Quick Bites: Panera Bread

We are back with another installment of our Quick Bites series. Today, we are looking into Panera Bread. Known for its focus on all natural “clean” ingredients and having a transparent menu, it is a popular restaurant for those wanting to choose healthier options when eating out. I appreciate Panera Bread’s focus on removing artificial ingredients, sweeteners, coloring, and flavors to provide more wholesome food. But, just as we have learned by reviewing other places, it is still important to analyze the menu to determine the healthier options. As dietitians, our goal is to provide you the tools to make more informed decisions when eating out!

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www.panerabread.com

Breakfast:

Choose: Mediterranean Egg White Sandwich/ Avocado, Egg White and Spinach Sandwich/ Turkey Sausage, Egg White and Spinach Sandwich. All of these options are healthier than other breakfast sandwiches on the menu due to their lower saturated fat and sodium content.

Choose: Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal – 230 calories, 6 gm fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 220 mg sodium, 51 gm carbohydrates, 9 gm fiber, 7 gm sugar, 8 gm protein

Avoid: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich on Asiago Cheese Bagel – 610 calories, 28 gm fat, 13 gm saturated fat (0.5 gm trans fat), 1350 mg sodium, 55 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 4 gm sugar, 34 gm protein

Avoid: All Souffles. All of these options range from 480- 570 calories, 15- 20 gm saturated fat, 0.5-1 gm trans fats, 690 – 930 mg sodium, and 8-9 gm sugar.

*If you have a bagel in mind, try sticking with a half portion of the Whole Grain Bagel or the Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat.

Drinks/ Smoothies:

*For coffee drinks, refer to our Starbucks Quick Bites on how to find healthier options at a coffee shop/bar.

Choose: Superfruit Power Smoothie with Ginseng- 210 calories, o gm fat, 0 gm saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 34 gm carbohydrates (lowest of the smoothies), 2 gm fiber, 30 gm sugar (lowest of the smoothies), 14 gm protein (highest of the smoothies). *Please check with your doctor to ensure that consuming ginseng does not interact with any medications you might be on.

Avoid: Wild Berry Low- fat smoothie- 340 calories, 1.5 gm fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 105 mg sodium, 75 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 68 gm sugar, 6 gm protein.  *Don’t be deceived by the words low fat. For the same amount of sugar as this smoothie, why not eat 7-8 Reese’s cups?! Wow!

Soups:

Choose: Cup Low fat Chicken Noodle soup – 110 calories, 2.5 gm fat, 1.5 gm saturated, 890 mg sodium, 13 gm carbohydrates, 1 gm fiber, 2 gm sugar, 9 gm protein

Choose: Cup Low fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable soup with Pesto – 90 calories, 3.5 gm fat, 0 gm saturated fat, 560 mg sodium, 16 gm carbohydrates, 8 gm fiber, 4 gm sugar, 3 gm protein

Choose: Cup All natural turkey chili – 210 calories, 7 gm fat, 1.5 gm saturated fat, 730 mg sodium, 23 gm carbohydrates, 8 gm fiber, 5 gm sugar, 11 gm protein

Avoid: Cup New England Clam Chowder – 480 calories, 42 gm fat, 27 gm saturated (1 gm trans fat), 680 mg sodium, 21 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 1 gm sugar, 6 gm protein

Avoid: Cup Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup – 330 calories, 23 gm fat, 12 gm saturated fat, 510 mg sodium, 26 gm carbohydrates 5 gm fiber, 8 gm sugar, 6 gm protein

Sandwiches/ Paninis:

Choose: Half Mediterranean Veggie – 280 calories, 6 gm fat, 1.5 gm saturated fat, 720 mg sodium, 47 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 5 gm sugar, 10 gm carbohydrates

Choose: Half Tuna Salad – 260 calories, 8 gm fat, 2 gm saturated fat, 550 mg sodium, 32 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 6 gm sugar, 14 gm protein

Choose: Half Napa Almond Chicken Salad – 340 calories, 14 gm fat, 2 gm saturated fat, 580 mg sodium, 45 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 6 gm sugar, 15 gm protein

Choose: Half Turkey Breast on Country Bread – 220 calories, 2 gm fat, 0 gm saturated fat (0.5 gm trans fat), 890 mg sodium, 34 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 2 gm sugar, 16 gm protein

Avoid: Steak and White Cheddar Panini – 530 calories, 23 gm fiber, 8 gm saturated fat (0.5 gm trans fat), 960 mg sodium, 52 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 2 gm sugar, 26 gm protein

Avoid: Bacon Turkey Bravo – 400 calories, 15 gm fat, 5 gm saturated fat (0.5 gm trans fat), 1450 mg sodium, 43 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 4 gm sugar, 26 gm protein

*Just so you know – Highest Sodium content: Bacon Turkey Bravo (Italian Combo and Frontega Chicken Panini are close behind)/ Highest saturated fat: Steak and White Cheddar Panini

Salads: *Even a whole portion of the “choose” salads are a great option for an entree!

Choose: Half Ancient Grain, Arugula and Chicken Salad – 210 calories, 7 gm fat, 1.5 gm saturated, 150 mg sodium, 21 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 10 gm sugar, 12 gm protein

Choose: Half Asian Sesame Chicken Salad – 200 calories, 10 gm fat, 1.5 gm saturated fat, 260 mg sodium, 13 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 3 gm sugar, 16 gm protein

Avoid (or if you choose it, remove bacon and ask for cheese on the side for a healthier option): Half Chicken Cobb with Avocado Salad – 330 calories, 25 gm fat, 6 gm saturated fat, 490 mg sodium, 7 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 1 gm sugar, 21 gm protein

Avoid: Power Kale Caesar with Chicken – 300 calories, 20 gm fat, 8 gm saturated fat, 650 mg sodium, 5 gm carbohydrates, 1 gm fiber, 1 gm sugar, 25 gm protein *Don’t be fooled by this salad containing kale. The Parmesan cheese, Parmesan crisps and Caesar dressing add up to make this a high calorie/ high fat salad to avoid if possible.

*Just so you know – Highest saturated fat salad dressing: Greek Herb Vinaigrette/ Highest sugar salad dressing: White Balsamic Apple Flavored Vinaigrette. Instead choose: Asian Sesame Vinaigrette, Low Fat Thai Chili Vinaigrette or Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette

One of the best parts of Panera Bread is the ability to use the “you pick two” option when ordering. Choose a half portion of the recommended sandwiches, salads or a cup of the recommended soups for a more balanced, health conscious meal.

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