Nov 4, 2022

Does Chipotle use seed oils?

Does Chipotle use seed oils? Learn more about this popular fast-casual restaurant's use of seed oils and whether or not seed oils are healthy for you.

Yes, Chipotle uses seed oils.

Since its founding, Chipotle has grown to become one of America's most popular fast-casual restaurants. The chain prides itself on simple yet flavorful Mexican-inspired cuisine - and its commitment to using high-quality ingredients.

Chipotle is best known for its build-it-yourself burritos and bowls, which can be customized with a variety of fresh toppings and fillings.

While Chipotle prides itself on using healthy and fresh ingredients, some have questioned the restaurant's use of seed oils in its cooking process. 

Seed oils - the oils that come from the seeds of plants - are commonly used in the food industry for a variety of purposes. It can be used as a cooking oil or as an ingredient in processed foods. Seed oils are also often added to cosmetics and skincare products.

In recent years, there has been increasing concern over the potential health effects of seed oils. Many are looking for dining options that make use of healthier oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Some believe that seed oils can cause inflammation in the body and may contribute to a number of health problems.

Does Chipotle use seed oils? Is it possible to order a meal that doesn't contain seed oils?

What are Seed Oils?

Seed oils are extracted from plant seeds, typically through crushing and solvent extraction with high-heat. The most common type of seed oil is vegetable oil, which can be made from various plant seeds, including soybean, rapeseed, and sunflower.

Seed oils are commonly used in processed foods, as they are relatively inexpensive and have a long shelf life. These qualities make them ideal for use in packaged and prepared foods. Seed oils are also often used as cooking oils in restaurants.

Seed oils are also used in various other industries, including:

- Cosmetics and skincare products

- Industrial lubricants

- Printing inks

- Biofuels

The reason for seed oil's vast use is the ability of the oil to be easily extracted from the plant seed. This process results in a large quantity of oil, presenting an efficient and effective market opportunity.

Yet, would you want to dine on food created in oil used for biofuels and printing ink?

What are the Potential Health Risks of Seed Oils?

While seed oils are used in so many different products, there is growing concern over the potential health risks associated with their consumption.

Recent research has shown that average consumers gain nearly 80% of their daily caloric intake from some form of processed food. This means that, for many people, the majority of their diet is composed of foods that contain seed oils.

This is cause for concern, as some research suggests that seed oils are considered "high PUFA food" - or foods that contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Diets that are high in PUFAs have been connected with high levels of free radicals, which have, in turn, been found to play a potential role in: 

- Alzheimer's disease

- Obesity

- Diabetes

- Cancer

Why? PUFA-rich diets have been shown to cause inflammation in the body. This, in turn, can lead to a host of health problems.

Is Chipotle's Use of Seed Oil Healthy?

Now that we know more about seed oil and its potential risks, let's take a closer look at Chipotle's use of this ingredient.

A quick look at Chipotle's publicly-available ingredients shows that the restaurant does, in fact, use seed oils in nearly every dish on the menu. This is likely because seed oil is used to cook and prepare most of Chipotle's food.

For example, the rice that is served with Chipotle's burritos and bowls is cooked in rice bran and sunflower oil. The chicken, steak, and barbacoa that are used in these dishes are also cooked in seed oils.

Chipotle's Seed Oils Verdict

Our verdict on Chipotle's seed use oil is "Dine Shamefully" - meaning that it's nearly impossible to find a meal at Chipotle that doesn't contain this ingredient.

While Chipotle strives to prepare food that includes a variety of healthy ingredients, the restaurant's use of seed oils is cause for concern. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to Chipotle, we recommend checking out another fast-casual restaurant that uses olive oil or coconut oil in its cooking.

Seed Oil Scout makes it easy to determine what restaurants use seed oils in their cooking, so you can make informed decisions about where to dine. With Seed Oil Scout in your pocket, you can trust that you're always making the healthiest choice for your body.

Learn more and download Seed Oil Scout today!