The 9 Unhealthiest Fast-Food Burritos, According to a Dietitian
If you're in the mood for a burrito, you'd better sit down and take a good read of the information below. Burritos in almost any fast-food joint can be a nightmare to navigate if you're trying to eat healthily. Oftentimes you're given a choice of fillers—from guacamole to queso—and of course, when you're hungry you tend to pile on every add-in possible. The result is a burrito that is overloaded with calories, artery-clogging saturated fat, and typically one teaspoon of salt. And don't get us started on the carbs—those oversized tortillas plus the rice can jack up the carb count to unnecessary amounts.
Your protein choice is another place where things can turn sideways. While there are some healthy offerings such as beans or grilled chicken, other options like deep-fried fish or fatty steak can quickly raise the calorie count to incredible heights. Another thing to be mindful of when you're ordering a fast-food burrito is that some establishments serve the burrito on its own, while others add rice, beans, potatoes, or other sides to the dish, and you'll have to factor those additional calories into your total meal.
To minimize stepping in a burrito calorie mine, read through the worst options below and plan out a better choice for the next time you hit up one of these fast food joints for a burrito. Read on, and for more, don't miss The #1 Unhealthiest Order at 9 Major Fast-Food Mexican Chains.
Qdoba Southwest Steak Burrito
This warm flour tortilla is filled with grilled steak, chile crema, chile corn salsa, crunchy tortilla strips, rice and black beans. It certainly sounds delicious, but the calories are 56% of the daily recommend amount of the average American (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). The sodium is also 93% of your recommended daily max, which means there is close to 1 teaspoon of salt in this burrito alone!
Eat This Instead: If you're craving a burrito the Impossible Fajita Burrito has 880 calories—which is still a lot of calories so split it with a friend or take half home for your next meal.
On the Border The Big Bordurrito, Fajita Steak
This burrito option is just gluttonous. The calories for the dish—and we're not counting the rice and beans the order comes with—are as much as you should eat in an entire day (based on a 2,000-calorie diet). The saturated fat is 150% of the recommended daily max, while the sodium is 228% of the recommended daily max. And the carbs—this is why they have a bad reputation! The mass quantity of the total carbs in this menu item is equivalent to 11 slices of bread. Talk about tossing moderation way out of the window.
Eat This Instead: Order the classic fajita burrito or the bean burrito—anything simpler and smaller sized would be healthier.
Moe's Southwest Grill Homewrecker Burrito
The Homewrecker Burrito is a classic menu staple at Moe's. The adobo chicken burrito includes a flour tortilla filled with seasoned rice, black beans, adobo chicken, diced tomatoes, guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, and white meat chicken. The burrito has close to 1 teaspoon of salt and the equivalent amount of carbs found in over 8 slices of bread.
Eat This Instead: Build a better-for-you burrito with one serving of protein (fish, steak or tofu have the fewest calories), skip the rice, and opt for either the guac or cheese but not both.
Taco John's Grilled Burrito with Fried Chicken
Although it's called a grilled burrito, that's referring to the fact that the entire burrito is grilled on a flattop after it's stuffed—not that it's made with grilled meat. So when you order Taco John's Grilled Burrito with Fried Chicken, the calories are just over the top for one meal, as are the sodium and carbs. The burrito is served with potatoes and nacho cheese, so you can add a few hundred calories to your final calorie count.
Eat This Instead: Opt for the bean burrito and skip the potatoes and cheese.
Baja Fresh Nacho Burrito
The Baja Fresh Nacho Burrito is filled with a protein of choice, beans, rice, queso, jalapenos, tortilla strips, salsa, chiles, and sour cream wrapped in a flour tortilla. The burrito provides 86% of your recommended daily maximum of artery clogging saturated fat and 91% of the recommended daily maximum of sodium. Plus, it contains the amount of carbs of close to 6 slices of bread.
Eat This Instead: Choose the Burrito Mexicano with a reasonable 490 calories.
Del Taco Epic Cali Bacon Burrito
This oversized Del Taco Epic Cali Bacon Burrito is filled with carne asada steak, crinkle cut fries, cheddar cheese, bacon, chipotle sauce, and sour cream. Besides the calories being over 50% the daily recommended maximum (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), there is 100% of your daily recommended maximums of saturated fat and sodium. Because an oversized flour burrito is used to make the burrito, the carb count is high and the fiber is rather low.
Eat This Instead: Choose the Bean & Cheese burrito for a fraction of the calories.
El Pollo Loco Chipotle Chicken Avocado Burrito
The El Pollo Loco Chipotle Chicken Avocado Burrito is made with rice, pinto beans, boneless chicken, Monterey jack cheese, cabbage, avocado slices, sour cream, and salsa roja. It provides 47% the recommended daily calories (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), and 73% and 97% the recommended daily maximum of saturated fat and sodium, respectively. It's just one example of an overfilled burrito that just isn't portion controlled.
Eat This Instead: Choose the Original BRC Burrito with 410 calories, 4.5 grams saturated fat, and less than half the sodium.
Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito
In the Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito, you'll find seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, seasoned rice, fiesta strips, chipotle sauce, reduced fat sour cream and a three cheese blend wrapped in a flour tortilla and sprinkled with even more three cheese blend. Although cheese is a healthy food and can be part of a healthy diet, it's just too much which is evident with the 80% of artery clogging saturated fat it provides.
Eat This Instead: Opt for the bean burrito with 350 calories and one-quarter the amount of saturated fat.
Chipotle Carnitas Burrito
Building your own burrito may seem like fun, but if you overstuff the tortilla the results can be very unhealthy. If you opt for a Chipotle Carnitas Burrito filled with carnitas, white rice, black beans, guacamole, roasted chili-corn salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce that will bring your calories to 70% of the recommended daily amount (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), 109% and 110% of the recommended daily maximum of saturated fat and sodium, respectively. The total carbs are ridiculous with the equivalent of over 9 slices of bread.
Eat This Instead: Opt for the chicken, rice, beans, salsa, and lettuce and either the cheese or guac – and then split the burrito or save the other half for another meal.