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What’s in Panera’s New England Clam Chowder?

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.


  • “S/M 360/560 cal”     — this could be found right after a salad, indicating that the small bowl is 360 calories, while a regular is 560.
  • “SF,” “GF,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • “low chol”     — your food or drink has a low amount of cholesterol 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 Soups
  3. Find and click on “New England Clam Chowder.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.




Summaries- Nutrition (per bowl):

  • 570 calories

This is a light/medium-sized meal, but it depends on the circumstances. If your other meals were/will be larger, and/or you have a particularly sluggish metabolism, this may be plenty.



  • 39 grams of fat, 24 of which are saturated, 1.5 grams of trans fat

Many soups are predominantly carbs, but the butter, cream, oil, and milk contribute to the fat content. Unfortunately there is some trans fat.



  • 145mg of cholesterol and 1040mg of sodium

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

There is some cholesterol, likely from the meat and dairy.



  • 42g of carbs, 3 of which are fiber, and 6 of which are sugar (the remaining is starch)

An OK sugar to fiber ratio, in my opinion.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts



  • 14g protein

This is a little low for my liking.



  • Lastly, 25% of the DV for Vitamin A, 0% of your daily Vitamin C, 15% for Calcium, and 10% of your Iron

An OK source of vitamin a.



  • 0mg of Caffeine




Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 62% fat, 28% carbs, 10% 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. New England Clam Chowder
    1. Water
    2. Whipping Cream (Milk)
    3. Potatoes
      1. Russet Potatoes
      2. Calcium Chloride
    4. Sea Clam Juice
      1. Sea Clam Juice
      2. Salt
    5. Clams
      1. Sea Clams
      2. Water
      3. Salt
    6. Onions
    7. Salted Butter
      1. Cream
      2. Salt
    8. Clam Base
      1. Cooked Clams In Clam Broth
      2.  Salt
      3. Yeast Extract
      4. Potato Flour
      5. Butter
      6. Clam Extract
      7. Sugar
      8. Onion Powder
      9. Cod Powder
      10. Garlic Powder
    9. Wheat Flour
    10. Corn Starch
    11. Seasoning
      1. Sugar
      2. Onion Powder
      3. Garlic Powder
      4. Corn Starch
      5. Black Pepper
      6. White Pepper
      7. Canola Oil

Contains fish, milk, and wheat.







  • Not great in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least, but it does contain 1/4 of your daily vitamin a.
  • Some trans fats.
  • The most common macro is lipids
  • OK on the fiber and sugar but not enough protein.
  • Some cholesterol and high sodium.


  • There are 23 unique ingredients
  • The fat sources are not the best.
  • The sources of carbs are pretty neutral.
  • There is a “flavor” added.

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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