Bad News, People: The Average Chipotle Order Contains Over 1,000 Calories
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty
Some guacamole here, a little corn there, maybe some rice mixed in — your Chipotle lunch is looking pretty healthy, right? Wrong.
A typical order weighs in at about 1,070 calories, which is more than half the total number of calories a person is supposed to eat in a full day. (The recommended range for most adults is between 1,600 and 2,400.)
It gets worse: The majority of meals also contain a full day’s worth of the FDA’s daily recommended amount of sodium, at 2,400 mg, in addition to 75 percent of the amount of saturated fat.
These findings are based on 3,000 meals ordered by actual customers — not just what Chipotle lists on its menu — using the online delivery service GrubHub from two Chipotles, one in Washington, D.C., and one in East Lansing, Michigan.
So, what are the worst nutritional offenders? Any meat burrito with the standard toppings—cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, rice and beans—is likely to clock in at over 1,000 calories. And that’s not including the calorie-laden but oh-so-addictive chips and guacamole.
About one in 10 meals ordered by Chipotle customers had more than 1,600 calories. The burrito’s tortilla is a big culprit, as on its own it contains about 300 calories.
Only about 2 percent of the burritos in the data—just 25 out of 1,200 burritos in all—were under 700 calories.
It’s not all bad news though. Many Chipotle customers can and do order meals with fewer than 650 calories, such as a cheese-free burrito bowl.
These meals all contain less than 545 calories: Crispy steak tacos with tomato salsa and sour cream; a veggie bowl with rice, pinto beans, tomato salsa, sour cream and cheese; and the carnitas burrito with tomatillo red chili salsa (nothing else).
But, according to the findings, the majority of Chipotle costumers simply don’t order the lighter options.