In this series, “Eating out: What’s in it?” we will be going over how you can figure out for yourself if something is unhealthy. Today we are taking a trip to Jamba Juice.
1. Check the menu
In more and more urban and developed cities, some nutrition information is being publicly displayed on the menu. Look for numbers or symbols next to the menu item.
- “M/L 240/410 cal” — this could be found right after a smoothie, indicating that the medium size is 240 calories, while a large is 410.
- “GF,” “V,” or “DF” — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free)
- “high fib” — your food is high in fiber
These indicators are convenient and effective ways of narrowing down choices.
2. Go online
If you are eating at a chain restaurant, you can almost guarantee they will have the nutritional info on their websites. Some even have ingredients, and most include a common allergen guide.
In this case we have an extensive amount of information online for all of Jamba Juice’s products.
- Go to their website
- On the main menu select “Energy Bowls”
- Select “See Details” under the Acai Primo Bowl
- 490 calories per bowl
Depending on you metabolism, this could be high or low.
- 8g of protein, 40mg of sodium, and no cholesterol
Pretty low in protein, since most would consider this a meal. Low in sodium, which is nice if trying to avoid salt. And, predictably, no cholesterol. We are really just dealing with fruit here.
- 99g of carbohydrates, 67g of which are sugar, and another 11 grams are fiber
This much fruit can be dangerous if you are avoiding carbs. Granted, it’s from healthy, nutritive, sources, but at the end of the day it’s still 67g of sugar.
A nice bit of fiber, too.
- 10g of fat, 3 of which are saturated, 0 grams trans fat
No trans fats. You may be surprised to see the saturated fats; however, they are healthy triglycerides found in coconut, as we will visit later. Not all saturated fats are the same. Not by a long shot.
- Lastly, 10% of the "Reference Daily Intake:" see post. for Vitamin A, 20% for Iron, 8% Calcium, and a whopping 580% of your Vitamin C
Gotta love those fruity vitamins. I assume the minerals come from the seeds, soymilk, and granola mixed in.
Our approximate macro breakdown: 17% fat, 73% carbs, 10% protein.
See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?
- Acai Juice
- Frozen Bananas
- Fresh Bananas
- Frozen Strawberries
- Frozen Blueberries
- Organic Granola
- Fresh Blueberries
- I really don’t have anything bad to say. Great ingredients.
- Don’t forget, too much of a good thing is never good. If you’re eating 5 of these bowls a day because they are allegedly “healthy,” you should rethink things. Although better than a fistful of french fries, they are still loaded with sugar, and lacking in protein.
See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients
Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.
Thanks for reading!