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Chipotle Worse For You Than McDonalds

By Sydney Cook
Posted On Jun 10, 2016
Chipotle Worse For You Than McDonalds


The frequent consumption of fast food has been associated with high-caloric diets, and there is a public perception that “fast casual” restaurants like Chipotle are healthier than conventional fast food spots like McDonald’s. Well, a new study is here to burst your guacamole-filled bubbles.

If you’re a regular at Chipotle, I know you wish this day never came – the day McDonald’s is healthier than Chipotle. A new study found that the popular Tex-Mex chain is just as bad as, and sometimes worse than, the fast food hamburger business when it comes to nutrition.

Say it ain’t so!

Researchers at the University of South Carolina found that entrées from Chipotle and other fast casual restaurants like Panera Bread and Smashburger rack up about 200 more calories than meals from fast food eateries like McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

The analysis included 34 fast food and 28 fast casual restaurants, and the results showed that the average fast casual entree had 760 calories, while fast food restaurants averaged at about 561 calories.

But why? crying emoji

Stats show that it’s our beloved add-ons that create the caloric-overload. Once you begin pilling on the extra goodness and your bowl begins to grow, so does your waistline.

Danielle Schoffman, lead researcher of the study, told Men’s Journal, “These add-ons are available at both types of restaurants, but the option of customizing your meal at fast casual places gives you more opportunity to select or avoid the extra calories.”

It’s not all bad – depending on the type of bowl-maker you are, Chipotle can actually be healthier if you choose to keep it simple. However, it’s hard to say no to that side of guacamole (and yes, we know it costs extra).

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Further, the study only looked at calories and fewer calories do not necessarily result to a healthier dish. Fast casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera may use high-calorie, but nutrient-dense ingredients like whole grains, olive oil, and avocado. High calorie, fatty foods like avocado and nuts have high nutritional values and have been found to be protective against heart disease and helpful for weight loss. We put together an entire list of fatty foods that actually slim you down.

If you’re counting calories, it’s best to stick with low-calorie options like salsa, onions, cilantro, or mustard.

Or limit yourself to one fatty topping because as always, moderation is key.