If you are a fan of Panera and are looking for a super quick bite to eat, then Panera Smoothies might be just the perfect place for you to get a delicious treat.
But, like every other smoothie made by a food chain or brand, it is always wise to check just how healthy they are.
Unlike smoothies we make at home, smoothies made by food chains can be made full of sugars and fats, and may not even contain real fruit!
This makes you wonder, how healthy are Panera smoothies? Will smoothies from here boost your diet, or be your downfall? Keep reading to find out whether or not Panera smoothies are a healthy treat or better off as a dessert!
Are Panera Smoothies Healthy?
After extensive research on whether Panera smoothies are healthy and visiting Panera Bread chains a lot – overall, the smoothies at Panera are okay.
The smoothies at Panera Bread are not made with real fruit but do not have any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
However, they do contain added sugars which are bad for your health according to heart.org.
It is worthwhile noting that some of the smoothies you can get at Panera are higher in sugar content and calories than other smoothies they offer.
An example would be their Strawberry Banana smoothie which has 40+ grams of sugar and 250 calories which is one of their least healthy smoothies.
If you are cautious of calories and added sugars it is best to have a good think and scour their menu before you order, as not all their smoothies are healthy.
Does Panera Have Healthy Smoothies?
Panera does have healthy smoothies, many people favor their ‘Green Passion Smoothie’, but it still can’t be compared to homemade smoothies in terms of healthiness.
However, despite the high protein content in this smoothie Panera has to offer, it also has the highest content of sugar.
I found a lot of information online reporting that this smoothie only contains 16 grams of sugar, yet this is not the case.
Panera themselves list this smoothie as containing 50 grams of sugar on their website!
Interestingly, the Peach and Blueberry smoothie is probably one of the healthiest of their options, as it is only 220 calories and 41 grams of sugar.
But, sadly, I cannot say that Panera Bread has many healthy smoothies or whether they are actually healthy at all, as these all contain quite a lot of sugar.
The RDA for sugar for women is 24 grams and 36 grams for men, meaning that no Panera smoothie is under the RDA for sugar for men or women!
Do Panera Smoothies Have A Lot Of Sugar?
Sadly Panera smoothies do contain a lot of sugar. While some contain more than others it is wise to be cautious of what type of smoothie you choose to buy from Panera.
This is because their smoothies contain over 30 grams of sugar. Let’s take a look together at how much sugar you could expect from each of these.
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie = 38 grams.
- Green Passion Smoothie = 50 grams.
- Mango Smoothie = 42 grams.
- Peach & Blueberry with Almond Milk = 41 grams.
- Strawberry Smoothie = 39 grams.
Do Panera Smoothies Have Added Sugar?
While it is reported that Panera smoothies do not contain added sugars by some online sources, they do, and this is why it is best to ask for no added sugars if you have any concerns about the sugar content when you order at Panera.
Watching your sugar intake is very important and critical to good health.
Although it is not listed obviously on their sites, the amount of sugar in the ingredients reported is unequal to the amount of sugar in their nutrition list.
It is best to simply approach Panera smoothies with caution if you are watching your sugar intake.
Are Panera Bread Smoothies Real Fruit?
Panera Bread smoothies ARE NOT real fruit. This may seem deceptive as many online sources state they do.
But, a close look at the ingredients lists at Panera Bread shows fruit bases, puree concentrates, and juice concentrates.
They do add some fresh fruit into their smoothies but the majority is made with purees and concentrates.
For example, these are the ingredients you could expect to see in the Peach and Blueberry Smoothie made with Almond milk:
As you can see, while they do include fresh blueberries in this smoothie, the peach, and the mango ingredients are from juice and puree concentrates, not fresh fruit.
Similarly, there is the ‘Green Passion Smoothie’. This smoothie is also similar, its only ‘real food’ ingredient is spinach, meanwhile, the other flavors come from juice concentrate and juice concentrates.
Excessive juices are very bad for your health as stated by health.ucdavis.edu, as you can see in the ingredients below:
As you can see the main ingredients are a concentrate-based peach mango base, water, and spinach.
Overall, I could say that Panera both do and do not use fresh food in their smoothies, since only one ingredient per smoothie is fresh.
What Drinks At Panera Are Healthy?
While the smoothies at Panera are not 100% healthy, this is not to say that there are no healthy beverages here.
Let’s look at some of their healthiest beverages with their calories and sugar content:
- Americano Coffee: 10 cal per 16 oz/ 0 grams.
- Espresso Coffee: 10 cal per 16 oz/ 0 grams.
- Water: 0 cal/ 0 grams.
- Iced Cafe Blend: 10 cal per 20 oz/ 0 grams.
- Hazelnut Coffee: 20 cal per 16 oz/ 0 grams.
- Hot Tea: 0 cal/ 0 grams.
- Madagascar Vanilla Almond Cold Brew: 90 cal per 16 oz/ 17 grams.
- Cold brew: 10 cal per 16 oz/ 0 grams.
- Iced Tea: 10 cal per 20 oz/ 0 grams.
- Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea: 90 cal per 20 oz/ 23 grams.
- Agave Lemonade: 120 cal per 20 oz/ 27 grams.
- Frozen Strawberry Lemonade: 140 cal/ 31 grams.
All of the coffee options at Panera are healthy, therefore for a healthy beverage, coffee is the lowest calorie and lowest sugar option, apart from water.
Are Panera Smoothies Healthy: Frequently Asked Questions
Are Panera Smoothies Good For Weight Loss?
Panera smoothies are not ideal for weight loss as they include a lot of sugar some of which is added sugar too. While some of them do contain a fair amount of fiber and protein, the amount of sugar in the smoothies does counteract that aspect of their healthfulness.
Is Panera Strawberry Smoothie Healthy?
Panera strawberry smoothie is not healthy. It contains 39 grams of sugar, while this is one of the lowest sugar contents of the smoothies available at Panera, this is still more than the RDA for men or women.
Is The Green Passion Smoothie At Panera Healthy?
The Green Passion smoothie at Panera does contain fresh spinach, so it does have a high nutritional value. That being said it also contains 50 grams of sugar, which is more than double the RDA for sugar for women. Therefore it is not necessary a healthy smoothie.
Other Smoothie Chains’ Smoothies
You may also like to read the articles below that I have put together. I did a lot of research on other famous chains that offer smoothies:
- Is Tropical Smoothie Healthy
- Is Planet Smoothie Healthy
- Pulp Smoothie Reviewed
- Is Smoothie King Healthy
I hope you find them interesting!Print
- 1 cup/150g of frozen banana (slices)
- 1/2 cup/75g frozen strawberries
- 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt (unsweetened)
- 1/2 apple (cored and diced)
- 1/2 cup/125ml of full fat milk
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy!
- *You can serve it over ice, for extra freshness!
Best consumed straight away.
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 minutes
- Category: Smoothie
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 341
- Sugar: 22.6
- Fat: 3.3
- Carbohydrates: 31.4
- Fiber: 8.9
- Protein: 4.1