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 280/550 cal” — this could be found right after a soup, indicating that the small bowl is 280 calories, while a medium is 550.
- “V,” “DF,” or “GF” — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (vegetarian, dairy free, gluten 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.
- Go to their website
- On the main menu hover over “Menu Items” and select Freshly Baked Breads
- Find and click on “Hoagie Roll.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.
Summaries- Nutrition (per 2 oz):
- 380 calories
This is low or medium A unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More, depending on the person.
- 4.5 gram of fat, 2 of which is saturated, 0 grams trans fat
This is to be expected, because bread is mostly carbs.
- 0mg of cholesterol, and 800mg of sodium
This may be too much sodium for some people, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.
No cholesterol. This does occasionally pop up in bread.
- 70g of carbs, 3 of which is fiber, and 2 of which is sugar
Pretty good sugar to fiber ratio.
- 12g protein
Not too bad of a source of protein.
- Lastly, 0% of the DV for Vitamin A, 15% of your daily Vitamin C, 2% for Calcium, and 25% of your Iron
A pretty good source of these four Something 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 bread.
- 0mg of Caffeine
Our approximate macro breakdown: 11% fat, 76% carbs, 13% protein.
See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?
Our ingredients (to avoid confusion, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and did not highlight some ingredients to avoid repetition):
- Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour
- Malted Barley Flour
- "[Iron] prepared by reacting ground ferric oxide with hydrog... More
- Thiamine Mononitrate
- Folic Acid
- Coarse Whole Wheat Flour
- Palm Oil Shortening
- Bread Base
- Malted Barley Flour
- A form of glucose, a basic sugar.
- Rye Flour
- Sunflower "Food grade lecithin is a complex mixture of substances deri... More
- Wheat Flour
- Fungal Enzymes
- Another name for vitamin c.
- "A mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of s... More
- Ascorbic Acid
- Alright in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least.
- No trans fats.
- The macros are mostly carbs.
- There are 19 ingredients.
- Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid are all micronutrients
- Sorbitan Monostearate is an emulsifier
- Ascorbic Acid is a preservative
See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients
Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.
Thanks for reading!