Restaurant Reveal #1: Chipotle!

Occasionally, fast food is unavoidable. Take for instance, you’re stuck in traffic for an hour and then are starving, and all that’s around are a few fast food joints. That’s why it’s good to be educated to make the best choices that you can when sodium, icky ingredients, and fat are running rampant on all the menu items!

I have to say that I could eat at Chipotle or Zaba’s every single day and not get tired of it.

 Their guacamole is incredible, and I love the fresh ingredients, veggies, and of course, the crazy fiber from the beans! But, of course, you can definitely leave the restaurant having just eaten  very unhealthy, as with any fast food place. The tortillas are full of sodium and are white, and the salsas and vinaigrettes are loaded with salt and sugar. Thanks to the “plug in what you order” nutrition device (Yayy for Chipotle!) on their website, it’s easy to see how their food can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I plugged in a few standard orders for bowls, burritos, salads, and tacos, and came out with the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s what I found…

THE BOWL:

*

The Good Bowl:

Bowl: Brown Rice, Black Beans, Veggies, Guac, Lettuce, and Tomato Salsa-

475 calories, 18.5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 71 carbs, 1230 mg sodium, 22 g of fiber, 7 g sugar, and 14 g of protein

The Regular Bowl:

Bowl: Brown Rice, Black Beans, Chicken, Cheese, Veggies, Guac, Lettuce, and Tomato Salsa-

765 calories, 33 g fat, 10 g sat. fat, 1780 mg sodium, 22 g fiber, 8 g sugar, and 54 g protein

THE BURRITO:

*

The “Good “Burrito:

Burrito: Tortilla, Chicken, Black Beans, Brown Rice, Tomato Salsa, and Guac-

950 calories, 34 g fat, 8 g sat fat, 2270 mg sodium, 115 carbs, 23 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 53 g protein

The Ugly Burrito:

Burrito: Tortilla, Carnitas, White Rice, Pinto Beans, Sour Cream, Cheese, Guac, Red Tomatillo Salsa

1180 calories, 54.5 g fat, 20.5 g sat. fat., 2650 mg sodium, 116 carbs, 22 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 57.5 g protein

THE SALAD:

*

The Low Calorie Salad:

Lettuce, Black Beans, Fajita Vegetables, Chicken

340 calories, 8 g. fat, 2 g. sat fat, 795 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 5 g. sugar, 41 g protein

The “Might as well not get a salad” Salad:

Carnitas, White Rice, Pinto Beans, Veggies, Cheese, Guac, Vinegarette

1020 calories, 59.5 g. fat, 14.5 g sat fat, 2315 mg sodium, 8- g carbs, 19 g. fiber, 16 g. sugar, 48 g. protein

THE TACO:

*

The Healthy Taco:

Crispy Corn Tortillas, Chicken, Black Beans, Veggies, Guac, Tomato Salsa

680 calories, 27 g. fat, 5.5 g. sat fat, 1480 mg sodium, 67 g. carbs, 22 g. fiber, 11 g. sugar, 46 g protein

Chances are you can see what I mean by the term “your best friend or your worst enemy”. The real culprit is the high sodium counts. As long as you stick to black beans, brown rice, veggies, and the tomato salsa you should be good to go. But really, I could never go there without asking for the guacamole. It’s loaded with healthy fats, and it’s stats are actually just fine.

Although I couldn’t find a list of all of Chipotle’s ingredients, I did come up with a few basics if you have special dietary needs. 1.) They use a bit of soybean oil for the veggies and a few other items. 2.) The pinto beans are cooked with bacon, while the black beans are vegetarian. 3.) Their sour cream is 100% cream, with no icky fillers.

I’m so impressed with the quality of their ingredients overall! Their cilantro is often even organic, and a representative stated that they do not use products with MSG in them.

Hope you learned something new that will help you make the healthiest choice next time your standing in that Chipotle line! I’m making a Restaurant Reveal post a regular once or twice monthly occurrence, so leave a comment if you have a particular common restaurant you would like to know more about. 🙂

*photo courtesy of Chipotle

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Restaurant Reveal #1: Chipotle!

  1. Thanks for this informative and detailed post!! I have NEVER been to Chipotle, but I definitely want to some day:) We rarely eat at restaurants, fast food or otherwise, so I am rather inexperienced as to which restaurants are the best…I will keep in mind that the pinto beans are not vegetarian–thanks for noting that! I will be looking forward to your next “restaurant reveal;” it is a great theme for posts.

  2. It kills me how much sodium they throw into otherwise healthy food! I also LOVE Chipotle (they are opening one about a half mile from me soon too!) but I just can’t bring myself to go there knowing that I could make the exact same thing at home with 1/100th of the sodium! It’s insanity! Thanks for sharing those nutrition stats! Hope you had a great weekend Sunnie! 🙂

    • moderngirlnutrition

      Agreed! I am guilty of using plenty of Bragg’s, but I try to dilute it to cut sodium counts:) The salsas are the real culprit in Chipotle, so skipping out on them really lowers the salt!

  3. Mikayla

    I love Chipotle as well, thanks for the info! I would be interested in learning some healthier options at Panera Bread!

    • moderngirlnutrition

      Great suggestion! I will definitely get on that:) I’m also thinking Subway and McDonalds- I’ve always wondered whether Subway was truly healthy or not!

  4. *Phew* luckily for me the “good” bowl is what I always get! (I also add the veggies to it, but I looked it up and those aren’t bad!) I LOVE chipotle. It’s probably my go-to fast food choice!

    • moderngirlnutrition

      I definitely get serious Chipotle cravings! The good bowl is my go- to otion too- with plenty of guac:) Thanks for stopping by Liz!

  5. Haha I love how unhealthy that salad is. It’s ridiculous. Well, I think you can have any fast food once in a while and not worry too much. It’s just when you’re having it every week, or every day, that you should really worry. I couldn’t give up eating take-away Indians…but I just don’t eat them all the time!

  6. It’s insane how they can make a salad have that many cals. Really.

    • moderngirlnutrition

      The sour cream and cheese play a big role in the calorie department! The vinegarette doesn’t help much either. Even though black beans and brown rice are higher in calories, they have so much fiber and are so nutritious that it’s a better option to get them:) Thanks for visiting!

  7. There’s definitely healthier food than Chipotle but you’re absolutely right — sometimes it’s unavoidable. Compared to other fast food options, it’s not bad. You just have to make the right decisions once you’re there! Thanks for the post!

    • moderngirlnutrition

      You’re welcome and thanks for all the great healthy eating on travel advice!:)

  8. I love this post and am a huge fan of Chipolte. I think they are a step or five above other fast food places since they use real whole food without a bunch of chemicals and additives. To me, this is hugely important. But as with everything, all good things in moderation. I’m a brown rice, black bean, veggies and tomato salsa girl with a hint of cheese (my vice). By skipping meat, I cut the bad stats in half, so it’s easy. 🙂

  9. Love Chipotle and love this post. So many people seem to just “give up” on considering nutrition when it comes to choosing options at fast food restaurants, but it’s so important to recognize that it’s not hard to avoid all the extra calories and empty carbs at places like this. The one must-have at Chipotle for me is guacamole- you can never have too much, in my opinion 🙂

    • moderngirlnutrition

      Thank you! I completely agree- especially when you have such great options available like brown rice and black beans. And leaving Chipolte without their heavenly guac is a crime;)

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