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Which of these popular restaurant items won't derail your diet?

When you're dining out, ordering in or fueling up while on the go, it can be difficult to stick to your diet goals, but the choices you make can have a drastic difference on your diet.

Take the popular restaurant chain Panera Bread, for instance.

"Panera is one of those restaurants that seem healthier than many other fast food establishments, but one must be careful to avoid the pitfalls,"...

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When you're dining out, ordering in or fueling up while on the go, it can be difficult to stick to your diet goals, but the choices you make can have a drastic difference on your diet.

Take the popular restaurant chain Panera Bread, for instance.

"Panera is one of those restaurants that seem healthier than many other fast food establishments, but one must be careful to avoid the pitfalls," says registered dietician Christine Santori, of Syosset Hospital's Center for Weight Management. "Some sandwiches and pastas have over a days’ worth of sodium and fat, with some containing trans-fat for which there is no safe consumption level."

Can you spot the healthier dishes from these menu match-ups?

Steak sandwich smackdown

You're craving steak, but which of these Panera items -- the Steak and White Cheddar Panini, left, or the Steak and Argula Sandwich, right, -- is the smarter pick?

Steak and Arugula Sandwich

Go with the Steak and Arugula Sandwich, which has 500 calories and 19 grams of fat compared to the steak panini, which has more than double the calories -- 1,060 -- and the fat -- 46 grams. The Steak and White Cheddar Panini made Santori's list of the worst Panera menu items for people who are trying to eat healthy.

Battle of the salads

Choosing a nutrient-dense salad is a smart idea when dining out, says Santori. But not all lettuce-based dishes are created equal. If you're counting calories, which one of these Panera Bread dishes would be the wiser pick: the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad, left, or the Chicken Cobb with Avocado?

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Asisan Sesame Chicken Salad

Santori says the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad is among the healthier dishes at Panera Bread. It has 400 calories and 20 grams of fat. Although the Chicken Cobb Avocado does contain some healthy items, it has an extra 220 calories and 30 more grams of fat. Santori also recommends taking advantage of Panera's "Pick Two" options, half-sized portions of salads, soups and sandwiches that contain half the calories and fat than the regular versions.

Panera breakfast dishes

Which of these Panera Bread breakfast dishes -- the Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal, left, or the baked Spinach and Bacon egg soufflé, right, -- would help you stick to your diet?

Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal

The Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal will keep your diet on track. With 300 calories and only 6 grams of fat, Santori recommends it over the soufflé, which has nearly double the calories, 570, and more than six times the fat, 37 grams. The oatmeal also has less sodium -- 200 milligrams compared to the soufflé's 930, and it has more fiber -- 9 grams over the soufflé's 2 grams -- which helps maintain a healthy weight and lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Panera's breakfast sandwiches

While picking up breakfast at Panera Bread, which is the healthier option: The chain's Bacon Egg Cheese on Asiago Bagel, left, or the Avocado, Egg White and Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich?

Avocado, Egg White Spinach Sandwich

The Avocado, Egg White and Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich is the smarter pick as it contains 400 calories and 13 grams of fat compared to the Bacon Egg and Cheese sandwich's 620 calories and 28 grams of fat. Santori considers the latter one of the worst diet picks at Panera. It also packs 1,300 mg of sodium, more than half the recommended daily allowance according to federal nutritional guidelines, while the power sandwich has only 480 milligrams.

Side dishes smackdown

Should you order a side of Mac and Cheese, left, or Panera's Black Bean Soup, right, if you're trying to eat healthy?

Low-fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Panera's black bean soup is low-fat and meat-free, and with only 230 calories and 3.5 grams of fat, it's a much lighter option than the Mac and Cheese. The latter has 980 calories, 61 grams of fat and 2,030 milligrams of sodium, which is almost the maximum amount of sodium a person should consume for the whole day, according to federal guidelines.