Panko Bread Crumbs: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses

Panko is an increasingly popular ingredient in the West, as this versatile breadcrumb adds a satisfying crunch to many dishes.

Originally from Japan, panko gives a lighter, crunchier texture to foods than the heavier, crunchier traditional Western bread crumbs.

In Japanese cuisine, panko has long been used as a crunchy coating for dishes like chicken katsu and tempura.

This article explains everything you need to know about panko bread crumbs.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of panko bread crumbs provides approximately1):

  • Calories: 100
  • carbohydrates: 21 grams
  • the basic: 4% of the daily value
  • sugar: 1 gram
  • protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • sodium: 4% of the daily value

As you can see, panko is low in most nutrients, although it does provide a small amount of carbohydrates and protein.

Malnutrition is largely caused by its components. It’s usually made with refined wheat flour and a handful of other ingredients like yeast, salt, and cane sugar, which don’t offer a lot of nutrients.

Although whole grains are rich in nutrients, refined wheat flour has undergone a processing process that removes the bran and germ. Thus, the final product contains less fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals (2).


Panko provides small amounts of carbohydrates and protein. Other than that, it offers little nutritional value because the main ingredient is refined wheat flour.

If you’re wondering what type of bread crumb to choose, you might be wondering what distinguishes panko originating from Japan from other types of bread crumbs.

Culinary differences

For starters, regular bread crumbs can be made with any type of bread, while panko is only made with uncrusted white bread. As such, panko absorbs less oil than regular breadcrumbs, so it’s generally fluffier and more delicate to bite (3).

Additionally, panko has little to no flavor, whereas regular breadcrumbs are often laced with seasoning. For example, Italian bread crumbs include basil, oregano, and other herbs common in Italian cuisine.

For culinary uses, panko is common in Japanese dishes such as katsu and tempura, as it adds a light, crunchy texture. You can also try using it as a light batter or adding it as a coating to lightly fried fish fillets or meats.

Plain breadcrumbs are often used for stuffing, coating fried meats and casseroles, or to coat meatballs and loaves of bread.

nutritional differences

The nutritional value of the crumb is similar regardless of its type. However, whole grain bread crumbs contain slightly more fiber and minerals than panko or regular bread crumbs.

This chart compares 1 ounce (28-30 grams) of panko, regular, and whole-grain breadcrumbs (1And 4And 5).

As you can see, whole grain bread crumbs are a good source of iron and even a good source of calcium.


While panko is made from uncrusted white bread that is crunchy and light, regular bread crumbs are made from any bread and are more crunchy in texture. The nutritional values ​​are quite similar, but whole grain breadcrumbs contain more fiber and minerals.

Panko has a low nutrient density since it contains very few nutrients but still contributes to your caloric intake. Keep in mind that high-calorie, low-nutrient diets are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease (6).

Additionally, since panko is often used as a coating for fried foods, you run the risk of eating more fried foods if you normally eat dishes made with panko.

The frying process greatly increases the total calorie and fat content of the dish without adding nutrients. In fact, eating large amounts of fried foods is linked to heart disease and other health risks (7And 8And 9And 10).

However, panko can still be part of a healthy diet when eaten in small amounts.

As a starting point, enjoy about 1/4 cup (about 30 grams or 1 ounce) of panko in your dishes and adjust it slightly based on preference. This is the typical amount used in traditional dishes, and is considered a low-calorie, low-nutrient meal.

Using small amounts as a garnish for lightly fried dishes—instead of large amounts in stir-fried dishes—can help you use panko in moderation.

Tips for adding panko to your diet

Here are some common tips and uses for using panko in a healthy way:

  • Consider how much you use. Start with 1/4 cup (about 30 grams, or 1 ounce) per serving.
  • Add panko to nutritious meals that are high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. For example, consider adding it to grilled fish served with grilled vegetables and olive oil.
  • If panko frying, use a healthy cooking oil like avocado, coconut, or olive oil.
  • Try cooking in alternative ways, such as air-frying, roasting, or baking, rather than deep-frying.


Panko can be part of a healthy diet, but it should be used in moderation because it is low in nutrients and is commonly used in fried foods. Furthermore, consider using it with healthy cooking oil and pairing it with nutrient-dense foods.

Panko is an excellent ingredient for those looking for a lighter, fluffier alternative to breadcrumbs.

However, since these Japanese-style breadcrumbs have a low nutrient density and are commonly used in fried foods, be aware of portion sizes.

Enjoy it as an addition to a balanced meal, and when frying, choose a healthy oil such as avocado, coconut, or olive oil. Otherwise, you can opt for baked — or even air-fried — versions of the crispy panko snacks.

Panko Bread Crumbs: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses

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