Is Cava Healthy ? The Truth Behind Cava Meals

Everyone around me is suddenly switching to Cava for a healthy meal. That raises the question of whether Cava is healthy or just another hyped restaurant is in the corner. 

Cava promotes a Mediterranean diet, which keeps you in good shape. The meal includes vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and a healthy fat dressing. Each ingredient is low in calories and rich in nutrients. It uses chicken, lamb, and falafel as protein sources to avoid health risks. 

Catch an insight into Cava meals below. 

Is Cava Restaurant Food Healthy?

Cava Restaurant offers a menu that caters to those seeking healthy options. Their dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients like olive oil and the restaurant focuses on providing balanced meals.

Options like grain bowls and salads are rich in nutrients, low in calories, and packed with flavor. Overall , I will say Cava is healthy. Though I will not judge Cava based on some TikTok or Youtube reviews. Instead, let’s consider only the ingredients they uses in their meals.


Cava Meal Ingredient Breakdown

At Cava, the meal category is limited to bowls and pitas. Of course, you will find variations in those items. In fact, you can customize your order according to your taste palate.

Cava meals completely replicate the Mediterranean diet. Hence, the bowls and pitas include vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy dressing. 

Though seafood is a significant part of the Mediterranean diet, Cava hasn’t yet added fish to any of its recipes.

The restaurant uses chicken and lamb as the lean protein source (350 cal max). Cava has acknowledged the risks of red meat and eliminated this protein from the recipes. 

For grains, Cava offers 4 options (Basmati rice, brown rice, black lentils, and RightRice). Each one contains limited calories (185 cal max.). Therefore, you do not have to cut on whole grains anymore. 

In any Cava meal, vegetables, toppings, and dressings are added to complement the taste. Any item to enhance the overall recipe is negligible in calories. 

Concerns Regarding Cava Meals

However, though I am impressed with the menu and the ingredients, I have 2 concerns.

First, there is confusion about whether the animal products are from conventionally-raised or pastured animals.

Generally, pastured animal meat is higher in nutrition. 

Secondly, Cava hasn’t fully disclosed their dressing ingredients. It can pose a health hazard to consumers with severe allergy problems. 

Some signs of unhealthy food are,

  • Meals contain unhealthy fats and oils (soya bean oil, for instance). 
  • Low-nutrient carbohydrates take up a large portion of the meal.
  • You will receive an excessive amount of red meat in the dish.
  • The dish’s calorie count exceeds 1000.

Do I Recommend Cava?

So, considering both sides, is Cava healthy? Well, yes. Let me point out why, 

  • Adding vegetables and other toppings reduces the risk of cancer and inflammation.
  • Likewise, lean proteins lower the bad cholesterol rate, promote metabolism, and support brain functions. Apparently, lean protein sources are also beneficial for a healthy heart
  • Whole grains are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and fibers. Therefore, calculated consumption helps in weight loss, diabetes control, and avoiding heart diseases. Besides, you can keep your blood pressure and cholesterol level checked with whole grains. 
  • All the meals are below 1000 calorie counts. 
  • The raised concerns are non-significant and easily avoidable. 

I have kept the kitchen and dining hygiene out of the equation for now. Well, anyone who has ever been to Cava knows how picky those guys are on keeping everything neat and in order.

Therefore, I will always rate Cava 10/10 on hygiene.

What Is The Healthiest Meal At Cava? 

The healthiest meal at Cava in terms of calories will be, 

  • Mains: Tahini Caesar bow (550 cal) with a Side red pepper hummus (90 cal) 
  • Beverage: Jasmine (130 cal)
  • Dessert: Greystone Blondie (140 cal)

780 calorie intake in one meal is healthy for an adult man or woman.

According to scientists, on average, a woman should consume 2000 calories per day. On the contrary, man requires 2500 – 3000 calories daily for proper functioning. 

My Order At Cava

Well, my favorite Cava meal is entirely different from the above order. It includes a Market spice bowl as mains with roasted eggplant sides. For drinks, I always order cucumber mint tea. 

Yes, my order is a bit heavy on calories. But in the case of taste and nutrition, it is unbeatable. 

The Market spice bowl contains vegetables, broccoli, tomato, spinach, corn, romaine lettuce, etc. While the antioxidant properties of broccoli reduce the risk of cancer, romaine lettuce keeps the blood sugar checked

Similarly, eggplant hummus helps in weight loss and maintaining a healthy heart. This side dish seems to have other health benefits, like lowering blood sugar and fighting cancer. Finally, cucumber tea significantly influences skin health and burns excess body fat. 

Even with this tastiest Cava meal, my calorie count does not exceed 1000. Even I order dessert on my cheat days. 

Pro-Tips: Customize your order when you are on a strict diet. Load your meal with vegetables and lean protein with limited toppings and whole grains. 

How To Order A Healthy Cava Meal? 

Cava allows you to customize the meal bowls and pita according to your calorie count and taste. Here is how to make a healthy Cava bowl, 

1. Select A Base: Choose multiple vegetables from the list. All these greens are low in calories but contain a great deal of nutrients. 

2. Add A Whole Grain: Though whole grain includes carbohydrates, a minimum amount is necessary for producing energy. Saffron and brown rice are better options for health-conscious people. Select the RightRice or Black Lentils when calories do not concern you. 

Pro-Tips: RightRice is a plant-based rice that includes 18g of protein. It is the perfect choice for vegans/vegetarians. 

3. Choose Your Favorite Protein: Grilled and honey chickens are the best options for increasing muscle mass. Meatballs are also rich in protein but lack sodium. On the contrary, falafel is a plant-based protein option for vegans/vegetarians. 

4. Dips/ Sides & Toppings: Both these items enhance the favors of each Cava meal. As they are low in calories, you can select any according to your taste. 

5. Dressing/ Sauces: In most cases, sides and toppings are enough to compliment the bowl taste. Still, you can add a low-calorie yogurt drill or lemon herb tahini to boost the flavors. 

Is Cava Healthy For Weight Loss? 

Cava meals are perfect when you plan to shred your body weight. You can count the calorie intake with each bowl and pita. Moreover, the restaurant allows you to customize the meal with a variety of items. 

The main ingredients of a Cava bowl are greens, whole grains, lean proteins, toppings/ dressings, and sides. Vegetables include fiber, which helps in burning fat by improving metabolism. 

Likewise, nutrient-dense and fiber-rich whole grains can prevent weight gain. Besides, lean proteins cut down bad cholesterol and increase muscle density. 

In short, Cava meals will be an excellent choice as a weight loss diet. 

Wrap Up

I love Cava foods a lot! I’m surprised and excited. They offer healthy, quick Mediterranean food for a family of four at an affordable price, under $20! Plus, it’s conveniently located near my house.

So if you still in doubt ask me ” is Cava healthy ? ” Yes . 100% it’s good and healthy.

Always make informed choices to enjoy the benefits of Cava while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

John Harvey
John Harvey

John Harvey M.D., M.P.H. is the Director of Promo Global Health Institute and a Professor at Promo Chan School of Public Health . As an Internal Medicine physician at Boston Healthcare System, I aim to improve healthcare quality and costs through policy-focused research. I earned my M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard, and completed fellowships at University of California, San Francisco.

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