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 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 “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 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 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