The Chipotle burrito bowl nears the top of the list for a college kid's most revered and worshipped meal. It's relatively affordable with its sub-$10 price tag, yet offers a seemingly endless array of combinations and ingredients that caters to vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, carnivores, and everybody in between. Unfortunately, this versatility masks a high-fat, calorie-dense, and sodium-laden meal.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Chipotle's assembly line philosophy, burrito bowl construction begins with a choice of beans and rice. After picking your protein, you're able to add any combination of toppings including pico de gallo, salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, corn, and lettuce. For the purpose of this article I've decided to replicate a common bowl: white rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese.
Most ominously, this entire meal has 53 grams of fat — that's 82% of the FDA recommended daily value! If you've read my article on why I believe the FDA standard for fat intake (among other things) is significantly higher than it should be, then this astronomical number should be a massive, guacamole-covered red flag. This bowl also weighs in at 1075 calories, which could be as high as 67% of an average woman's daily caloric intake (based on a 1600 calorie diet).
If you find yourself dehydrated after this meal, the 2340 milligrams of sodium packed into this tin-lidded bowl could be the culprit. This is more than the amount that the American Heart Association recommends for an entire day, and it's the equivalent of eating an entire teaspoon of salt. Not only is that a nauseating thought, but that much salt is stressing your kidney function and sapping the water straight out of your cells.
Ways to Think About It:
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed nutritionist nor a registered dietician. The opinions expressed in this article are my own, and each individual is ultimately responsible for his/her dietary and nutrition practices. Please consult a physician before starting a new dietary program.