With cream cheese and lox and without calories in mind, bagel is one delicious food many of my clients love to have for breakfast. Yes, bagels can fit into your weight loss weight plan but you have to realize that the best deli bagels in the market can cost you 300-400 calories. Remember that 100 calories is 1 ounce, so you can determine how much calories you are getting by weighing them. Of course, if you have Sara Lee, Thomas’ or Lenders Bagels, you have to look at the bag for calorie information.
One bad thing about having a bagel for breakfast with butter or cream cheese, we are not getting any protein or fiber. I refer to this type of breakfast as “paste and glue”. This is a sleepy breakfast and will only cause you to make poor choices along the way. You will be hungry sooner compared to having a bowl of oatmeal or whole wheat toast with eggs.
But don’t fret because we can have the bagels that we love if we have eggs and veggies, or even those leftovers from last night. Just think of a mini-veggie omelet with a bagel and a lightly-spreaded butter or cream cheese. Bagel with peanut butter is even a lot better because it contains protein which gives you more staying power than butter or cream cheese. Now, all you have to do is to add apples for fiber.
The best way to enjoy bagels more often is to carve out some of the dough to reduce the calories by at least a third. Also, this can allow you to stuff the bagel with egg, tuna or chicken salad. Add some lettuce and sliced tomato with pickles on the side and you truly have a balanced meal.
Calorie, Fat, Cholesterol Comparison : What’s the Better Bagel?
Now, let’s talk about the different type of bagels we can purchase. Don’t bother to order a whole wheat bagel because most probably, it is made from refined white flour and not 100% whole wheat. The best bagels in the market are the ones that simply have spiced toppings from sesame, garlic, onion and poppy seed. For those bagels with a variety of cheeses, you can tell if it is high-fat by feeling the grease in your hand. Also, those raisin cinnamon sugared ones have a lot of extra calories that we do not realize. The bottom line is, those toppings mean an extra 100 calories which leaves you with a 400-calorie bagel even before you add your spread. Fruit Bagel is also a good choice. It has no or less sodium compared to the others. Go for cinnamon, parmesan, and spiced bagel next time if you’re sodium-conscious.
The chart below shows the most popular brands and varieties in the market today. Notice how each differs in calories and sodium content. The Fruit Bagel variety (Sara Lee’s Blueberry Bagel) is a good choice. It has no or less sodium compared to the others. However, the spiced variety (Lender’s onion Bagel) is even better with it’s very low calorie and sodium content. It is also a good partner for your bacon or egg. On the other hand, the Parmesan Bagel is not recommended. It’s calorie content is a level higher compared to the others and it’s sodium content is amazingly high.
|Sara Lee’s Blueberry Bagel
|Thomas Plain Bagel
|Lender’s Onion Bagel
|Noah’s Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
|Costco Parmesan Bagel
So all in all, I tell my clients that they can enjoy their favorite bagel if they balance it by adding protein and veggies to it. Of course, you can also enjoy the bagel the way you like it but then you have to be mindful of making an excellent food choice for the rest of the day. So when I do counselling with my clients, we set up a “Bagel Day” so they can enjoy bagels the healthier way.
So do not take bagels off your list, just be careful how you arrange them in your menu for the day.