Keto Diet Now Includes Chipotle With New Keto Bowl Menu Item

On Wednesday, Chipotle added new menu items tailored to popular diet plans, including paleo, Whole30 and ketogenic, or keto, diets.

Billed as "just in time for New Year's Resolutions," in the press release, the new menu items include a Whole30 Salad Bowl, Paleo Salad Bowl and Keto Salad Bowl.

"We've watched guests custom create lifestyle-specific bowls when ordering in our restaurants, so it made sense to offer delicious options via our online channels that help people easily order bowls with real ingredients that fit their wellness goals," Chipotle's chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said in the statement.

Undoubtedly, Chipotle also hopes the new focus on diet food will burnish the restaurant's healthy image, tarnished by a multiple food poisonings, including a 2015 e. coli outbreak that sickened 55 people through the beginning of 2016. In response, the company closed locations for a day to train staff in food safety protocols.

Here's what's included in the new Chipotle diet bowls:

  • Whole30 Salad Bowl: Romaine lettuce, carnitas, fajita veggies, tomato salsa and guacamole
  • Paleo Salad Bowl: Romaine lettuce, barbacoa, fajita veggies, green salsa and guacamole
  • Keto Salad Bowl: Romaine lettuce, carnitas, red salsa, cheese and guacamole

Searches online are especially interested in the keto bowl, designed to adhere to the popular ketogenic diet, which has overshadowed similar popular 2018 diets like Whole30, paleo and intermittent fasting.

Eating keto demands a strict dietary menu of low-carb and high-fat foods. The keto diet isn't named for a guru or best-selling diet book, but instead the strict ketogenic diet doctors prescribe for certain forms of childhood epilepsy. The diet is meant to restrict carbohydrates intake enough that the body is forced to convert fat into ketones, a replacement for the carb-derived glucose typically used to fuel the brain. Elevated ketone levels, a state known as ketosis, can lead to a reduction in seizures.

The use of the keto diet in weight loss is a newer trend. A systematic review of the keto diet found that weight loss is slightly higher than traditional low-fat dieting in the first five months on the diet, but evens out if pursued longer. Since entering ketosis requires a stringent carbohydrate restriction, most people pursuing the keto diet do not achieve ketosis, but instead are aligned with more standard low-carb diets.

The new keto bowl is only available to order through the mobile app or from the Chipotle website and will not appear on in-store menus. However, it should be easy to reproduce for walk-in eaters too.