Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big Mac vs Chipotle Burrito

This - from The Atlantic - was a thought-provoking read.

The thing is, consumers aren't usually informed about the nutrition information of the foods they consume. And when they are informed, it doesn't always mean that what they will make healthier food choices (see Calorie Postings Don’t Change Habits, Study Finds from the New York Times). Which is why I think the only way to make dietary changes on a large scale is to prevent bad habits from forming in the first place. If a new generation of children consumes less high-fat, sugar and sodium foods the population of people who enjoy eating healthy foods will increase. I'm recalling that study of lab rats who ate too much junk food and got addicted to it. If we drum into our kids that Doritos and Big Macs are no good, if we stop buying them Doritos and Big Macs, it would reduce consumption of same. My daughter's fifth grade science class watched Food, Inc., and it's made an impression. Do we want to make an impression or make the same mistakes?

If you do want to be more informed about what you're eating when you eat out (and I would still advocate cooking your own food), sites like The Daily Plate are a great resource. It's not just for diabetics and dieters. I used it through Livestrong this time last year when I felt I had no idea how many calories I was consuming in a day. It was really helpful, and it didn't take too long for me to have a better sense of how my meals and snacks stacked up. For example, my standard Chipotle order (Chicken Fajita Bowl with peppers, pico de gallo, corn salsa and lettuce - note there's no sour cream or cheddar) comes in at 479 calories, 42 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, none of which is saturated, 50 grams of carbs, and 1850 mg of sodium (over 75% of the daily limit). It's an improvement, to be sure, from the pork burrito in the Atlantic piece, but, still a very dense meal. Green gluttony is still gluttony.

1 comment:

Liz M said...

Interesting. I eat my fair share of Big Macs, cause it has a drive thru and Chipotle does not and I have two kids that have to come in and out of carseats (but that burns calories...hmmmm). Anyway, I wonder about the portion size. I feel like the burrito is simply larger, maybe even a double portion compared to the Big Mac.