Skip to main content

What’s in Panera’s Caesar Salad?

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 Panera Bread.

 

 

 

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.

Examples:

  • “S/M 340/540 cal”     — this could be found right after a soup, indicating that the small portion is 340 calories, while a large is 540.
  • “EF,” “GF,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • “low sug”     — your food or drink has a low amount of sugar per serving

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 Panera Bread’s products.

 

  1. Go to their website
  2. On the main menu hover over “Menu Items” and select Salads
  3. Find and click on “Caesar Salad.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.

 

 

 

Summaries- Nutrition (“whole” serving):

  • 320 calories

This is more of a side or snack.

 

 

  • 25 grams of fat, 6 of which are saturated, 0 grams of trans fat

Many salads are predominantly carbs, but here the oil, fish, and cheese contribute to the fat content. Thankfully no (or a negligible amount of) fat has been partially hydrogenated.

 

 

  • 40mg of cholesterol and 600mg of sodium

This is moderate in sodium, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.

There is some cholesterol, likely from the anchovy and cheese.

 

 

  • 14g of carbs, 2 of which are fiber, and 2 of which are sugar (the remaining is starch)

An OK sugar to fiber ratio.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts

 

 

  • 10g protein

Definitely not enough protein.

 

 

  • Lastly, 50% of the DV for Vitamin A, 40% of your daily Vitamin C, 25% for Calcium, and 10% of your Iron

A good source of vitamins a and c.

 

 

  • 0mg of Caffeine

Dang…

 

 

Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 70% fat, 17% carbs, 13% protein.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?

 

 

 

Summaries- Ingredients:

Our ingredients (to help clarify, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and unique ingredients are blue [or red if a vocab word]):

  1. Romaine Lettuce
  2. Caesar Dressing
    1. Soybean Oil
    2. Water
    3. Worcestershire Sauce
      1. Distilled Vinegar
      2. Molasses
      3. Sugar
      4. Water
      5. Salt
      6. Onion
      7. Anchovy
      8. Garlic
      9. Spice
      10. Tamarind Extract
      11. NaturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Flavors
      12. Chili Pepper Extract
    4. Egg Yolks
    5. Red Wine Vinegar
    6. Garlic
    7. Garlic Juice
    8. Egg Yolk Solids
    9. Onion Juice
    10. Salt
    11. Lemon Juice Concentrate
    12. Distilled Vinegar
    13. Sugar
    14. Anchovy Extract
    15. Black Pepper
    16. Xanthan Gum"The additive is a polysaccharide gum derived from Xanthomon... More
    17. Mustard Seed
    18. Rosemary Extract
    19. Citric Acid"Citric acid is the compound 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarbo... More
    20. Nisin And NatamycinA mold/yeast inhibitor commonly used in meat and cheese. Whi... More (To Preserve Freshness)
  3. Grated Parmesan
    1. Pasteurized Part Skim Milk
    2. Cheese Cultures
    3. Salt
    4. Microbial Enzymes
  4. Enriched Flour
    1. Wheat Flour
    2. Malted Barley Flour
    3. Niacin
    4. Reduced Iron"[Iron] prepared by reacting ground ferric oxide with hydrog... More
    5. Thiamine Mononitrate
    6. Riboflavin
    7. Folic Acid
  5. Water
  6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. Olive Oil Blend
    1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2. Canola Oil
  8. Sprouted Grain Blend
    1. Sprouted Wheat
    2. Sprouted Spelt
    3. Sprouted Rye
    4. Sprouted Oats
  9. Salt
  10. Bread Base
    1. Enriched Pregelatinized Wheat Flour
      1. Niacin
      2. Reduced Iron
      3. Thiamine Mononitrate
      4. Riboflavin
      5. Folic Acid
    2. Wheat Fiber
    3. Wheat Gluten
    4. Malted Wheat Flour
    5. Acerola Extract
    6. Microbial Enzymes
  11. Yeast
    1. Yeast
    2. Sorbitan Monostearate"A mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of s... More
    3. Ascorbic AcidAnother name for vitamin c.
  12. Sea Salt
  13. Ground Black Pepper

Contains egg, fish, milk, and wheat.

 

 

Breakdown:

 

Nutrients

  • Good in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least: it contains nearly half of one’s daily vitamin a and c.
  • No trans fats.
  • The most common macro is lipids.
  • Not great on the protein, alright on the fiber and sugar.
  • Low cholesterol and moderate sodium.

Ingredients

  • There are 55 unique ingredients.
  • Not very allergen-friendly.
  • The fat sources are pretty good.
  • The sources of carbs are OK.
  • Sugar, preservatives, and “flavors” were used.

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients

 

Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *