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What’s in Panera’s Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup?

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 350/550 cal”     — this could be found right after a salad, indicating that the medium bowl is 350 calories, while a large is 550.
  • “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 “Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.

 

 

 

Summaries- Nutrition (per bowl):

  • 280 calories

This is a light meal, but it depends on the circumstances. If you have already eaten a large breakfast and lunch, and/or have a particularly sluggish metabolism, this may be plenty.

 

 

  • 13 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated, 0 grams of trans fat

Most soups are predominantly carbs, but the butter, oil, cream, and milk contribute to the fat content. Thankfully there is no trans fat.

 

 

  • 50mg of cholesterol and 1130mg of sodium

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

There is some cholesterol, likely from the dairy.

 

 

  • 35g of carbs, 4 of which are fiber, and 16 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

 

 

  • 6g protein

This is a little low for my liking.

 

 

  • Lastly, 25% of the DV for Vitamin A, 15% of your daily Vitamin C, 8% for Calcium, and 0% of your Iron

An OK source of vitamin a.

 

 

  • 0mg of Caffeine

Oh man!

 

 

Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 42% fat, 49% carbs, 9% 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. Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup
    1. Tomatoes
      1. Tomatoes
      2. Tomato Puree
      3. Salt
      4. Citric Acid"Citric acid is the compound 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarbo... More
    2. Water
    3. Cream
      1. Cream
      2. Milk
    4. Onions
    5. Salted Butter
      1. Cream
      2. Salt
    6. Seasoning
      1. Sugar
      2. Salt
      3. Spices
        1. Black Pepper
        2. Celery Seed
        3. Oregano
        4. White Pepper
        5. Red Pepper
      4. Canola Oil
    7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    8. Corn Starch
    9. Garlic Puree
      1. Garlic
      2. Water
    10. Enriched Flour
      1. Wheat 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
    11. Water
    12. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    13. Olive Oil Blend
      1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      2. Canola Oil
    14. Sprouted Grain Blend
      1. Sprouted Wheat
      2. Sprouted Spelt
      3. Sprouted Rye
      4. Sprouted Oats
    15. Salt
    16. Bread Base
      1. Enriched Pregelatinized Wheat Flour
        1. Niacin
        2. Reduced Iron
        3. Thiamine Mononitrate
        4. Riboflavin
        5. Folic Acid
      2. Wheat Fiber
      3. Wheat Gluten
      4. Malted Wheat Flour
      5. Acerola Extract
      6. Microbial Enzymes
    17. Yeast
      1. Yeast
        1. Sorbitan Monostearate"A mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of s... More
        2. Ascorbic AcidAnother name for vitamin c.
      2. Sea Salt
      3. Ground Black Pepper 

Contains milk and wheat.

 

 

 

Breakdown:

 

Nutrients

  • Not great in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least, but it does contain 1/4 of your daily vitamin a
  • No trans fats.
  • The most common macro is carbohydrates, but there is no 50% majority.
  • Good on the fiber, but too much sugar and not enough protein.
  • Some cholesterol and high sodium.

Ingredients

  • There are 39 unique ingredients.
  • The fat sources are not the best.
  • The sources of carbs are pretty good.
  • There is “flavoring” added, and salt is added 5 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!

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