As a Dietitian I’m always on the lookout for healthy options when eating out, which is a challenge. This week I found out that Panera has a “Hidden & Healthy” secret menu. Unfortunately the nutrition information is not available, but I did find some info from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Nutrition Action Healthletter. These meals have fewer calories, and “limited processed carbs”, and are a good source of protein. The Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey, with baby spinach, roasted red bell pepper, and pesto has 190 calories, 25 grams of protein, and 1 gram of saturated fat. The only downside here is the sodium at 500 milligrams.
Lunch options include a Chicken or Roasted Turkey Salad, a Chicken Hummus Bowl, and a Steak Lettuce Wrap. All are between 280 to 360 calories, and contain 22 to 35 grams of protein. The sodium level is from 310 to 590 mg, which is not too bad for an entrée, with one exception – the Roasted Turkey salad has 830 mg of sodium. To reduce this by 380 mg you can skip the olives and pepperoncini.
To order, just tell the associate that you are ordering from the “Hidden Menu” and per the website, “they will take care of you”.
********** p.s. Panera just tweeted me the link to the nutrition facts. ***********