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How healthy is Chipotle? A closer look at what’s on the menu.

From 2013-2016, just over 36% of adults consumed fast food on a given day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The rise of “fast casual”, however, changed the price tag, style and meaning of “fast food.” 

Boasting burritos with swanky names, plant-based options and salad bars, fast casual restaurants doubled in sales and location between 2009 and 2018. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells opened his first location in 1993, a modest burrito shop, but by 2017 the chain had almost 2,300 locations. 

This changing landscape also meant a new scale for “healthy” and “unhealthy” to-go food.

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How healthy is Chipotle?

Sodium is likely the biggest threat to healthy eating at Chipotle. A flour tortilla itself has about 600 milligrams of sodium, and Chipotle’s meat options range from 310-560 milligrams. Your sodium intake can easily add up with just a burrito order, ticking toward the FDA’s recommended maximum of 2,300 milligrams sodium per day. A McDonald’s Big Mac, for comparison, contains 1,010 milligrams of sodium.

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