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    Archive for the ‘Panera Bread Company’ Category

    Calorie Counts Are Helpful, But Not The Answer

    Starbucks caloriesI know, I know.  I have been — and still am — a strong supporter of mandatory calorie labeling at fast food establishments and chain restaurants since day one.

    I am, however, concerned that too many people view caloric awareness as the sole key to health.

    While it certainly helps to know that breakfast item A can save you 400 more calories than breakfast item B, there are other important factors to keep in mind.

    Take a look at some items that are calorically decent but nutritionally horrific!

    Remember that for saturated fat, someone on a 2,000 calorie diet should not surpass 20 grams a day.  While I believe that value can be more flexible if saturated fats are mostly coming from cocoa or coconuts, the items listed below contain vast amounts of the very atherogenic saturated fats in dairy.

    For sodium, the recommended limit is set at 2,400 milligrams.

    Au Bon Pain:

    • Mac & cheese soup: 442 calories; 16.5 grams saturated fat

    Chili’s:

    • Guiltless Grill chicken salad: 361 calories; 1,385 mg sodium

    Denny’s:

    • Broccoli and cheddar soup: 374 calories; 19.5 grams saturated fat
    • Chicken wings & buffalo sauce appetizer: 300 calories; 1,940 milligrams sodium
    • Side of everything hash browns with onions, cheese, and gravy: 480 calories; 3,820 milligrams sodium (!!)

    Dunkin’ Donuts:

    • Strawberry coolatta (16 ounces): 300 calories; 16 teaspoons of added sugar

    Olive Garden:

    • Minestrone soup: 100 calories; 1,090 milligrams sodium

    Panera Bread Company:

    • Clam chowder: 320 calories; 18.7 grams saturated fat
    • French onion soup (with croutons and cheese): 174 calories; 1,784 milligrams sodium

    Quizno’s:

    • Chicken noodle soup: 260 calories; 2,580 milligrams sodium
    • Fat-free balsamic vinaigrette: 120 calories; 1,170 milligrams sodium; 4 teaspoons added sugar

    Red Lobster:

    • Broiled seafood platter: 280 calories; 1,660 milligrams sodium

    While calorie counts are helpful for weight concerns, health is about many other factors.  Even if, down the road, all chain restaurants in the entire country provide calorie information, it is not a green light to make them a dietary staple.

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    Just ‘Cause It’s Made With Pumpkin Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy

    pumpkins-main_FullAs autumn proceeds to pepper foliage with orange and red hues, drop temperatures, and add a unique crisp to the air, food chains roll out their traditional seasonal offerings.

    As you can see below, the Fall season brings plenty of nutritional frights!

    • Au Bon Pain pumpkin muffin: 530 calories
    • Au Bon Pain large pumpkin latte: 40 grams of added sugar (as much as a can of Coca-Cola; 160 additional calories)
    • Dairy Queen small pumpkin pie Blizzard: 570 calories, 12 grams saturated fat (60% of a day’s worth)
    • Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin muffin: 630 calories (130 more than a large order of McDonald’s french fries)
    • Dunkin’ Donuts large pumpkin latte: 44 grams of added sugar (11 teaspoons, or 176 additional calories)
    • Starbucks pumpkin scone: 480 calories, 9 grams (almost half a day’s worth) of saturated fat, 38 grams of added sugar (9.5 teaspoons; 152 additional calories)
    • Panera Bread Company pumpkin-shaped shortbread cookie: 12 grams saturated fat (as much as a tablespoon and a half of butter)

    Enjoy responsibly.

    Any time you purchase a flavored coffee, make it a small, and skip — or ask for half — the whipped cream.

    Similarly, these gigantic baked goods are better off in the “no more than once a week” category.

    The key is to plan accordingly.  If sharing isn’t an option, then make that baked good your only sweet of the day, and be sure that your lunch and dinner that day mainly consist of a protein and plenty of vegetables (ie: grilled fish and sauteed broccoli, three-bean chili, seitan or chicken with a baked sweet potato, canned tuna or grilled chicken over a colorful salad, etc.)

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    PaneraBreadA Panera Bread Company blueberry scone has 430 more milligrams of sodium than a large order of McDonald’s french fries.

    While the large order of french fries contains 350 milligrams of sodium (roughly 15% of the recommended maximum), the Panera scone clocks in at 780 milligrams (a solid third of a day’s worth).

    Another reason to opt for an alternative sweet treat at the soup-and-sandwich chain?  The scone’s second ingredient — after white flour — is cream, which boosts its saturated fat content to 11 grams (slightly more than half a day’s worth).

    You’re better off selecting one of Panera’s chocolate chip muffies (mini muffins).  They are reasonably sized (2.5 ounces) and deliver a non-controversial 280 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and 180 milligrams of sodium.

    Of course, in my ideal world, those would be the nutrition figures for regular — not mini — commercial muffins!

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    Numbers Game: Watching Your Sodium? Watch The Sweets!

    1185302512647A Panera Bread Company blueberry scone has ______ more milligrams of sodium than a large order of McDonald’s french fries.

    a) 150
    b) 225
    c) 380
    d) 430

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Wednesday for the answer.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Baguette Portion Sizes

    Do you know what a 2 ounce slice of baguette looks like?

    Panera Bread Company lists its whole-grain, artisan baguette at 130 calories for 2 ounces.

    Not carrying my kitchen scale around town with me makes this less helpful than they might imagine.

    — Elizabeth (last name withheld)
    (City unknown), MI

    I love this question, because it shows just how hard it can be to estimate portion sizes when they don’t match our standard frame of reference (in this case, that would be sliced bread.)

    The best way to gauge baguette portion sizes is by keeping in mind that your average whole baguette clocks in at somewhere between 8 and 9 ounces.

    So, simply eyeball your baguette portion.

    If it would take approximately four identical pieces to make a whole baguette, then you have roughly two ounces in front of you.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Baguette Portion Sizes

    Do you know what a 2 ounce slice of baguette looks like?

    Panera Bread Company lists its whole-grain, artisan baguette at 130 calories for 2 ounces.

    Not carrying my kitchen scale around town with me makes this less helpful than they might imagine.

    — Elizabeth (last name withheld)
    (City unknown), MI

    I love this question, because it shows just how hard it can be to estimate portion sizes when they don’t match our standard frame of reference (in this case, that would be sliced bread.)

    The best way to gauge baguette portion sizes is by keeping in mind that your average whole baguette clocks in at somewhere between 8 and 9 ounces.

    So, simply eyeball your baguette portion.

    If it would take approximately four identical pieces to make a whole baguette, then you have roughly two ounces in front of you.

    Share

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