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 270/570 cal” — this could be found right after a salad, indicating that the small bowl is 270 calories, while a medium is 570.
- “V,” “DF,” or “GF” — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (vegan, dairy free, gluten free)
- “low sug” — your food or drink has a low amount of sugar 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 “Classic White.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.
Summaries- Nutrition (per 2 oz):
- 150 calories
This is low or medium A unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More, depending on the person.
- 2 grams of fat, 1 of which is saturated, 0 grams trans fat
Pretty low fat, which is normal for most bread.
- 5mg of cholesterol, and 280mg of sodium
This does have some sodium in it, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.
A little bit of cholesterol. This does occasionally pop up in bread.
- 28g of carbs, 1 of which is fiber, and 2 of which is sugar
An OK sugar to fiber ratio.
- 5g protein
An OK amount of protein for a side.
- Lastly, 0% of the DV for Vitamin A, 6% of your daily Vitamin C, 4% for Calcium, and 8% of your Iron
A 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: 12% fat, 75% 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
- High Heat Milk Solids
- Milk Protein Concentrate
- Non-Fat Dry Milk
- Butter (Milk)
- This is similar to wheat gluten (an additive in baking), exc... More
- 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
Contains wheat and milk.
- Alright in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least.
- No trans fats.
- The macros are mostly carbs.
- There are 22 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!