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What’s in Panera’s Lemon Drop Cookie?

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 260/560 cal”     — this could be found right after a soup, indicating that the small bowl is 260 calories, while a medium is 560.
  • “V,” “SF,” or “GF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (vegan, soy 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.


  1. Go to their website
  2. On the main menu hover over “Menu Items” and select Pastries & Sweets
  3. Find and click on “Lemon Drop Cookie.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.




Summaries- Nutrition (per cookie):

  • 440 calories

For a dessert, this is low or medium calorieA unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More, depending on the person and context.



  • 20 grams of fat, 13 of which is saturated, 0.5 grams trans fat

Bread is mostly carbs, but the higher calorie deserts have more fat. Unfortunately there is some trans fat in this cookie, which should be avoided.



  • 70mg of cholesterol, and 270mg 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.



  • 61g of carbs, 1 of which is fiber, and 33 of which is sugar (the remaining is starch)

Not a good sugar to fiber ratio.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts



  • 5g protein

Most deserts are high carbs and high fat, with not very much in the way of protein.



  • Lastly, 10% of the DV for Vitamin A, 0% of your daily Vitamin C, 4% for Calcium, and 10% of your Iron

An OK amount of these 4 micronutrientsSomething we need in very small amounts to stay alive. The e... More.



  • 0mg of Caffeine

Oh man!



Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not grams): 41% fat, 54% carbs, 5% protein.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?




Summaries- Ingredients:


Our ingredients (to avoid confusion, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and unique ingredients are red [vocab word] or blue):


  1. Sugar
  2. Unsalted Butter With NaturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Flavors
    1. Pasteurized Cream (Milk)
    2. Natural Flavors
  3. Unbleached Enriched Wheat 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
  4. Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour
    1. Wheat Flour
    2. Niacin
    3. Reduced Iron
    4. Thiamine Mononitrate
    5. Riboflavin
    6. Folic Acid
  5. Lemon Flavored Confectionery Drop
    1. Sugar
    2. Palm Kernel Oil
    3. Nonfat Milk Powder
    4. Whey Powder
    5. Milkfat
    6. Natural Flavor
    7. Soy Lecithin"Food grade lecithin is a complex mixture of substances deri... More (Emulsifier)
    8. Citric Acid"Citric acid is the compound 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarbo... More
  6. Pasteurized Whole Egg
  7. Invert Sugar"An aqueous solution of inverted or partly inverted, refined... More
  8. Lemon Flavored Sugar Blend
    1. Powdered Sugar
    2. Natural Lemon Flavor
  9. Sodium Bicarbonate
    1. Sodium Bicarbonate
    2. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
      1. Soybean, Palm, And/Or Cottonseed Oils
  10. Salt
  11. Natural Vanilla Flavor


Contains egg, milk, soy, and wheat.






  • OK in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least.
  • Some trans fats.
  • The macros are mostly carbs.
  • Not enough fiber, in my opinion.


  • There are 26 ingredients.
  • Niacin, Iron, Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid are all micronutrients.
  • The sources of carbs are not the best.
  • There is some flavoring.

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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