In a world of bacon-wrapped pizzas and sandwiches that use fried chicken as bread, it's always a cause for celebration when a fast food restaurant brings out a new menu item that is truly healthy. Today Panera has done just that! Well, almost. Panera's new broth bowls look to be a great option for a healthy, low-calorie lunch... so long as you have low blood pressure!
Allow me to explain.
Panera describes their new broth bowls as combining "exotic and delicious ingredients to create filling bowls full of global flavors, all steeped in our umami soy-miso broth." Sounds tasty, no? The broth bowls come in four options: Soba Noodle with Chicken, Soba Noodle with Edamame, Lentil Quinoa with Chicken and Lentil Quinoa with Cage-Free Egg.
Looking at the nutrition facts, all of these options are low-calorie (410 calories or less), low-sugar and high in fiber. Plus, if you choose one of the chicken bowls, they are also a great source of protein. Sounds good so far, right? Unfortunately things take a turn for the worse when you look at sodium content.
Each one of these bowls has more than 50% of the daily recommended value of sodium! Must be that soy-miso broth. Remember, everyone's dietary needs are different. If you have low blood pressure, the sodium content of the broth bowls might not be a concern for you. However, a large number of Americans could stand to cut some sodium from their diets. Processed foods are chockfull of salt, which has led to an explosion in sodium consumption. This is a problem because a high-sodium diet can raise blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease.
If you're one of those people who needs to reduce their sodium intake, a Panera Broth Bowl might not be the best option. But for those with low blood pressure, a broth bowl is a warm, tasty, low-calorie option worth considering.
See the links below for full nutrition facts for Panera's Broth Bowls: