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What’s in Panera’s Cheese Pastry?

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 240/540 cal”     — this could be found right after a salad, indicating that the small bowl is 240 calories, while a medium is 540.
  • “V,” “DF,” or “GF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (vegan, dairy free, gluten free)
  • “high fib”     — your food or drink has a high amount of fiber 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 Pastries & Sweets
  3. Find and click on “Cheese PAs.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.

 

 

 

Summaries- Nutrition (per pastry):

  • 400 calories

For a dessert, this is low or medium calorieA unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More, depending on the person.

 

 

  • 22 grams of fat, 13 of which is saturated, 0.5 grams trans fat

Bread is mostly carbs, but the higher calorie deserts have more fat. This does have some trans fat, which is surprising for Panera. Trans fat should definitely be avoided.

 

 

  • 70mg of cholesterol, and 340mg of sodium

This does have some sodium in it, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.

A little bit of cholesterol. This does occasionally pop up in bread products.

 

 

  • 42g of carbs, 1 of which is fiber, and 14 of which is sugar

Not a good sugar to fiber ratio.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts

 

 

  • 8g protein

Most deserts are high sugar and high fat, with not very much in the way of protein.

 

 

  • Lastly, 15% of the DV for Vitamin A, 8% of your daily Vitamin C, 4% for Calcium, and 8% of your Iron

An OK source of these four micronutrientsSomething we need in very small amounts to stay alive. The e... More. Unfortunately we do not know the levels of any other vitamin or mineral in this pastry.

 

 

  • 0mg of Caffeine

Oh man!

 

 

Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not grams): 50% fat, 42% carbs, 8% protein.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?

 

 

 

Summaries- Ingredients:

 

Our ingredients (to avoid confusion, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and did not highlight some ingredients to avoid repetition):

 

  1. Croissant Dough
    1. Enriched Wheat Flour
      1. 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
    2. Butter With NaturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Flavor
      1. Pasteurized Cream
      2. CultureThis refers to a culture of cells- keeping things like yeast... More
      3. Natural Flavor
    3. Water
    4. Wheat Flour
      1. Flour
      2. Malted Barley Flour
    5. Milk
    6. Sugar
    7. Leavening (Yeast)
    8. Eggs
    9. Vital Wheat GlutenThis is similar to wheat gluten (an additive in baking), exc... More
    10. Salt
    11. Dough Conditioner (Ascorbic AcidAnother name for vitamin c.)
  2. Cream Cheese Filling
    1. Cream Cheese
      1. Pasteurized Milk And Cream
      2. Cheese Culture
      3. Salt
      4. Carob Bean Gum"Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosper... More
    2. Water
    3. Sugar
    4. Corn Starch-Modified
    5. Corn Syrup
    6. Carob Bean Gum
    7. Cultured Nonfat Milk
    8. Glucono Delta-Lactone"[It's] the cyclic 1,5-intramolecular ester of D -gluconic ... More
    9. Guar Gum
    10. Lactic Acid"Lactic acid, the chemical 2-hydroxypropanoic acid, occurs n... More
    11. Natural Flavor
    12. Nonfat Milk
    13. Salt
    14. Xanthan Gum"The additive is a polysaccharide gum derived from Xanthomon... More
  3. Cinnamon Sugar Topping
    1. Sugar
    2. Cinnamon
    3. Modified Corn Starch
    4. Soybean Oil
  4. Water
  5. Egg Wash
    1. Whole Eggs
    2. Egg Yolk
    3. Dried Egg Whites

 

Contains egg, milk, and wheat. Manufactured on equipment that processes items containing soy.

 

 

 

Breakdown:

 

Nutrition

  • Alright in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least.
  • Beware of the trans fats.
  • The macros are mostly fats.
  • Not enough fiber, in my opinion.

Ingredients

  • There are 33 ingredients.
  • Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin,  and Folic Acid are all micronutrients.
  • The sources of fat aren’t fantastic.
  • Sugar was added at three different steps, just for reference.

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

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