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What Is The Healthiest Food At Panera?

What Is The Healthiest Food At Panera?

August 13, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

Panera Bread - honestly, who doesn't love this place? From their ooey-gooey mac-and-cheese to their perfect bread bowls and comforting soup, there is a little bit of everything for everyone! That said, with 2,000 locations nationwide and a menu that contains a wide variety of veggie-packed salads, filling vegetarian options, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and quick service, Panera Bread makes for the optimal lunch go-to.

But even though Panera may be known for having healthy options, quite a few menu items are surprisingly still high in calories and fat. It may be shocking, but numerous items on their menu surpass what exactly a healthy meal can be - with some sandwiches containing close to 900 calories and some salads having more than 500 calories. It should be mentioned that just because something on their menu includes the words "salad" or "ancient grain" in the title, doesn't mean it's not loaded with calories. Even more so, while the pastry case may be enticing, moving on from the sugar and empty-calorie bombs, and sticking with something that is more portioned controlled can help you out with your fitness and diet gains in no time!

When it comes to Panera Bread, some items can be perfect for anyone who is watching their calories and making sure they are sticking with their fitness gains! Curious? Each of the following options contains less than 500 calories and 20 grams of fat with at least 15 grams of protein and plenty of vegetables. Here is our guide for mastering the Panera Bread menu:

1 - Turkey Sausage, Egg-White, and Spinach Breakfast Sandwich

What Makes It The Perfect Item - Breakfast sandwiches are a great option for grab-and-go breakfast, especially since they usually have protein from eggs. This breakfast sandwich combines lean protein with the turkey bacon, whole grains from the bread, and vegetables such as spinach for a balanced breakfast that will keep you full all morning long with 5 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein.

Pro-Tip For The Foodie -  If you’re choosing a sandwich with meat, choose leaner options like turkey sausage or Canadian bacon over pork sausage or bacon. Asking for extra veggie toppings or spinach is a great way to sneak more fiber and nutrients into your breakfast - plus it is simply just a delicious way to boost up your meal!

Nutritional Value - 

  • Calories - 410
  • Fats - 12 grams
  • Fibers - 5 grams
  • Carbs - 50 grams
  • Protein - 17 grams

2 - Turkey Chili

What Makes It The Perfect Item - If you’re in the mood for soup, Panera Bread's turkey chili will truly hit the spot. Their turkey chili bowl has just 260 calories and has 16 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein to make it the ultimate meal option.

Pro-Tip For The Foodie -  A bowl of turkey chili is a great alternative if you need a quick, filling lunch. To add more veggies, order a half seasonal greens salad on the side for just 90 additional calories to your meal. We might suggest swapping out the bread for an apple to save as a snack later on - but that is up to you!

Nutritional Value - 

  • Calories - 260
  • Fats - 13 grams
  • Fibers - 16 grams
  • Carbs - 32 grams
  • Protein - 17 grams

3 - Asian Sesame Salad With Chicken

What Makes It The Perfect Item - This salad is super satisfying and comes with plenty of crunch thanks to the toasted almonds and wonton strips! That being said, it also makes for the perfect meal standing in at a reasonable 410 calories and 25 grams of protein.

Pro-Tip For The Foodie -  As you may know, ordering dressing on the side and lightly dressing your own salad can help you shave off a few calories from your salad - and potentially can keep it from getting all soggy! The Asian sesame vinaigrette that comes with this salad is packed with flavor, so you’ll be surprised how little dressing you may just wind up using.

Nutritional Value - 

  • Calories - 410
  • Fats - 20 grams
  • Fibers - 6 grams
  • Carbs - 27 grams
  • Protein - 25 grams

4 - Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich

What Makes It The Perfect Item - What is perfect about this vegetarian sandwich is that it doesn’t skimp on protein! Thanks to the hummus and feta, it serves a whopping 18 grams of protein and still keeps calories reasonable at 440 for an entire sandwich.

Pro-Tip For The Foodie -  For making it the ultimate sandwich, stick to a whole-grain bread to keep the calories down and the fiber up. It is best to always keep in mind that you can sub out the bread on your sandwich with a different option. However, it you are counting your calories, hoagie rolls or ciabatta tend to bump up the calories quite a bit.

Nutritional Value - 

  • Calories - 440
  • Fats - 13 grams
  • Fibers - 6 grams
  • Carbs - 65 grams
  • Protein - 18 grams

5 - Turkey Sandwich With Tomato Soup

What Makes It The Perfect Item -  When it comes to combo meals, they are usually an amazing deal for your wallet, but not always for your waistline. Ordering a half portion of each item can still add up to well over 500 calories for lunch. However, this satisfying combination of half a sandwich and a cup of soup provides 15 grams of filling protein and just 480 calories.

Pro-Tip For The Foodie -  To keep calories in check when ordering a “You Pick Two” at Panera, stick to the basics: a simple turkey sandwich provides filling protein without piling on calories. That allows you to opt for a creamy tomato soup without going overboard. A protein-packed sandwich with a simple side salad is another great option.

Nutritional Value - 

  • Calories - 480
  • Fats - 18 grams
  • Fibers - 8 grams
  • Carbs - 57 grams
  • Protein - 15 grams

Bon Appetit!

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