HealthyPosted on 05.06.2014

Healthy Mexican – veggie burrito vs grilled chicken burrito

It’s a Mexican fiesta!

For the veggie lover who fancies something hefty, we have the refried bean burrito.

For the lean and mean carnivore, it’s the grilled chicken burrito.

Naughty – Refried bean burrito

Hold on a second – the bean burrito’s the naughty option? Yes indeed.

A veggie burrito starts off with healthy ingredients, but if you choose the wrong fillings and extras, it can turn into a fat-fest to rival any carnivorous wrap.

For the uninitiated, a burrito is a Mexican soft tortilla, wrapped around a filling, sprinkled with cheese, and baked. Sounds simple, but the combinations are endless.

A veggie burrito obviously excludes meat or fish, so the fillings have to be based around beans, rice and cheese.

The rice is a good source of starchy carbohydrates, and beans are great – low in fat, packed with protein, and high in fibre. All this great stuff fills you up and keeps your digestive system healthy. But remember – these are refried beans. The clue’s in the name: frying adds a slug of bonus calories. Sour cream and guacamole are classic additions for a burrito, but they both bump up the fat. Sour cream clocks in at around 60 calories and 7g fat per generous tablespoon. The fat in guacamole comes from avocados, which is healthy monounsaturated fat that’s good for your heart.

The problem is, all fat has the same high calorie count, whether it’s lard or olive oil – or the avocado oil in guacamole. And a tablespoon of guacamole will set you back around 50 calories.

All in all, this supposedly virtuous veggie dish can easily contain 800 calories, and maybe over 1,000. Delicious, but definitely not a slimline option!

Nice – Grilled chicken burrito

The chicken burrito, done right, can definitely be a seriously tasty slimline option.

You’d probably prefer the veggie version if you like a lot of extras. But you can easily trim the fat and calories if you’re smart about what you add.

The best thing about burritos is you can get them exactly how you want them – that means filling up on the healthy ingredients, and adding just enough of the naughty extras to make it taste right.

So, when you fancy a chicken burrito, ask if you can have it with only a little cheese and sourced cream. Then go for as much as salad as possible – it’ll fill you up and you’ll be topping up your vitamin levels as well.

There will still be plenty of taste, because the chicken will be marinated in Mexican spices. And the rice and beans will be spicy, too. It’s certainly not a boring option – and definitely kinder to your waistline and arteries than if you’d loaded it with cheese!