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 370/670 cal” — this could be found right after a salad, indicating that the small bowl is 370 calories, while a medium is 670.
- “SF,” “EF,” or “GF” — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (soy free, egg 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.
- Go to their website
- On the main menu hover over “Menu Items” and select Breakfast
- Find and click on “Ham, Egg, & Cheese.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.
Summaries- Nutrition (per sandwich):
- 340 calories
For a full meal, this is generally low A unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More, but it depends on the person and context.
- 15 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated, 0 grams of trans fat
Bread is mostly carbs, but the ham, egg, and cheese contribute to the fat content. Thankfully there are no trans fats.
- 220mg of cholesterol, and 890mg of sodium
This does have some serious sodium in it, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.
The cholesterol level is at about 2/3 the recommended daily intake. This is common in animal products.
- 30g of carbs, 4 of which are fiber, and 3 of which are sugar (the remaining is starch)
A good sugar to fiber ratio in my opinion.
- 23g protein
More protein per calorie than a bagel, but still not a whole lot if you ask me.
- Lastly, 10% of the DV for Vitamin A, 25% of your daily Vitamin C, 20% for Calcium, and 15% of your Iron
An OK source of iron and a good source of calcium.
- 0mg of Caffeine
Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 40% fat, 33% carbs, 27% protein.
See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?
Our ingredients (to help clarify, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and unique ingredients are blue [or red if a vocab word]):
- Whole Grain Pan Loaf
- Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour
- Malted Barley Flour
- "[Iron] prepared by reacting ground ferric oxide with hydrog... More
- Thiamine Mononitrate
- Folic Acid
- Grain Blend
- Cracked Wheat
- Rye Meal
- Whole Spelt Flour
- Whole Amaranth
- Ground Flax
- Orange Peel Fiber
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Special Blend
- Organic Wheat Sour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Guar Gum
- Defatted Soy Flour
- Malted Barley Extract
- Soy "Food grade lecithin is a complex mixture of substances deri... More
- Microbial Enzyme
- Wheat Gluten
- Another name for vitamin c.
- This is similar to wheat gluten (an additive in baking), exc... More
- Rolled Oats (May Contain Wheat)
- "A mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of s... More
- Ascorbic Acid
- Dough Conditioner
- Ascorbic Acid
- Microcrystalline Cellulose is a compound that gives plant cells their rigidit... More
- Corn Starch
- Pasteurized Eggs
- Sliced Smoked Uncured Ham
- Salt And Sea Salt
- Turbinado Sugar
- Celery Powder
- Cherry Powder
- Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
- This term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Smoke Flavor
- White Cheddar Cheese
- Pasteurized Milk
- Cheese This refers to a culture of cells- keeping things like yeast... More
- Microbial Enzymes
- Sea Salt And Black Pepper Blend
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Canola Oil
Contains egg, milk, soy, and wheat.
- Not outstanding in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least, but it does have 1/4 of your daily vitamin c.
- No trans fats.
- The most common macro is lipids, but there is no >50% majority.
- Some fiber, good on the sugar and protein.
- Medium in cholesterol and a moderate amount of sodium.
- There are 48 unique ingredients.
- The sources of carbs are alright.
- There is a “flavor” added and salt is used 4 times in the process.
See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients
Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.
Thanks for reading!