Thursday mornings in my office are “Bagel Thursdays” and we love hot and fresh bagels from Panera Bread. However, I suffer from high blood pressure, so I know it was important to check out the menu for low sodium options. Below are the salt content of some of Panera Bread’s popular breakfast items, and menu suggestions for those of us looking to limit our sodium intake to recommended 500 mg per meal.
The Mayo Clinic recommends people at risk for heart attacks, high blood pressure, swelling, and strokes consume less than 1,500 mg of salt per day. That’s an average of 500 mg per meal. But eating breakfast at a Panera is healthier than many of your breakfast fast food options, right? While fast food breakfast options are high in sodium, many options on Panera’s menu are equally high in salt.
Panera’s four cheese egg souffle contains the least amount of sodium of the four souffle options with 690 mg of salt. This is over your limit of 500 mg of salt per breakfast. The spinach and artichoke souffle and the roasted tomato and feta both contain 910 mg of sodium. Panera’s spinach and bacon souffle contains the most sodium with 930 mg.
Panera’s breakfast sandwiches are equally high in sodium. The Mediterranean egg white on ciabatta bread contains 830 mg of salt. The breakfast power sandwich with ham on whole grain contains 920 mg of salt. The steak, egg, and cheese on everything bagel contains 1,070 mg of salt, twice as much as your breakfast limit. The bacon, egg, and cheese on ciabatta bread contains 1,170 mg of salt, and the Asiago cheese bagel with bacon contains 1,350 mg, almost the full amount of salt allowed for one entire day!
Bagels & Scones
Panera’s bagels and scones are closer in range to your target 500 mg. A whole grain contains 400mg of salt and a Cinnamon Crunch bagel contains 440 mg of salt. A plain Panera bagel contains 460 mg. While these three options contain less than 500 mg of salt, remember, that is before adding your bagel’s topping! Two ounces of plain cream cheese contains 210 mg of salt! The Asiago bagel contains 580 mg of salt and the French toast bagel maxes out at 620 mg.
A Triple berry scone contains 550 mg of salt and an orange scone contains 810 mg of sodium.
Low Sodium Options
Although there are many items on Panera’s menu over your target sodium range, Panera does offer a wide selection of low sodium breakfast items. All three of Panera’s Breakfast Favorites contain less than 200 mg of salt each, including the Strawberry pecan granola parfait (100 mg), the seasonal fruit cup (15 mg), and the steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon crunch topping, strawberries, and pecans for 160 mg. (See similar low sodium options for breakfast Bob Evans). A chocolate chip muffin contains 200 mg of salt while an apple crunch muffin comes in under 500 mg with 340 mg of sodium. One slice of cinnamon crumb cake contains 320 mg of salt. And a Power Breakfast egg white bowl with roasted turkey contains exactly 500 mg of salt.
Panera Bread offers a wide range of low sodium breakfast options, offering many low salt choices to help you create a better breakfast experience. You don’t have to give up your favorite Panera Bread breakfast to eat a low salt option, just make smart, educated choices that are heart friendly.