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What’s in Panera’s Four Cheese Soufflé?

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 380/670 cal”     — this could be found right after a soup, indicating that the small bowl is 380 calories, while a medium is 670.
  • “SF,” “EF,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (soy free, egg 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 Breakfast
  3. Find and click on “Four Cheese.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.

 

 

 

Summaries- Nutrition (per Soufflé):

  • 410 calories

For a full meal, this is medium to low calorieA unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More, but it depends on the person and context.

 

 

  • 28 grams of fat, 17 of which are saturated, 0 grams of trans fat

Bread is mostly carbs, but the butter, eggs, oil, and cheese contribute to the fat content. Thankfully there are no trans fats.

 

 

  • 170mg of cholesterol, and 830mg of sodium

This has some serious sodium, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.

The cholesterol level is near half of your recommended daily intake. Animal products tend to be high in cholesterol.

 

 

  • 38g of carbs, 1 of which is fiber, and 8 of which are sugar (the remaining is starch)

Not a good sugar to fiber ratio in my opinion.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts

 

 

  • 15g protein

More protein per calorie than a muffin, but still not a whole lot if you ask me.

 

 

  • Lastly, 10% of the DV for Vitamin A, 8% of your daily Vitamin C, 15% for Calcium, and 10% of your Iron

An OK source of calcium.

 

 

  • 0mg of Caffeine

Oh man!

 

 

Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 61% fat, 24% carbs, 15% 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. Four Cheese Souffle Blend
    1. Eggs
    2. Water
    3. Neufchatel Cheese
      1. Pasteurized Milk And Cream
        1. Bacterial Cheese CultureThis refers to a culture of cells- keeping things like yeast... More
        2. Salt
        3. Carob Bean Gum"Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosper... More
      2. Cheddar Cheese
        1. Pasteurized Milk
        2. Bacterial Cheese Cultures
        3. Salt
        4. Microbial Enzymes
      3. Parmesan Cheese
        1. Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk
        2. Bacterial Cheese Cultures
        3. Salt
        4. Microbial Enzymes
      4. Soybean Oil
      5. Whey Protein Concentrate
      6. Onions
      7. Sea Salt
      8. Sodium Citrate
      9. Konjac (Thickener)
      10. Parmesan Cheese Paste
        1. Granular And Parmesan Cheese
          1. Pasteurized Milk
          2. Bacterial Cheese Cultures
          3. Salt
          4. Microbial And Animal Enzymes
        2. Water
        3. Salt
        4. Lactic Acid"Lactic acid, the chemical 2-hydroxypropanoic acid, occurs n... More
        5. Citric Acid"Citric acid is the compound 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarbo... More
      11. Soy Lecithin"Food grade lecithin is a complex mixture of substances deri... More
      12. Garlic
      13. Lactic Acid
      14. Romano Cheese
        1. Pasteurized Milk
        2. Bacterial Cheese Cultures
        3. Salt
        4. Microbial Enzymes
      15. White Pepper
  2. Croissant Dough
    1. Enriched Wheat Flour
      1. Flour
      2. Malted Barley Flour
      3. Niacin
      4. Iron
      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. 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.)

Contains egg, milk, soy, and wheat.

 

 

 

Breakdown:

 

Nutrients

  • Not outstanding in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least, but it does have 3/20 of your daily calcium, so that’s cool.
  • No trans fats.
  • The most common macro is lipids
  • Little fiber, OK on the sugar and protein.
  • Medium in cholesterol and moderate sodium.

Ingredients

  • There are 35 unique ingredients.
  • The sources of fats are not great.
  • There are no “flavors” added, just some salt and sugar.

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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