hut is aiming to eliminate all artificial flavors and colors by the end of July, reports Reuters. Taco Bell will strive to cut all artificial additives by 2017.

Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol assured the press that cost and taste will remain the same.

"I do not want to lose any element of being accessible to the masses," he told the AP. And “it will be the same great tasting Taco Bell that people love."

Whether similar changes are afoot at Yum’s other major chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken, remains to be seen.

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