Food With Integrity. That’s what Chipotle calls its commitment to “finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.” And it is for this reason that many people have fallen in love with Chipotle.
With food health and safety becoming more of a concern to many, Chipotle makes it known that they make it a priority to work with farmers who raise animals naturally (without the use of antibiotics or hormones), and use organic and local produce whenever possible.
This would of course cause many to think that Chipotle is one of the healthiest places to eat out, but does “Food With Integrity” actually mean that Chipotle’s food items are very nutritious? Let’s take a look at a couple of their menu items.
Keep in mind the following intake recommendations from the American Heart Association when deciding what to order at Chipotle:
- Total fat: limit total fat intake to 30% or less of total calories (for a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be 60 grams of fat per day)
- Saturated fat: limit saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories (for a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be 20 grams of saturated fat per day)
- Sodium: limit to less than 2,400 mg/day
- Cholesterol: limit to less than 300 mg/day
Note that the nutrient information listed for the following menu items include chicken, brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and romaine lettuce. The Salad with Chicken also includes the vinaigrette dressing.
|Calories||Total fat (g)||Saturated fat (g)||Sodium (mg)||Cholesterol (mg)|
|Burrito with Chicken||1175||53||20||2480||185|
|Salad with Chicken||1150||68||21||2515||185|
As you can see, the total fat and sodium in these items either meet or even exceed the amount you should have in an entire day. For many, the amount of calories in these items are close to half of what you should consume during an entire day, and remember that this does not include any chips or beverages. So how can you take advantage of Chipotle’s great ingredients while still making your meal heart healthy?
- Burrito with chicken – Because of the large size of this burrito, how about just consuming half of it for your meal and saving the rest for later? You can also ask for less salsa, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream, and request more fajita veggies instead.
- Salad with chicken – Surprisingly, the vinaigrette dressing alone contains 260 calories and 700 mg of sodium; therefore, if you can’t resist the dressing, do not use the entire portion that Chipotle provides you. Just like the Burrito with Chicken, ask for more veggies and cut back on the salsa, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream.
Because of the large portion sizes Chipotle serves, you may want to skip the chips and go for a healthier beverage as opposed to having soda.