Bagels come from the pretzel family and believed to have been originated in Poland in the 1600s. Comprising of yeast-leavened dough that is rolled by hand, baked and boiled to produce a crispy external layer and soft, chewy inside layer, bagels vary in different flavors and types. An average sized bagel is about 3.5 to 4 oz., even though this can differ with the source. If you are watching your weight, you can choose from whole grain, raisin and plain bagels, with seeds or other light toppings.
Calories In A Bagel
A Plain And Regular Bagel
Most plain and regular sized bagels contain around 290 calories, a major chunk of which comes from carbohydrates. On average, each bagel provides 1.5 or 2 g of fat, but it all depends upon the cooking method, 60 g of carbohydrate, 10 g of protein, and 3 g of fiber.
Plain Bagel With Cream Cheese
The amount of calories in a regular, plain bagel added with cream cheese will depend upon the bagel size, as well as the quantity of cream cheese used. Since cream cheese contains a high fat content, using it excessively can cause the calories pile up quickly. If you are looking to add some flavor, use only one tablespoon, and preferably go for a low-fat option to avoid consuming even more fat and calories.
Breaking Down Calories
As mentioned above, a plain and medium (3.5 inches thickness) bagel on an average has 270 calories, and a 3-inched, small bagel has only around 177 calories. A single tablespoon of standard cream cheese contains 50 calories, and a single tablespoon of low fat cream cheese contains merely around 30 calories. Thus, a medium sized bagel with one tablespoon of cream cheese packs 320 calories, and a small-sized bagel with one tablespoon of no fat cream cheese has 207 calories.
Bagel With Peanut Butter
In a 2 1/2 ounce bagel, there are 190 calories. If you add two tablespoons of peanut butter to the same bagel, the caloric value spikes to 380. Similarly, a 4-ounce bagel lathered with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 479 calories, while a large-sized bagel with a creamy addition of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter packs 550 calories. On its own, 2 peanut butter tablespoons contain 140 calories that are contributed solely through fat.
A standard 100% whole-grain bagel has 277 calories, while an average, not-so-100% whole-grain bagel has 300 calories. In a regular-sized raisin bagel, there are 288 calories.
In order to retain your weight and minimize your caloric intake, snack on only half a bagel while using less peanut butter. Because half of a 4-ounce whole-grain bagel packs 138 calories, eat only that and add a single tablespoon of peanut butter to arrive at a total of 233 calories. For even lesser calories, cut down your peanut butter use to only half a tablespoon or go for a healthier, low-fat peanut butter.
On average, a whole grain bagel packs 337 calories, which is mostly contributed by the carbohydrate content. It also contains 4 g of fat, in addition to 63 g of carbohydrate, 12 g of protein, and 6 g of fiber. Whole grain bagels are an excellent source of protein and fiber, which makes them an especially healthy option when consumed reasonably and as part of a balanced diet. The extra fiber content present also aids in supporting the health of the digestive system and slows regulates the blood sugar level that is usually on the rise following consumptions of foods rich in carbohydrates.
Fruit-flavored bagels include sweet fruits or raisins. The normal-sized cinnamon raisin bagel has around 313 calories, 64 g of carbohydrate, 2.3 g of fat, 10 g of protein, and 3.67 g of fiber. Other fruit-flavored bagel varieties include apple cinnamon and blueberry. You should not count the fruit as a serving mainly because their content is quite low. If you are trying to make your snack healthier, add fruit slices or nuts.
The following nutritional information is for an average blueberry bagel with a regular amount of blueberries and a medium serving size is medium that weighs around 4 oz. This typical blueberry bagel contains 288 calories in total, the breakdown of which includes: 19 calories coming from fat, 227 calories from carbohydrates, and 42 calories coming from protein. When you consume a single blueberry bagel, you are adding on calories that equal 14.4% of your daily-recommended intake, assuming you are following a 2,000-calorie meal plan.
A blueberry bagel supplies 2.2 grams of total fat, which is equivalent to 3% of the daily-recommended fat intake. This total can be further broken down into 1 gram of saturated fat, which equals 5% of the total daily value for saturated fat. Blueberries contain zero cholesterol or trans-fat.
Protein and Carbohydrates
Blueberry bagels contain 10.4 grams of protein, which equals 21% of the daily-recommended protein value. They also contain 59.8 grams of carbohydrates, equaling about 20% of the daily-recommended carbohydrate value. This total can be further divided into10.4 grams of sugar, 45.8 grams of complex carbohydrates, and 3.6 grams of dietary fiber. This adds up to 14% of the daily-recommended value for dietary fiber.
A regular blueberry bagel has 482 mg of sodium (20% of the daily sodium value). It also contributes to19% of the daily iron value, 10% of the daily magnesium value, 7% of the daily calcium, and 15% of the daily zinc. Blueberry bagels have zero potassium.
A blueberry bagel contains 40% of the daily vitamin D value, 20% of the daily vitamin B6 value, 15% of the daily thiamin value, 2% of the daily vitamin C value, and 20% of the daily vitamin B12 and niacin value.
Are Bagels Good Or Bad?
It is impossible to make a blanket statement regarding the effect of bagels on your health. If you consume too many bagels, of course they will be bad for you. On the other hand, if you pay attention to the right type, size and toppings, these delicious snacks can make a great addition to your well-balanced diet as well as your breakfast.
A regular bagel may not necessarily be bad for you. This is because the main ingredients include flour, sugar, salt, water or other type of sweetener. For example, a plain, medium bagel has 1.68 grams of fat, zero cholesterol and around 289 calories. It also contains 561 grams of sodium, 11.03 grams of protein, and 2.4 grams of fiber. If you are consuming it on its own, a bagel is harmless.
Excess consumption of anything is bad, which means eating too many bagels can be a very unhealthy choice. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your body needs time to break down carbs into glucose, which is the basic sugar molecule that energizes the body. However, consuming more carbohydrates than you actually burn can cause your body to start storing glucose as fat. As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory, a single plain and regular bagel packs over 56 grams of carbohydrates. This means if you snack on too many bagels, your carb intake will increase dramatically, which will then eventually be stored as fat by your body. Aim to maintain about 45% to 65% of your daily-recommended calorie intake through carbohydrates.
Kinds Of Bagels
When considering the dietary value, take a close look at the type of bagel you are going for. A whole-grain or multigrain bagel is obviously a better choice, as it is richer in fiber content and other essential nutrients. However, the majority of flavored bagels have plenty of sugar, and other not-so-healthy additions like cheese or whipped cream that might cut down the nutritious value.
No matter how healthy the main component of the bagel is unhealthy toppings like heavy cream, butter, jam and jelly can practically ruin your weight watching efforts. Butter and cream cheese are two popular toppings that are full of empty calories and fat. Healthier alternatives include low-sugar jam, reduced-fat cheese or fresh fruit slices, that will enhance the taste of your snack and at the same time help you maintain your weight.
Ways To Eat Bagels
If bagel is stored in a breadbasket, it should be consumed right away. On the other hand, its frozen form can be used as per convenience. To get the most out of their taste, consume bagels on their own or add to them different healthy toppings, like smoked salmon, peanut butter, low fat cheese, low-sugar jams or fruit slices. You can also use them in place of bread for a veggie and egg white sandwich, or in combination with meat, vegetables, or seafood for lunch. If you are on the go, you can make bagels a very healthy meal if you add these healthy additions.