Is Chipotle Queso Healthier than Guacamole?
We all make excuses. "I haven't eaten much yet today." Or "I had a really good workout this morning." We tell ourselves these things to feel better about topping our Chipotle burrito with a spoonful of delicious guacamole, even though we know it's adding a lot of calories. Starting today, Chipotle restaurants have a new topping to tempt you: Queso Sauce. Is it possible that the Queso Sauce is actually better for you that the guac? Or will you need to summon even more will power to resist this new burrito topping?
What is Chipotle Queso
If you're wondering what queso is, here's a free Spanish lesson: queso is Spanish for cheese (congrats, you're now 0.01% fluent in Spanish!). And that is exactly what Chipotle's Queso Sauce is. It's a warm cheddar cheese sauce that has been spiced up with jalapeno and poblano peppers. There are also some tomatoes and bell peppers for color and a little tomatillo for a bit of tanginess (see the full list of ingredients here). Chipotle's Queso Sauce can be ladled over your burrito, burrito bowl, tacos or even salad for an extra $1.25.
Is Chipotle Queso Healthy?
It shouldn't be a shocker that Chipotle's Queso is not diet food. After all, it's mostly cheese, and cheese is loaded with calories and fat. A two ounce serving of Chipotle's Queso Sauce will set you back 120 calories and 8 grams of fat. If you were ordering a chicken burrito with brown rice, black beans, red salsa, lettuce and cheese, adding the queso would take the calories for your meal from 910 to 1,030 calories. That's a 13% increase in calories just for a sauce! Needless to say, your burrito, bowl, tacos or salad will be better for you if you skip the queso. But how does it compare to the guacamole? Let's find out!
What's healthier, Chipotle Guac or Queso?
Will swapping out the guacamole for Chipotle's new Queso Sauce make your burrito healthier? You may be surprised to learn that the queso has fewer calories and less fat than the guacamole! The guacamole packs 150 calories, which is 25% more than the queso. And the difference is even bigger when it comes to fat content. The guac contains an amazing 62% more fat than the queso!
So there you go, the queso is healthier than the guacamole... right? Not so fast.
The fat in the guacamole is largely comes from avocados. This is monounsaturated fat, one of the "good" kinds of fat. It is thought to reduce risk of heart disease and is loaded with the antioxidant vitamin E. On the other hand, the queso's fat largely comes in the form of saturated fats, which can raise cholesterol.
The bottom line is that Chipotle Queso has fewer calories and fat, but the fat in it is worse for you. If you HAVE to choose between the guacamole and queso, we would recommend asking for a small scoop of guacamole. Reducing the portion of guac will bring the calorie and fat content down to a level similar to the queso, but will allow you to skip the saturated fats.
To see what adding queso will do to your favorite Chipotle order, try out our Chipotle Nutrition Calculator.