ignorance is obesity

Sunday night, Jeff noted that he was having a hankering for Mexican food; I didn’t really want to get showered and dressed for a sit-down restaurant dinner, so we decided to look into delivery or take-away. We had a small menu for Baja Fresh, which doesn’t deliver but does offer call-ahead ordering for pick-up. I seemed to recall that the last time we ate there, the menu had some new items, so I decided to look online.

The “Nutrition Info” links piqued my curiosity; with my most recent test results showing high triglycerides and borderline-high cholesterol, I’ve been trying to be even more mindful of what I’m eating. In this case, that was a depressing mistake.

The lightest fare on the menu, the “Bare Burrito,” isn’t too bad as far as fat goes, at 15 fat grams for the steak and 7 for chicken, with only 5 grams and 1 gram respectively of saturated fat. Both have 97 grams of carbs, though, along with 75-100 mg of cholesterol. And here’s the kicker: each has over 2300 mg of sodium! And it turns out that the “bare” in the title means that the “burrito” consists of veggies, beans, rice, meat and salsa in a bowl, with no tortilla and no sour cream.

A regular “Baja Burrito,” with tortilla? Well, the carbs and sodium actually are marginally lower than the “light” fare at 87 grams and 2200 mg respectively, but the fat content ranges from 44 to 51 grams, with 16-19 of that as saturated fats, and cholesterol in the 120-145 mg range. Total calories are around 1000. I might as well have a Whopper.

And my previously favorite Baja Fresh meal, the chicken nachos? Well, I’ll never again be able to indulge in them in my life, unless I intend for it to be a particularly short life: 2000 calories, 108 grams of fat (41 saturated), 165 grams of carbs, 230 mg of cholesterol and 3000 mg of sodium.

There’s an option on the menu for getting your burrito “enchilada-style.” The web site posts the nutritional information for that as well. To the already heart-stoppingly bad stats for a burrito, this option adds an additional 500 calories, 34 fat grams, 75 mg of cholesterol and 1450 mg of sodium. Why don’t they just put cyanide on the menu?

So what did I do? I seriously considered just dropping Jeff off at the restaurant and coming back home and having Raisin Bran, but in the end I went with an order of enchiladas… because there was no nutritional information for them posted on the web site, I didn’t have to know just how bad it was for me. la la la. I can’t hear you. la la la. Rather than eating the whole thing, though, as I normally would, just because it was there, I stopped eating once I was full, leaving half of the meal for Monday night’s dinner.

One thought on “ignorance is obesity

  1. It’s telling that I was a normal-sized kid 30 years ago, until I started spending summers with my Mexican grandmother. She fed me quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, chicken mole, and other tortilla-based dishes… and that’s the beginning of my weight struggles. Mexican food has always been my comfort food; even today living in the shadow of my grandparent’s house in San Jose, I find myself whipping up quesadillas for lunch.
    And I’d never thought to check out what they were doing to my waistline.
    The more I look at nutrition information, I more I realize that I should just stop eating. And reading “Fast Food Nation” recently just make me want to starve myself.

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