A 2009 survey published by Health.com listed Panera Bread, Jason's Deli, Au Bon Pain, Noodles and Company, and Einstein Bros. Bagels among the top 10 healthiest fast food restaurants. Health.com based scores on factors such as sodium, healthy fats, preparation, organic ingredients, and nutritional information available to customers.
Panera Bread, with over 1,200 locations in the United States and Canada, won the top spot in the survey for having many nutrient-rich dishes, organic options and a very healthy kids' menu. Jason's Deli ranked number two for a large percentage of organic ingredients and menu options for smaller portions. Number three on the survey was Au Bon Pain, which has an innovative computer kiosk with all nutritional information listed so customers can make informed choices before ordering. The restaurant also ranked highly for its use of whole grains and hormone-free chicken.
Other restaurants listed on the survey were Corner Bakery Cafe, Chipotle, Atlanta Bread and Taco Del Mar. One possibly surprising entry on the list is McDonald's, which ranked eighth on the survey; Health.com praised the chain for evolving its menu and food preparation to offer more heart-healthy choices, including a canola oil blend for cooking french fries. Happy Meals for kids come with healthy options like apples and low-fat milk or juice. Nutritional information is also easy to find in several places, such as on the order board and tray liners.