Quick Bites: Jason’s Deli

We have discussed healthier options to choose when eating out at Chick Fil A, Salata and Starbucks.  Now, we continue our Quick Bites series by looking at Jason’s Deli. Known for their healthier options and overall focus on removing trans fats and high fructose corn syrup from their menu, Jason’s Deli is a popular restaurant for those who wish to follow a healthier lifestyle. But, like any eating establishment, there are pros and cons to the menu, and some ‘not-so-healthy’ options can be consumed if you are not careful!

One of my favorite aspects of Jason’s Deli {besides the free frozen yogurt!} is that they are accommodating to any requests you may have to adjust your meal. So, don’t hesitate to eliminate items or add other options if needed to make your entree healthier.  Also, their interactive nutrition menu on their website is one of the best I have seen.  You can analyze an entree, an entire meal, or look at allergens for an item (such as artificial ingredients, GMOs, soy, gluten, wheat, etc). As mentioned with our other posts, I have broken the list down into menu items to consider and those to avoid if possible. Remember, these are just suggestions and there may be items that I have not listed that are acceptable within reason.

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Soups: In all honesty, the majority of the soups are not what I would consider a healthy side or entree (besides the vegetable soup). Even if the calorie content looks reasonable, it is important to take a look at other nutritionals, such as sodium.

Choose: Organic Vegetable Soup (cup) – 110 calories, 5 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 550 mg sodium, 18 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
Choose: Organic Vegetable Soup (bowl) – 150 calories, 7 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 730mg sodium, 24 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 5 grams protein

Avoid: Chicken Pot Pie (bowl)- 530 calories, 25 grams total fat, 14 grams saturated fat, 1690 mg sodium, 55 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 19 grams protein

*Highest in category: Saturated fat – Tomato Basil soup (bowl): 16 grams, Sodium – Beef Stew (bowl): 2060 mg, Calories – Potato Soup (bowl): 550 calories

Salads: (Choose ‘lighter portion’ when available for a healthier entree and ask for the dressing on the side to control how much is used)

Choose: MD Anderson Quinoa Shrimp and Mango Salad- 310 calories, 8 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 260 mg sodium, 46 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 17 grams protein
Choose: Nutty Mixed up Salad (lighter portion) – 280 calories, 8 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 430 mg sodium, 40 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 30 grams sugar, 18 grams protein
♦   Most of the sugar is from the fruit. Ask for it, especially the dried versions, on the side to control how much you consume!

Avoid: Taco Salad (original portion)- 1,150 calories, 64 total fat, 20 grams saturated fat, ((0.5 grams trans fat)), 2,080 mg sodium, 106 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fiber, 20 grams sugar, 47 grams protein
♦   To put it in perspective, you could eat two McDonald’s Big Macs for the same fat content (each one has 33 grams total fat and 8 grams saturated fat). Yikes!

* Highest in category: Saturated fat – Taco Salad (original): 20 grams {All versions of the taco salad – southwest, black bean and original were highest in saturated fat}, Sodium- Chicken Caesar Salad (original): 2,030 mg, Calories- Taco Salad (original): 1,150 calories

Meatless Eats:

Choose: Spinach Veggie Wrap (half)- 200 calories, 9 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 480 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 9 grams protein
Choose: Zucchini Grillini (half) – 280 calories, 18 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 370 mg sodium, 27 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 10 grams protein

Avoid: Black Bean Taco Salad (original) – 1,110 calories, 59 grams total fat, 15 grams saturated fat, 1650 mg sodium, 122 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar, 31 grams protein
Avoid: Zucchini Garden Pasta (original)- 1,220 calories, 61 grams total fat, 15 grams saturated fat, 1,450 mg sodium, 137 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 37 grams protein
♦   To put it in perspective, 137 grams carbohydrate is equivalent to 9 servings of carbohydrates (or 9 pieces of bread)! Yikes!

Speciality Sandwiches:

Choose: Amy’s Turkey-O (half) – 240 calories, 8 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 630 mg sodium, 28 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 14 grams protein
Choose: The Papa Joe (half) – 290 calories, 16 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 810 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 14 grams protein

Avoid: Meataballa (whole) – 1,120 calories, 69 grams total fat, 29 grams saturated fat, 2,450 mg sodium, 65 grams total carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 59 grams protein
Avoid: Turkey Cranwich (whole) – 690 calories, 25 grams total fat, 13 grams saturated fat, 1,070 mg sodium, 91 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 43 grams sugar, 24 grams protein
♦   To put it in perspective, you could drink a whole can of soda for the same amount of sugar! Yikes!

Famous Favorites:

Choose: Wild Salmon-wich (half) – 330 calories, 19 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 550 mg sodium, 26 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 17 grams protein

Avoid: New York Yankee (whole) – 1,020 calories, 51 grams total fat, 22 grams saturated fat, 1,650 mg sodium, 43 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, <1 grams sugar, 90 grams protein

*Highest in category– Saturated fat: New York Yankee (whole) – 22 grams, Sodium: Beefeater (whole)- 3,220 mg, Calories – New York Yankee (whole) – 1,020 calories

Paninis and Wraps:

Choose: Mediterrean Wrap (half) – 180 calories, 5 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 610 mg sodium, 24 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 12 grams protein
Choose: Turkey Wrap (half)- 200 calories, 8 grams total fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 540 mg sodium, 21 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 11 grams protein
Choose: Chicken Panini (half) – 340 calories, 18 grams total fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 700 mg sodium, 26 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 22 grams protein

Avoid: Ranchero Wrap (whole) – 520 calories, 21 grams total fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 1,450 mg sodium, 44 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 4 sugar, 42 grams protein
Avoid: Caprese Panini (whole) – 770 calories, 52 grams total fat, 23 grams saturated fat ((0.5 grams trans fat)), 1,400 mg sodium, 51 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 36 grams protein

Pastas, Potatoes and More: None of the pastas or potatoes had nutritional information that I could recommend to choose. So, if you desire one of these, order toppings on the side (when feasible), choose the ‘lighter portion,’ and save half of your meal for another time.

Salad Bar: Refer to our Quick Bites: Salata for recommendations on navigating a salad bar. There are a few unique items to Jason’s Deli that I wanted to mention.

Gingerbread muffins: These are my husband’s favorite, and when I told him the nutritional facts of these, he said ‘What?! I usually eat like 5 of those.” These little muffins are tempting but know that each little one packs 90 calories, 3.5 grams total fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, and 14 grams carbohydrates. Choose just one of these muffins when building your salad at the salad bar!
Creamy Fruit Dip: When ordering fruit as a side, their creamy fruit dip is provided in addition. Each little cup is 150 calories and has 8 grams total fat, 5 grams saturated fat and 17 grams sugar! Save your fat and sugar grams by avoiding the fruit dip and eating the fruit alone.

HBH quick bites template- JD

 

 

 

 

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