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Have Your Burrito and Eat It Too: Chipotle Is As Healthy As You Make It

Last week lovers of the health and environmentally conscious food chain, Chipotle,  were delivered startling news that it might not be as healthy as they think.
 
The New York Times reported that the average meal at Chipotle has over 1,000 calories (Recommended daily being between 1,600 and 2,400), close to your daily salt intake, and 75 percent of a full day’s worth of saturated fat.
 
Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold commented, “People can pick and choose exactly what – and how much – they eat. We let them put those ingredients together in whatever way makes sense.”
 
If those calorie numbers are scaring you out of getting the burrito bowl you’ve been craving all week, don’t be alarmed! The only thing that The New York Times article proved was that Chipotle is high in calories which is not the same thing as Chipotle being unhealthy.
 
Almost every order at Chipotle includes veggies and beans, which everyone could use some more of. Most burritos contain upwards to 20 grams of fiber, 50 grams of protein, and more than 50 percent of the recommended daily values for calcium, iron, and vitamin C. You are far better off eating the 1,000 healthy calorie Chipotle meal than the 1,000 empty calorie, over processed, fast-food meal from McDonald’s.
 
If you’re still feeling a little weary about eating so many calories, here are five ways to reduce the calories when ordering your next Chipotle meal:
 
1. Skip the chips and salsa, guac and the sugary drink
 
The New York Times found that most meals added up to this many calories because the order contained one of these side items
 


 
 
2. Limit your extras
 
When cheese, sour cream, or guacamole is just not an option of getting rid of (I know I certainly can’t imagine my Chipotle creation without these things) getting smaller portion sizes are a healthier option. Williow Jarosh and Stephanie Clark of C&J Nutrition recommend opting for a tablespoon of sour cream or guacamole rather than the 1/4 cup Chipotle usually offers. 
 
 


 

 
3. Replace the burrito tortillas with corn tortillas
 
Burrito tortillas are empty calories and full of fat and simple carbohydrates. Corn tortillas provide more fiber than flour tortillas.
 
 
4. Fill up on Veggies
 
Veggies are a great way to fill up your burrito or burrito bowl. They also fill you up so you won’t be tempted to go for dessert and provide lots of fiber! Next time ask for extra lettuce, tomatoes or fajita veggies.
 
 
5. Save some of the delicious meal to brighten up another day
 
Asking for an extra piece of foil or getting a to go box right away allows you to portion your sizes so you’re not overeating. Plus you get two meals for the price of one and who doesn’t love a bargain!
 
 
So next time you’re ordering Chipotle, don’t let anyone burrito shame you! Those calories you are putting in are not empty ones. If you’re still worried about the calories, remember to minimize portion sizes and pile on the veggies. Enjoy your next Chipotle meal guilt free!
I am a Communications Major with an option in Public Relations and a minor in Print Media Studies. I am a coffee addict, holiday themed oreo lover, and am obsessed with anything to do with puppies. Other than Her Campus I am a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and Intern. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have played the viola for 12+ years now and LOVE going to concerts. My ultimate goal would be to work in the public relations field in the big city. I'm constantly pinning cool places to travel and follow so many travel blogs on tumblr. I can't wait to travel and see what this world has to offer.
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