Healthiest Bread at Panera

Healthiest Bread at Panera

May 12, 2019   7 Comments

The healthiest bread at Panera should be easy to find since the actual name of Panera is Panera Bread.

When you walk into a Panera all you see is bread (and cookies and muffins) before you get to order. Because I had posted: Which is the Healthiest Bread at Subway, I thought it would be a good idea to check out Panera.

Panera is famous for soups, salads, and sandwiches and for making fast food that is healthier and fresher than the competition. I have visited to define The Perfect Order at Panera (with Smart Points).

Now, with the advent of touch screen ordering - you know all of your choices when it comes to the bread for your sandwich.

When I visited the store, I didn’t even see a person near the check-out counter. I simply ordered on the screen, grabbed a coffee mug, and waited for my sandwich. I then wondered if I wasted my money paying for the coffee since there was no one to see me grab a mug (but I do not condone stealing).

I do wonder how they know if you paid for your drink but maybe they don’t care?

The healthiest bread you can buy is a 100% whole grain loaf. It should have 4 grams of fiber or more per serving and less than 5 grams of added sugar. You would think that Panera would offer 100% whole grain because it is so popular with the healthy crowd.

I chose the Whole Grain Pan Loaf since it was the only whole grain choice for my sandwich on the screen. Here is the nutritional information for one slice:

130 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 240 mg sodium, 4 Freestyle SmartPts

One thing you notice right away is the fiber content is lower than it should be. This “whole grain” is not 100% whole grain and none of the breads at Panera are 100% whole grain.

You can tell by just looking at it that it is not a 100% whole grain loaf as it is quite fluffy. My primary bread is a sprouted wheat type so I am not used to fluffy.

But, the bread does well on added sugar. Two grams is great!! My only concern is the sodium which seems really high. Two slices will put 580 mg in your body which is high for bread. Once you add bacon to your sandwich, you are in high salt heaven.

How did it taste? It was okay. I found the consistency a bit gummy and the flavor was bland (even with all that salt).

Go ahead and choose the whole grain option when you are looking for the healthiest bread at Panera.

Panera Breads to Avoid

Do not order a sourdough bread bowl (670 calories and 1160 mg of sodum!), the honey wheat loaf (not whole grain and 4 grams of sugar) or the cinnamon raisin swirl bread (12 grams of sugar per slice!!).

What do you order when you go to Panera? Are you surprised that there is no 100% whole grain option?

Other posts you might like:


The Perfect Order at Panera

The Perfect Order at Panera (with Smart Points)

I decided to look for the positive at Panera. Isn’t it better to see the glass as half full?


Which is the Healthiest Bread at Subway?

Which is the Healthiest Bread at Subway?

Which is the healthiest bread at Subway? You would think the answer to that question would be easy.....



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7 Comments:

Here are the only breads I can eat out of all the breads at Panera - Country Rustic, Farmstyle and Sourdough Breads. None of the other breads are vegan. There is no really healthy or whole grain option for me. And btw after reading the sourdough ingredients I’m not certain it’s authentic sour dough. So I don’t buy bread at Panera. If I’m forced to eat there I get the sourdough

on May 12, 2019

I agree that sourdough bread is the healthiest if made right. Whole wheat bread is FAR from being good for you. Anything made with wheat is bad for you mostly because of the glyphosate content from Round-Up contamination. Besides, humans were never supposed to eat wheat at all. Cows have 4 stomachs to digest wheat properly - humans can NOT digest wheat efficiently

on May 12, 2019

Don’t buy Panera bread and find their soups high in sodium. Usually opt for healthiest salad, which is lower in fat and sodium.

on May 12, 2019

We almost never go to Panera because almost ALL of their foods are very high in sodium, not whole grain (and we don't eat the "white diet" - white sugar, white flour, white rice, etc.) It's very sad because they COULD easily be a restaurant that serves healthy food. I have even written to them about it. I also wrote asking why they don't sell a "normal" sized cookie. Their cookies are giant and easily a serving for 2 or 3 people. I know I don't have the self control to save the rest for another day. Seems like they are trying to kill us with all the sodium, high calorie foods that promote obesity, etc.

on May 12, 2019

I really like some of the items at Panera, especially the bowls. But I’m appalled at all of the sodium in EVERYTHING. WHY SO MUCH SODIUM if everything is “fresh”? Is it a preservative? I’ve thought about writing to them but they’re just a corporation like everything else so I’d probably get a form letter thanking me for my comments if that.

on May 12, 2019

I don't eat the bread at Panera because I'm actively trying to eat less bread. When I do I would get the one mentioned in the article. But I love their salads and I love that you can customize everything with either the online app or the online ordering in store. I will take out things I can't eat (like onions) or remove the cheese or add avocado. But I like the Pick up because if I order ahead and drive over there my order is on the shelf ready to go and it's faster than fast food. I go in the back door/side door to the shelf area for pickup so I don't have to walk in the front past all the pastries! That's a tip for those who are tempted by those types of things. My favorite is the strawberry salad they have in the summers.

on May 12, 2019

I have read studies where sourdough bread can be consumed by some patients with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Not a green light to eat sourdough bread but fine for some.
Here is how to make your own:
https://www.celiac.com/articles.html/gluten-free-cooking/is…
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20975578
https://www.culturedfoodlife.com/can-sourdough-change-the-g…
Cultured food life has some great tips for losing weight by adding cultured food to your diet. She has some great recipes too.

on May 12, 2019


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