How to Eat Healthy at Chipotle

by Kelsey Casselbury

Salads can be a healthy choice if you order the right toppings.

Juanmonino/iStock/Getty Images

Quick-service eatery Chipotle's motto is “food with integrity” when it comes to the sustainability and eco-friendliness of its ingredients. Although the company might source hormone- and antibiotic-free meat, and organic produce, it's up to you to select items that are low in calories, fat and sodium when you build your burrito, bowl, taco or salad. With some careful choices, your dinner at Chipotle doesn’t have to be a dietary disaster.

Log onto Chipotle's website before visiting to check out the nutritional content of each option. The site features a nutrition calculator that allows you to add and subtract ingredients from a dish, so you can compare a chicken taco to a steak taco and see how many calories adding salsa instead of guacamole saves you.

Choose a soft or crispy taco on a corn tortilla, a burrito bowl or a salad, rather than a burrito or crispy taco -- there's 290 calories in the burrito tortilla alone and 270 on the taco's tortilla.

Pick your fillings for your taco, bowl or salad, keeping moderation in mind. The chicken, steak and carnitas all contain 190 calories per serving, while sofritas and barbacoa are both slightly less. Alternatively, you can skip the meat entirely and pick black or pinto beans with brown rice as a filling. Don't forget the fajita vegetables to finish it off.

Add extra condiments judiciously. Chipotle has a variety of fresh salsas, which add just 20 to 80 calories per serving, but you should steer clear of calorie-laden cheese, sour cream and guacamole, each of which add more than 100 calories to your meal.

Tips

  • If you're bringing your child along, order him a single taco meal with steak, black beans and cheese for a 375-calorie meal, according to "Washingtonian" magazine. Dietitian Rima Kleiner says the cheese is OK for children because they need the calcium.

Photo Credits

  • Juanmonino/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Kelsey Casselbury is a freelance writer and editor based in central Maryland. Her clients have included Livestrong, School Nutrition magazine, What's Up? Media, American Academy of Clinical Chemistry, SmartBrief and more. She has a formal education in personal training/nutrition and a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University.