7 Fast-Food Burritos To Stay Away From Right Now – There’s no denying it: fast-food burritos are delicious. Often, these tightly wrapped edible packages are made with seasoned rice, tender marinated meats or beans, and all the fixin’s. Although tasty, fast-food burritos often range in nutritional value. While some are health-conscious and filled with fresh veggies, low-fat protein, and high-fiber ingredients, others are brimming with staggeringly high amounts of sodium and total fat. We asked a dietitian to help us spot the unhealthiest burritos on fast-food menus.
Pam Hartnett, MPH, RDN, owner of The Vitality Dietitians, points out that many fast-food chain burritos are typically made with beef cooked in oil, large amounts of cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Often, these burritos will have high amounts of saturated fat, total fat, and sodium. “This can all undermine your health and raise your risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes,” she says.
However, it’s not all bad news. Hartnett explains that, thankfully, many chains allow you to make your own burrito, which is an opportunity to create a healthier version.
If a restaurant offers this, Hartnett says to opt for beans, lean meats, grilled chicken, a bit of brown rice, and plenty of vegetables to help boost vitamins and minerals. “The fiber in the vegetables and brown rice—white rice has most of the fiber removed—helps you feel fuller longer, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps control blood sugar levels,” she says. Add cheese and sour cream in small amounts (if at all, Hartnett says) and finish it with fresh lettuce and salsa to add a bit more flavor. “You can also add a dollop of guacamole, which is loaded with healthy fats and nutrients,” she adds. “Just don’t overdo it, as guacamole is high in calories.”
If a customizable burrito isn’t an option, she advises going for a burrito bowl. “These are more easily customizable and can often be made with a brown rice base, plenty of beans and vegetables, and grilled chicken,” she says. “Skip the cheese and sour cream and opt for plenty of salsa and a bit of guacamole.”
Taking these tips into consideration, we put together a list of the unhealthiest fast-food burritos available right now so you can steer clear. From a burrito that has over 3,000 milligrams of sodium (yes, 3,000) to another that has a staggering 100 grams of carbs, here are seven fast-food burritos that you should skip.
PER BURRITO: 920 calories, 44 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 2,330 mg sodium, 92 g carbs (6 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 40 g protein
This tasty burrito, which is made with a double portion of marinated grilled steak, a three-cheese blend, and nacho cheese sauce, features a whopping 44 grams of fat and is also very high in sodium. If a Taco Bell craving hits, try to instead order the bean burrito, which has only nine grams of total fat and nearly half the amount of sodium.
PER BEYOND MEAT BURRITO: 1,090 calories, 64 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 2,190 mg sodium, 81 g carbs (7 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 42 g protein
Del Taco’s Epic Cali Bacon burrito is not only epic but also pretty unhealthy for you. Packed with bacon, crinkle-cut fries, cheese, and sour cream, this burrito is high in calories, fat, and sodium. The bacon in this dish is also made with sodium nitrite, which can have detrimental effects on the body if eaten in excess. Rather than making this burrito your go-to, try Del Taco’s 3-layer queso nachos, which are still tasty but have far fewer calories and sodium.
PER BURRITO: 1,220 calories, 60 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 3,070 mg sodium, 133 g carbs (6 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 33 g protein
Baja Fresh has been making delicious dishes since the 1990s, but its Dos Manos burrito is one you may want to enjoy sparingly. For starters, it’s packed with over 3,000 milligrams of sodium. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, adults should limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day. This burrito, which is made with cheese, beans, roasted vegetables, and sour cream, unfortunately, goes well over the daily recommended sodium intake.
PER BURRITO: 760 calories, 48 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,330 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 33 g protein
Carl’s Jr., known for making delicious charbroiled burgers, also sells breakfast burritos filled with salt, carbs, and fat. Although this burrito has the least amount of sodium compared to others on this list, it’s still over half the daily recommended amount. To help make it a bit healthier, try to order it without bacon or hash browns. Or check out the new Philly Cheesesteak Breakfast Burrito which has only 550 calories.
PER BURRITO: 830 calories, 33 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 2,230 mg sodium, 108 g carbs (13 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 34 g protein
Taco John’s—the Wyoming-founded chain that whips up tacos, quesadillas, potato dishes, and more— makes a burrito with an alarmingly high amount of carbs and sodium. Instead, order one of Taco John’s crispy tacos with steak. This option is healthier, with only 140 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of protein.
PER BURRITO: 1,390 calories, 69 g fat (NA g saturated fat), 2,780 mg sodium, 131 g carbs (21 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 57 g protein
Although Chipotle allows you to customize your burrito and have more of an opportunity to make healthier decisions, you should still watch out for ingredients that aren’t that healthy if not eaten in moderation. For example, the chain’s customizable Garlic Guajillo Steak Burrito can quickly rack up calories, fat, and sodium if it’s made with add-ons like white rice, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole.
When ordering at a fast-food chain that allows you to create your own burrito, keep Hartnett’s advice in mind and opt for more wholesome ingredients, like brown rice, vegetables, and lean proteins.
PER BURRITO: 870 calories, 35 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 2,370 mg sodium, 83 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 58 g protein
Yet another burrito that has an impressively high amount of sodium in it. El Pollo Loco, which has hundreds of locations mainly throughout the Southwest, makes a burrito that doesn’t hold back. First, it has over 2,000 milligrams of sodium—practically the recommended daily intake. If you’re looking for a healthier burrito from El Pollo Loco, try the Keto Burrito, which has less total fat and sodium but doesn’t sacrifice taste.