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 salad, 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 “Whole Grain.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.
- 130 calories
This is pretty low A unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More.
- 1 gram of fat, 0 of which is saturated, 0 grams trans fat
This bread is very low-fat. This is to be expected, because bread is mostly carbs.
- 0mg of cholesterol, and 240mg of sodium
As far as bread goes, it has an OK amount of sodium, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.
No cholesterol. This does occasionally pop up in bread.
- 26g of carbs, 3 of which is fiber, and 2 of which is sugar
Pretty good sugar to fiber ratio.
- 6g protein
As well as fat, most bread does not have a whole lot of protein.
- Lastly, 0% of the DV for Vitamin A, 15% of your daily Vitamin C, 2% for Calcium, and 8% 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: 7% fat, 75% carbs, 18% 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
- Grain Blend
- Cracked Wheat
- Rye Meal
- Whole Spelt Flour
- Whole Amaranth
- Flax Ground
- Citrus 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
Contains wheat and soy.
- Alright in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least.
- No trans fats.
- The macros are mostly carbs.
- There are 32 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!