We know that they’re delicious, but are bagels healthy?
It’s a question that has plagued many health-conscious bagel lovers. You want to enjoy that perfectly flavorful, perfectly textured bagel, but you don’t want to overload on carbs or undo your diet for the day. So let’s break down the facts once and for all behind whether or not bagels or healthy.
Okay, so let’s start with the good news: bagels are not bad for you! There is nothing inherently unhealthy about these beloved bread products, which, when purchased or delivered fresh, don’t boast any preservatives, processed additives, or anything else that you wouldn’t want to touch with a ten foot pole, let alone digest.
Standard bagels feature a dough made from flour, yeast, salt, and water. This simple recipe—plus their lack of preservatives—is the reason that fresh bagels have to be frozen or they won’t last long. They’re really just carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
Things start to get a bit murkier when it comes to flavorings. Some bagels feature a heavy dose of excess sodium or processed sugar that probably isn’t ideal if you’re trying to eat healthy (our Montreal-style bagels, on the other hand, are sweetened with honey water, not high-fructose corn syrup).
Ultimately, it all comes down to balance. The healthiest bagels are the ones that are made with all-natural ingredients, and that don’t have any additives that make them more of a processed bread than a healthy breakfast option. If you’re really concerned, go for healthy bagel options, such as those with whole wheat or rye flour instead of white flour.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean not eating bagels. Again, look for balance. If you top your bagel with plenty of good-for-you foods, then you’ll have a nutritious and filling meal you can feel good about. Here are some of our favorite bagel sandwich recipes.