We all have our moments of weakness with Mexican food. It is difficult, if not impossible, to resist the temptation of biting into those soft wraps.
You know, the ones oozing with melted cheese, filled with refried beans, sauteed onions, and a hint of smoked paprika. Yup, we’re talking about bean and cheese burritos here, the ones you cannot help overindulging in despite the heartburns they give you.
But then WebMD, and other health critics, say that these wraps can be the worst for your body. So, naturally, you must ask, are bean and cheese burritos healthy for you and your waistline?
Well, let’s destroy these neatly wrapped delicacies and see what makes them so dangerous.
Nutrition Facts of a Bean and Cheese Burrito
Have you ever thought about burritos in another different way? Like how many calories does a single Bean and Cheese Burrito consist of? Here are the nutrition facts of one bean and cheese burrito that will answer some of your questions –
- Calories 291
- Total Fat 8 g
- Cholesterol 15 mg
- Sodium 479 mg
- Carbohydrates 41 g
- Protein 16 g
Bean and cheese burritos are actually a good source of nutrition. The classic taste of a burrito is mouth-watering. Not to mention, it is quite filling as well. But the bigger question is, how good is it for your body.
A single serving of a bean and cheese burrito has 16 grams of protein along with 8 grams of fat. And all the nutrients total 291 calories. For a snack, a single serving is too high but too low for one of the main meals.
Are Bean and Cheese Burritos Healthy?
You will be shocked to know that burritos are not so unhealthy. On the contrary, some may even claim it to be quite the opposite. But it depends on the way you are eating a burrito.
Say Hi to Protein!
Beans are a good source of protein. Besides, cheese also has an ample supply of this macronutrient, of course, when eaten the right kind. Burritos mostly use cheddar cheese, a cup of which contains 28 grams of protein.
A regular-sized burrito calls for 0.25 cups, which means you’ll be getting 8 grams of protein just from the cheese itself. The rest comes from protein. That’s why we get 16 grams of protein when we are eating a whole burrito.
Some recipes even tweak the recipes to amp up the protein level up to 18 grams.
Loaded with Fiber:
Beans, no matter the type, are packed with fibers. Lima, Pinto, and kidney beans are some of the ingredients to include if you want to increase your fiber intake. A 100 gram of these babies can contain as much as 16g of fiber.
If you decide to substitute a white flour tortilla with a whole wheat version, the fiber count increases even more. This is good for your bowel health, as it will make you more regular.
Bean and cheese burritos contain an ample amount of B vitamins. That includes thiamin and folate. It helps your body generate energy and maintain proper development and growth.
Moreover, your body will also get more than enough omega 6 fatty acids from the vegetable oil used. It might be a little too much!
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How Can Bean and Cheese Burritos Ruin Your Health?
We’ve all heard about the side effects of eating too many burritos. Let’s talk about them now, shall we?
Too Many Calories:
The individual components are not that scary on their own. But when combined and wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, dolloped with different toppings, the calories skyrocket.
Yup, some bean and cheese burritos may even reach 1000 calories. Of a 2000 daily calorie limit, this meal would take up half!
Refried Beans Are Bad!
Fried anything is bad. But refried beans are maxed out in calories and are loaded with saturated fat and sodium. They may cause many health problems, such as heart diseases and respiratory system problems.
Not to mention, they can create a blockade in your weight loss journey by literally clogging up your veins.
Fatty Toppings, Hello!
Sour cream and guacamole can directly affect our respiratory systems. Also, cheese, cream, and guacamole can be a lot for a heart disease patient – which steadily causes heart attacks.
I keep talking about sour cream and guacamole because, trust me, it carries a lot of calories. We get a maximum of 20 grams of fat from sour cream. Also, 2.9-gram sugar is added. And we get 193 calories per 100 grams. So, the more you dig in, the messier and unhealthier it becomes.
A total of 320 calories can be a lot when you are trying to lose weight. It’s high for normal people too. But for people with underlying health conditions, having too many burritos can be disastrous!
Artificial Preservatives and Ingredients:
This is true for those frozen, ready-to-eat bean and cheese burritos. To increase their shelf life and taste, they usually contain a lot of artificial chemical flavorings and preservatives.
When heated in a microwave, some of these compounds can be carcinogenic, thus, causing cancers. Another thing to point out is that frozen bean and cheese burritos do not always use good quality cheeses.
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How to Make Your Bean and Cheese Burritos Healthier?
No food itself is healthy. It depends on how you cook it. So, here are a few things you can do to make it better –
Not Using Sour Cream:
If you find sour cream and guacamole to be too much for you, you can always substitute them for healthier alternatives. Try Greek yogurt as a replacement for the former. If not, you can always opt for cottage cheese, crème Fraiche, or even buttermilk.
Using Non-Refried Beans:
Use beans that are not refried and are a good source of protein. Canned beans are a great option, and they can be very cheap! If you have time, you can even boil them.
Using Goat and Cheddar Cheese:
We can’t think of a burrito without the cheese. Try using goat and cheddar cheese because they are better for lactose intolerance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do bean and cheese burritos make you gain weight?
When all the components of bean and cheese burritos are combined together, they can add to a lot of calories. And if these calories exceed the calorie spent, it can add a few pounds.
Do bean and cheese burritos contain sodium?
Fast-food burrito chains have burritos whose sodium level can be 2000 mg! This is true even for veggie wraps.
What’s inside a Taco Bell bean burrito?
Even though it contains no meat, it has a tortilla filled with beans, onions, cheddar cheese, and red sauce.
Is a 5-layer burrito from Taco Bell a bean and cheese burrito?
The 5-layer burrito is quite cheesy! Besides two kinds of cheese, it also contains refried beans, beef, and sour cream.
Bean and cheese burritos may get a bad rep, but they are not unhealthy. Having these loaded burritos now and then shouldn’t be a problem if you have a sustainable eating discipline. So, all you have to do now is make a clean-eating plan and make sure to leave room for your favorite foods. There is no need to ponder and feel guilty over the question – are bean and cheese burritos healthy.