Healthy Choices at Panera Bread

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There are many delicious offerings at Panera Bread.  Some are healthy; some are not.  Surprisingly some choices appear healthy but are loaded with calories, salt and fat. Here is a guide on some of the healthy choices at Panera bread.   By eating smart, both your body and taste buds will thank you.

Bread

Take home a loaf of Panera’s delicious, fresh bread. For every two-ounce serving, the whole grain bread has 130 calories and one gram of fat. In addition, it has three grams of dietary fiber and six grams of protein. Another good option is the three-cheese loaf with 140 calories per two ounce serving and two grams of fat. Both of these breads have eight percent DV of iron.

Sandwiches

For a light, but satisfying lunch, try the half tuna salad on honey wheat. This has 240 calories, eight grams of fat and ten grams of protein. Another good option is the half Mediterranean veggie on tomato basil. Along with lots of vitamin rich veggies, this sandwich has 300 calories and seven grams of fat. In addition, it has only five mg of cholesterol, five grams of fiber and eleven grams of protein. For those watching their sodium, these sandwiches have 490 and 710 mg, respectively. However, out of all the sandwiches, they have the lowest amount of sodium. 

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

This salad includes chopped romaine lettuce, fresh cilantro, crispy wonton strips, almonds, hulled sesame and all natural citrus and pepper chicken. With a half portion of reduced sugar Asian sesame vinaigrette, this salad has 355 calories, sixteen grams of fat and thirty-one grams of protein. The crispy wonton strips account for 140 of the 355 calories and six of the sixteen grams of fat. Thus, if you can live without the wonton strips, save yourself some more calories and fat grams. 

Low Fat Strawberry Smoothie with Ginseng

This smoothie is made with organic low fat yogurt, strawberry puree and ginseng. This super smoothie has 260 calories, one and a half grams of fat, five mg cholesterol, six grams of protein and 130 percent of one’s daily value of Vitamin C. 

Sweets

For something sweet, try the hot cross buns or the pastry ring. The hot cross buns are “made with soft egg bread, dried strawberries, orange zest and topped with white icing.” They have 220 calories and five grams of fat. These are available Friday through Sunday, 3/11- 4/10, and every day from 4/15 to 4/24. The pastry ring is “a fluted ring, baked with cherry and apple fruit fillings & our special-recipe cheese filling.” It has 230 calories and eleven grams of fat. 

Other tips

In general, avoid most of the pastries and bagels.  If you want a bagel, I would suggest a whole wheat or trail mix variety.  While the soups are low calorie, they have a lot of salt.  Egg dishes are high in protein.  Skip the cheese and ham for less fat and sodium. 

Happy Eating!

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