Fast Food that’s Fit to Eat
with Elaine Hastings, RD
How to Make Healthy Eating Choices at Panera Bread….
Panera Bread is the fast food chain that specializes in gourmet breads, soups and sandwiches. This may sound healthy, but don’t let the soup and salad front fool you, those meals can pack more calories and fat than a Big Mac…meal.
Breads: This is the stale of the Panera Company, so they put lots of time into creating different varieties. As always, some types are better than others.
Eat This: Lower-Carb Italian Herb Loaf- (per slice) 80 calories, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 160mg sodium, 4g fiber. Asiago Cheese Demi, Loaf- (per 2oz) 150 calories, 4g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 320mg sodium, 1g fiber.
If you choose Panera’s lower-carb breads you will not only save on calories, but you’ll save yourself 2.5g of artery clogging saturated fat. Not to mention the Asiago cheese loaf has twice the amount of sodium, and 3g less of filling fiber.
Soups: Panera’s soups, like most soups, are packed with salt, and served with a hunk of baguette bread. If you’re daring, (and aren’t doing low-carb) Panera offers a bread bowl.
Eat This: Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup- (per 8 oz) 160 calories, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 820mg sodium, 11g fiber. Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup- (per 8oz) 200 calories, 12g fat, 6g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 970mg sodium, 1g fiber.
You should be tipped off by the name, “cream” usually means “fat” when it comes to soups. If you choose Panera’s Black Bean Soup instead of the chicken, you’ll thank yourself later. You’ll be 40 calories and 11 grams of fat lighter, with 6 grams less of saturated fat. Also, Panera packs 11 grams of fiber into their bean soup which should keep your body clean.
Sandwiches: The sandwiches at Panera Bread are amazing. I love the Portobello & Mozzarella Panini, but I almost had a heart attack when I found out it has 750 calories! So watch out, and read on to find some lighter fare at Panera.
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