Chipotle is an inexpensive Mexican grill that has virtually and seemingly literally taking the country by storm. With continually growing popularity in Cleveland ranging from Strongsville to Solon and everywhere in between, Chipotle has brought itself into the public eye enough to warrant criticisms of its nutritional details and health features.
This has grown to the point of menu changes being made in order to satisfy a public demand for healthier ingredients. Among these changes, one in particular poses one of the most grueling choices burrito lovers have ever had to face: Brown or white rice?
The thought process
Introduced in order to represent a healthier option, brown rice allows Chipotle enthusiasts the chance to feel better about the contents of their orders while still enjoying the small receipt that they produce. But how much healthier is brown rice than the original white?
It’s fair to say that most people when choosing brown rice do not actually know just how much positive nutritional value they are gaining by doing so. Let’s dig a bit deeper into discovering just what the ‘healthier’ option saves Chipotle’s loyal fans.
FastFoodNutrition.org lists Chipotle's nutrition information. After checking to make sure that the information listed there matches that reported by Chipotle’s website, this is what was found. In one four-ounce serving of rice, white rice comes in with 170 calories, four grams of total fat, one gram of saturated fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of protein, and two percent Vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Now you would expect brown rice to be outstandingly more healthy considering it was brought there to be exactly that, healthier.
However, the brown rice nutrition was shockingly similar. At the same four-ounce amount, brown rice contained 160 calories, just ten less than that of the ‘unhealthy’ white rice. Other than 50 fewer milligrams of sodium, the only other difference was a trade off. Brown rice contained two grams of dietary fiber that white did not, but lacked the Vitamin C that the white rice had.
The only conflicting data between the two sites for rice nutrition was that Chipotle listed four ounces of white rice to contain 2.5 grams of protein in comparison to three grams in brown rice, whereas FastFoodNutrition.org listed them both at three grams.
As you can see, while brown rice is a marginally healthier alternative to white, that tough decision can be made a little bit easier just by looking at the numbers.
So the next time you decide to get a quick and cheap lunch at Chipotle and cannot choose whether to go ‘healthy’ or not based on your rice, have no fear. Getting the white rice will not set you back too far.
As always, eat more, pay less.