The Best and Worst Menu Items at Pret a Manger
Pret a Manger is definitely a lifesaver for a ton of working Americans, as this sandwich shop chain provides delicious options that seem relatively healthy. However, it's important to choose your meals carefully, as high sodium, sugar, and calorie content can still lurk in certain orders. These can be detrimental to your health goals, and you can easily end up eating a meal from here that's filled with the things you should be avoiding.
To help you order the right items off the Pret a Manger menu, we spoke to registered dietitian Summer Yule, MS, RDN, about all the best and worst sandwiches, soups, and baguettes available. Below are some of the meal items she recommends ordering next time you need a well-deserved coffee break, and what you should make sure you stay far away from at Pret.
Best: Balsamic Chicken & Avocado Sandwich
"The Balsamic Chicken & Avocado sandwich has a really nice nutritional profile with 23 grams of protein and eight grams of filling fiber," says Yule. In addition, she notes that this sandwich contains healthy fat from the avocado and phytonutrients from the mesclun greens.
Worst: Avocado Toast
This is the only sandwich option on the menu that does not contain a protein source such as eggs, chicken, or turkey, according to Yule. And with only five grams of protein, she explains that this sandwich entrée probably won't feel like a filling meal either.
Best: The Moroccan Lentil Soup
Aside from being the only low-sodium soup option on the menu, Yule notes that it's packed with fiber and phytonutrients thanks to the lentils and vegetables.
Worst: Miso Soup
While the Miso Soup is the lowest-calorie soup option available at Pret, Yule explains that it is very high in sodium and low in protein and fiber.
Best: Avocado & Toasted Pine Nut Wrap
"The Avocado & Toasted Pine Nut Wrap has ten grams of fiber from the vegetables and the whole grain wrap, healthy fats from the avocado and pine nuts, and a little boost of protein from the yogurt dressing," Yule explains. Thanks to its blend of fiber and protein, this avocado option proves to be a more healthful choice than its meager toast cousin. And while this wrap still contains a high amount of fat because of the avocado, Yule suggests that the addition of more vegetables and protein makes it a more attractive option than the other wraps.
Worst: Spicy Chicken & Avocado Wrap
Yule explains that the Spicy Chicken & Avocado Wrap contains the lowest amount of fiber out of all the wrap options. In addition, she suggests it is one of the wraps off that menu that is highest in calories and saturated fat.
Best: Coconut Chicken & Sweet Potato Balance Box
"The Coconut Chicken & Sweet Potato Balance Box offers a filling 12 grams of fiber and 33 grams of protein for only 500 calories and 2.5 grams of saturated fat," Yule points out. This entrée also offers healthy fats from the avocado and sesame as well as a rainbow of phytonutrients from spinach, sweet potatoes, beets, and pomegranates, she adds.
Worst: Mediterranean Mezze Salad
The Mediterranean Mezze Salad may be full of colorful vegetables, but Yule explains that this salad is not the best choice for those on low-sodium diets, as it contains a whopping 1,050 milligrams of sodium. "Remember, the Dietary Guideline recommendation is to limit to 2300 milligrams of sodium per day, so over 1000 milligrams for a single meal is going to push you quickly toward the limit," she says.
Best: Pret's Tuna & Cucumber
Although Yule acknowledges that many of the baguette options at Pret are quite high in sodium, she does note that the Tuna & Cucumber is the lowest in sodium out of all the baguette options listed on the menu. She explains that this sandwich is low in saturated fat as well.
Worst: The Prosciutto & Mozzarella on Artisan
Yule says that the Prosciutto & Mozzarella on an Artisan baguette is one of the highest sodium options on the baguette menu. She also notes that it is higher in calories and saturated fat than many of the other baguettes available.
Best: Egg White Greek Power Omelet
"The Egg White Greek Power Omelet is the perfect choice for those looking for a lighter breakfast packed with 25 grams of protein and some vegetables," Yule explains. To add an additional six grams of fiber to your meal, she recommends pairing this power omelet with steel-cut oatmeal.
Worst: Pret's Egg & Sausage Brioche
"Pret's Egg & Sausage Brioche contains no fruits or vegetables and contains the highest amount of saturated fat out of all the breakfast options," Yule says. It only has one gram of fiber, too, and is one of the breakfast meals with the highest amount of sodium, she adds.
Best: The Spinach & Artichoke Grilled Cheese
Although Yule says that almost all of the entrées in this category have more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, she notes that the Spinach & Artichoke Grilled Cheese is the lowest sodium option out of this bunch at 500 milligrams. "This vegetarian dish also offers substantial protein and some fiber," she adds.
Worst: Ham & Cheddar Grilled Cheese
As you already know, many of the dishes in this category are quite high in sodium, but Yule says that the Ham & Cheddar Grilled Cheese option tops them all at 1,630 milligrams. She explains that this vegetable-free entrée contains 15 grams of saturated fat while only packing two grams of essential fiber.
Best: Salmon & Avocado Protein Pot
"The Salmon & Avocado Protein Pot has a nice balance of protein from the salmon and quinoa, carbs from the brown rice and quinoa, plus heart-healthy fat and green vegetables," Yule explains. The protein and fiber in this meal can help you feel fuller throughout the day, too, she adds.
Worst: The Sunshine Bowl
"The Sunshine Bowl is mostly fruit and granola, and unlike most of the other pots which contain a protein source (yogurt, eggs, or meat), this dish contains only five grams of protein," Yule says. The sugar content inside this bowl is also rather high (32 grams), partially due to added sugars in the granola.
"The cayenne shot is only 50 calories and has no added sugar and no sodium," says Yule. The whole apples add a little extra fiber that you do not get in juice, she adds, and you also get the antioxidant curcumin from the turmeric.
Best: Avocado Smoothie
If you are looking for a more filling drink, Yule suggests that the Avocado Smoothie might be the best choice. "Unlike many fruit juices, this smoothie offers both fiber and protein, contains no added sugar, and is packed with phytonutrients from an assortment of fruits and vegetables," she says.
"The Lemonade option on the menu is loaded with sugar," Yule explains. And unlike the other juices available at Pret a Manger, she explains that most of the sugar here is added.
Worst: Raspberry Lemonade
"The raspberry lemonade does have some raspberry puree in it, but it's not much since this beverage only contains one gram of fiber," Yule says.
Best: Carrot Cake Cookie
"The Carrot Cake Cookie is the lowest-calorie bakery option at 270 calories," Yule explains. Plus, she says that this is the only bakery item on this menu that contains an actual vegetable, which may offer some beta carotene.
Worst: Blueberry Muffin
"The Blueberry Muffin is the highest-calorie bakery option and is packed with 35 grams of sugar," Yule says. It can be helpful to think of muffins like a cake because they tend to have a similar calorie and sugar composition, she adds.
Best: Omega-3 Mix
Yule says the Omega-3 Mix is the best snack choice at Pret a Manger because it offers nutritional benefits from omega-3 fatty acids. "Many Americans are not meeting the recommended intake of omega-3 fats, and this snack can help to tip the balance in their favor," she explains.
Best: Sea Salt Popcorn
The Sea Salt Popcorn is another great snack to choose, as Yule explains it contains only 100 calories and offers four grams of fiber. "Popcorn offers a high volume for few calories and is a great option for those looking for a light snack," she says.
Worst: BBQ Chips
"The BBQ Chips are very high in sodium and are tied with the Salt & Vinegar Chips for the highest calorie content among the snack options," Yule says.