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How to Eat Healthy In Chipotle: 6 Simple Tips

 Chipotle Mexican Grill is a popular quick and casual restaurant with close to 2,500 restaurants around the world.

or its fully customizable menu, which features items like tacos, burritos and salads, as well as an array of sauces, proteins and toppings.
Depending on what you choose, Chipotle can be a convenient and nutritious fast food option, or an unhealthy, high-calorie treat.

Here are 6 simple tips to make your next Chipotle meal healthier.

1. Start with a Healthy Foundation.


A healthy base for your meal is the first step towards a nutritious, well-balanced meal.
For starters, try swapping out your burrito for a salad or a burrito bowl to cut calories and carbs.

If you prefer tacos, choose corn tortillas instead. Corn tortillas not only contain less carbohydrates and calories than flour tortillas, but also more calcium (1).

Most of the dishes on the Chipotle menu also come with your choice of rice.
If you are looking to lose weight, you can skip the rice to limit the calories. Otherwise, try choosing brown rice instead of white to increase the fiber and micronutrient content in your meal.


SUMMARY TIP 1


SKIPPING RICE OR CHOOSING A BURRITO BOWL OR SALAD INSTEAD OF A BURRITO CAN CUT CALORIES AND CARBS. ALSO, SWITCHING TO BROWN RICE AND / OR CORN TORTILLAS INCREASES YOUR INTAKE OF FIBER AND CERTAIN MICRONUTRIENTS.

2. Load on Vegetables.

Whether you go for a burrito bowl, taco, or salad, stacking vegetables is a great way to increase the amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your meal.
In addition to keeping you full for longer, fiber can promote weight loss, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve regularity, and improve heart health.
Some vegetables are also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage and chronic disease 


Try adding the following vegetables to your order to complement your meal:
  • fajita vegetables
  • roasted chili corn salsa
  • Fresh tomato salsa
  • green or red tomatillo salsa
  • Romaine lettuce

SUMMARY TIP 2


ADD VEGETABLES TO YOUR MEAL TO INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF FIBER, VITAMINS AND MINERALS.

3. Ignore High Calorie Additives.

If you are trying to lose weight, it may be a good idea not to use the high calorie toppings when preparing your meal.

Some high calorie ingredients in Chipotle include:
  • cheese
  • Fresh cream
  • queso
  • guacamole
  • chips
  • carnitas
  • wheat tortillas
Cheese, sour cream, and queso sauce are high in fat and quickly add extra calories to your meal.

Although guacamole is high in heart-healthy fats and contains a range of important vitamins and minerals, it is also high in calories.

Some types of meat and protein fillings also contain more fat and calories than others. For example, carnitas contain 40% more calories than steak or sofritas, a protein option made from tofu.

Chicken is a nutritious alternative, containing almost half the amount of fat found in carnitas and 32 grams of protein per serving.

SUMMARY TIP 3

IF YOU'RE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT, LIMIT HIGH-CALORIE TOPPINGS LIKE CHEESE, SOUR CREAM, QUESO, AND GUACAMOLE. CHOOSING HEALTHY MEAT AND PROTEIN FILLINGS LIKE SOFRITAS AND CHICKEN CAN ALSO HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR CALORIE INTAKE.

4. Choose More Nutritious Sides.


Side dishes are just as important as the main course in preparing a healthy meal.
Some sides are loaded with fat, sodium, and calories, all of which can add up quickly.

For example, a single order of crisps and queso contains 770 calories, 41 grams of fat, and 82 grams of carbohydrate. It also provides 790 mg of sodium per serving, or about 34% of the daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association.

Next time, skip the fries and grab your guacamole or salsa. Then, pair these sauces with whole grain crackers or with fresh vegetables like carrots or cucumbers at home for a healthy, filling snack.

SUMMARY TIP 4


SOME SIDE DISHES ARE HIGH IN FAT, CALORIES, AND SODIUM. SERVE YOUR GUACAMOLE OR SALSA AND PAIR THEM WITH WHOLE GRAIN CRACKERS OR FRESH VEGGIES FOR A HEALTHY SNACK AT HOME.

5. Choose Drinks That Are Low in Sugar.


Choosing a healthy drink to go with your food is a great way to balance your meal.
It's important to keep in mind that not all drinks are created equal - sodas, sweet tea, and fruit juices are examples of drinks that are high in sugar and calories.

Consuming too much added sugar may not only contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar, but also increase the risk of developing serious conditions, such as liver problems, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes  .

Choosing water and unsweetened tea is a good way to reduce your intake of sugar and extra calories, and to supplement your meal.

SUMMARY TIP 5


SODAS, SWEET TEA, AND FRUIT JUICES ARE HIGH IN ADDED SUGARS, WHICH CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SEVERAL HEALTH ISSUES. WATER AND UNSWEETENED TEA ARE HEALTHIER OPTIONS.

6. Take Half To Go.


Chipotle is famous for its large portions.
Depending on what you choose, a single order of Chipotle can contain enough food for at least two full meals.

Taking half of your order and saving it for later is a great strategy to avoid overeating and stay on target.

Halving your order cuts its calories, carbs, fat, and sodium, and turns a high-calorie feast into multiple meals with no weight loss.

SUMMARY TIP 6


TAKING HALF OF YOUR TAKE-OUT ORDER CAN HELP PREVENT OVEREATING, MEET YOUR HEALTH GOALS, AND REDUCE THE CALORIE, CARBOHYDRATE, FAT, AND SODIUM CONTENT OF YOUR MEAL.

The bottom line


Depending on what you order, Chipotle can be an unhealthy indulgence or a dieter's dream.

Making a few simple swaps in your order can turn almost any main course into a healthy meal.

Starting with a healthy base, choosing nutritious toppings and toppings, choosing a low-sugar beverage, and having half of your take-out order can help ensure you're getting a nutritious meal.



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