Mercy's Kristian Morey, RD, LDN, Discusses Choosing Healthy Options When Eating Out

March 27, 2020
Endocrinology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Kristian Morey, RD, LDN, is a clinical dietitian at The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy Medical Center. Kristian is committed to providing nutritional and lifestyle guidance to patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes. Recently, Kristian responded to questions from OpenFit for a feature regarding “tips for how to order healthier options from Chipotle -- specifically for delivery items amid the COVID-19 crisis.” Here are her responses:

One of the biggest healthy pitfalls of ordering out can be the high calorie and sodium levels of the options available. Here are some tips I recommend. 


People often feel hungry an hour or so after eating salads when they don’t have a balance of protein, fat and carbs.

One way to help with this is to choose beans as your protein option. It provides carbohydrates for energy, with less sodium than other protein options.

For a healthy fat, try the guacamole instead of the dressing, its lower in sugar and sodium compared to the chipotle honey vinaigrette.


Choose beans over rice as your starch – their bean options have more fiber and less sodium.

If you do choose rice, go with brown instead of white – it has practically half the sodium.

Load up on romaine lettuce and fajita veggies – most of Americans fall significantly short of the recommended daily servings of non-starchy vegetables. Adding them whenever you can is a good idea, especially when they’re included in the price of the bowl anyway.


Unless you’re planning on saving some of your burrito for later, consider the tortilla your starch for the meal and skip the rice and beans.

Chicken and steak are lower sodium protein options to include compared to the other choices on the menu. 

Three of the healthiest toppings to order:

Tomatillo green salsa – lowest calorie and sodium salsa on the menu.

Fajita veggies – lower in calories than most other “top it off” options. 

If you need a dairy option, go with sour cream – it is lower in sodium than cheese and queso blanco.

Other tips:

Skip the burrito – the large flour tortilla provides more calories and sodium than any other starch option – go for the tacos, salad, or bowls instead. 

Corn tortillas  – lower in calories and sodium than flour.

Skip the chips – the smallest option clocks in at over 500 calories – that’s practically a meal’s worth for some. 

Ask for sauces on the side – they’re less likely to give you overly-generous portions and you can control how much you add to your food.  

Take advantage of the Nutrition Calculator on Chipotle’s website – it shows full nutrition information, rather than just the calories like the app does. 

Kristian Morey, RD, LDN, Mercy Medical Center, directs patients to, and instructs, Mercy’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Diabetes Education Classes and Diabetes Support Group. These programs teach patients with or at risk of diabetes self-management skills and training. To learn more, visit -  Endocrinology - Bone, Diabetes & Thyroid


Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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