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How to Build a Better Burrito

If you've taken my Chipotle burrito quiz, you know that these simple Mexican wraps can contain some very serious calories.

It's easier to eat smart when making burritos at home, but what about when eating out? By making a few smart choices at the burrito counter, you can make your meal lower in calories and fat and better for you overall. Here's how.

  • You probably know that regular black beans, with 227 calories and one gram of fat per cup, are a better choice than refried beans, which can contain up to 16 grams of fat and more than 300 calories. But you may not know that one cup of black beans also offers 60 percent of your daily fiber, plus high amounts of protein and folate.

Get more surprising tips.

  • Skip the rice. I've taken to asking for my burritos sin rice, since taquerias often pile on as much as half a cup, if not more. Cutting it out saves around 120 calories and lets you fill up on beans and veggies.
  • Swap guac for sour cream. If you're craving something creamy, skip the sour cream and go with guacamole instead. It contains just 43 calories and less than one gram of saturated fat per ounce, while the same amount of sour cream has three grams of saturated fat.
  • Go veggie. Many burrito joints offer grilled vegetables in place of chicken or beef, and you'd be surprised at how tasty this filling is. Plus, stuffing your tortilla with veggies is a great way to make sure you're getting your five a day.

What are your tips for healthier Mexican meals on the go?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
nettefairy nettefairy 7 years
I still don't understand why they charge extra for guacamole. Are avocados really that rare?
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I try enjoying black beans in my burritos but its difficult to shake off my love of pinto beans. Anyways, whenever I go out for a burrito, I generally just get a bean and cheese and usually just 1/2 of one burrito fills me up. I save the other 1/2 for the next day. Mmmm.... burrito....
ualili ualili 7 years
My DH and I eat burritos frequently! We try to always use whole wheat tortillas (which I'm not a fan of, but I don't feel guilty eating them), chicken or turkey, and lots and lots of veggies. A quick and easy yet delicious meal!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I skip the tortilla (as well as the rice) and go for the bowls.
sharonvak sharonvak 7 years
When I order burritos, I usually opt for the kids size! The regular burritos are much too large. If there isn't a kids size, I'll ask them to wrap half of my burrito to go.
amandaaa amandaaa 7 years
at chipotle, i get the bol with black beans, fajita veggies, chicken, corn salsa, tomato salsa and guacamole. favorite, and pretty healthy
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years
I like how you can order tacos individually at chipotle now instead of only being able to get three. I get two veggie soft tacos with just the veggies, black beans, salsa, lettuce, and guac, and I think that ends up being about 500 calories total, and I'm totally stuffed.
TrnSmleShiftRpt TrnSmleShiftRpt 7 years
I am reading this article as I eat my baked Qdoba burrito. It's rice, black beans, grilled veggies, and 2 types of salsa in a bowl (the tortilla is 8 g of fat!). I love being able to go on their website to see the nutritional information before going to order. This helps me realize how many calories and grams of fat are in each item.
Food Food 7 years
Considering I have a Chipotle lunch date today, this is great to know!
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 7 years
My fiance and I make our own burritos using whole wheat tortillas, chicken (seasoned only with chili powder and hot sauce), black beans, lettuce, tomatoes and guac. They're healthy and SO delicious!
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years
I always send away the person who comes to the table with chips and salsa! Because otherwise I will mindlessly wolf down the bowl while waiting. And while I love margaritas, you never know what's in them at a restaurant so I just have a beer instead. I had a margarita recently when I was out and found out later it was like 500 calories.
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
It always annoys me that mexican food has a reputation for being unhealthy. It's actually very well balanced if you eat a reasonable portion and limit the oil, cheese, and cream.
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