How Many Calories Are in a Bagel? Nutritional Value of Plain Bagels

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Bagels are a popular breakfast choice that satisfies one’s sweet or savory cravings and pairs well with various foods. However, some wonder, Are bagels really that bad in terms of calories? How Many Calories Are in a Bagel? This article aims to answer this question by discussing the calorie content of bagels and providing tips to make bagels a healthier breakfast option.

How Many Calories are in a Bagel?

The calorie content of bagels can vary depending on certain factors, like the type of bagel and filling. According to the USDA, a medium-sized plain bagel contains around 277 to 300 calories on average. Compared to bread, which has around 65 calories per slice, a bagel is definitely more dense in calories.

However, the calories in a bagel increase dramatically when toppings are added to them. For example, a bagel with 1 tbsp of cream cheese contains 327 calories, whereas a bagel with 1 tbsp of peanut butter contains 372 calories. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of the bagel and added toppings to check the total calories consumed.

Nutritional Value of Plain Classic Bagels

How Many Calories Are in a Bagel

While bagels may seem high in calories, they also provide some crucial nutrients in moderate amounts:

  • Carbohydrates: Bagels are a good source of complex carbs; an average bagel provides around 56 grams of carbs. Complex carbs release energy slowly, keeping one full for a long time.
  • Protein: With 11 grams of protein per bagel, it contains as much protein as two medium-sized eggs. Dietary protein is important for growing, repairing, and maintaining body tissues.
  • Fiber: 1 bagel packs 2 grams of fiber, which aids digestion and prevents constipation. Whole grain varieties provide significantly more fiber.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Though not a significant source, bagels contain small amounts of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, etc., depending on the ingredients when enriched flour is used.
  • Heart-healthy fats: Bagels, especially whole wheat bagels, containing nutritious seeds, provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated “good fats” that support heart health and metabolism. Sesame seeds, in particular, have beneficial properties.

How to Make Your Bagels Healthier

While enjoying an occasional bagel is fine, there are some simple ways to make bagels a healthier breakfast option:

  • Choose variety: Whole grain, multigrain, or seeded varieties pack more nutrients than plain white bagels.
  • Control toppings: Instead of heavy toppings like cream cheese, opt for lean protein spreads like hummus, almond or peanut butter, low-fat cottage cheese, mashed avocado, etc.
  • Portion size: A bagel can be very filling, so half a bagel is enough for some. Cutting it into slices also helps control intake. 
  • Store-bought over deli: Pre-packaged store bagels tend to have fewer calories and sugars compared to ones fried on-spot from delis and bakeries.
  • Added flavor: Sprinkle nuts, seeds, or dried fruits for flavor and crunch without adding much to the calorie count.

Following these simple suggestions allows one to continue enjoying bagels while keeping total calorie and sugar intake in check. Moderation and awareness are key.

bagel breakfast

Here are some delicious breakfast recipes that use bagels in a healthy way:

  1. Egg and Avocado Bagel: Slice a bagel horizontally and add one half with mashed avocado, fried or poached eggs, and red chili flakes. One may also add sautéed mushrooms or spinach.
  2. Smoked Salmon Bagel: Spread cream cheese on a bagel and add sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Add a few slices of smoked salmon for protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Peanut Butter Banana Bagel: Spread peanut or almond butter on a bagel and add sliced bananas. This combo provides one dish with carbs, protein, good fats, and fiber.
  4. Vegetable Bagel Frittata: Break up a bagel and bake it with eggs and diced mixed veggies like spinach, bell peppers, and onions – a protein-packed breakfast to start the day right.

Making simple recipe tweaks allows one to enjoy their favorite bagels for breakfast in a balanced, wholesome manner.

Calories in Different Kinds of Bagel Topped

How many calories is a bagel sandwich?

The calorie content of a bagel sandwich can vary widely depending on the filling and toppings used. On average, a basic bagel sandwich with lean meat like turkey or ham, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes comes to around 350-400 calories. But sandwiches with mayo-based spreads, multiple cheeses, or calorie-dense ingredients like avocado can easily exceed 500 calories. Paying attention to portion size and choosing lighter options helps control calorie intake.

How many calories is a bagel with cream cheese?

On average, one bagel contains around 277 calories. 1 tbsp of regular cream cheese is about 71 calories. So, a plain bagel with cream cheese will be around 348 calories. The total calories depend on the amount of cream cheese. The standard serving size of cream cheese used is closer to 2 tbsp, which is 142 calories. Therefore, a bagel with the common 2 tbsp of cream cheese provides around 419 calories. Use light cream cheese instead of regular one to reduce calories but retain the taste.

How many calories is a bagel with Nutella?

A Nutella bagel is likely to contain approximately 450-500 calories. The bagel accounts for about 250-300 calories, and two tablespoons of Nutella add roughly 200 calories. The total depends on the amount of Nutella spread on the bagel.

How many calories is a bagel with butter?

1 single bagel has approximately 277 calories. 1 tbsp of butter is around 100 calories. So, a bagel with 1 tbsp of butter is around 377 calories. But the usual amount used is 2 tbsp of butter, which is 200 calories. Therefore, the calorie count of a bagel paired with the standard 2 tbsp of butter is around 277 + 200 = 477 calories.

How many calories is a bagel with avocado?

A bagel with avocado generally has between 307 and 415 calories. The plain bagel itself is usually around 250-300 calories, and if you add a quarter to a half of a medium avocado, you’re adding approximately 57-115 calories. The range accounts for the amount of avocado used.

 bagel with strawberry cream cheese
Bagel with strawberry cream cheese

How many calories is a bagel with strawberry cream cheese?

A bagel topped with 2 tbsp of strawberry cream cheese contains around 490 calories. This is slightly higher than regular cream cheese due to the added sugars from the fruit. Opting for 1 tbsp instead of the regular 2 tbsp serving can bring the count down to around 380 calories.

How many calories is a bagel with egg and cheese?

An egg bagel with cheese typically contains around 420-480 calories. This estimate includes about 250-300 calories for a plain bagel, 70-80 calories for an egg, and around 100 calories for a slice of cheese. The variation depends on the exact size and type of each component.

How many calories is a bagel with cream cheese and lox?

A single bagel with cream cheese, lox, and tomato comes to around 470 calories. 1 bagel – 277 calories + 2 tbsp cream cheese – 142 calories + 2 oz lox – around 35 calories + 1 small tomato – around 15 calories = 469 calories. Using 1 tbsp each of cream cheese and lox can lower the total to around 400 calories, which is reasonable for a nourishing breakfast meal.

How many calories is a bagel with cream cheese and jelly?

A bagel with cream cheese and jelly could have about 350-460 calories. A plain bagel is generally 250-300 calories, 1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese add another 50-100 calories, and a tablespoon of jelly contributes around 50-60 more calories. The caloric total varies based on the specific amounts and types of toppings used.


Can bagels be part of a healthy diet?

Yes, bagels can absolutely be part of a balanced, nutritious diet. The key is consuming them in moderation and pairing them with proteins, fiber-rich toppings, and complex carbs. Watching portion sizes and choosing wisely from available options is important, too.

How many bagels can one eat in a day?

One bagel, along with a source of protein and low-fat dairy, makes for a very reasonable breakfast. Having more than 1 bagel a day can cause the calorie count to become too high quickly. However, it also depends on one’s daily calorie needs and physical activity levels.

Can diabetics eat bagels?

Yes, bagels can be included in a diabetic diet as well. It’s best to choose whole grain varieties and watch total carb intake by pairing bagels with proteins and healthy fats. Checking blood sugar levels after meals is also important when including any high-carb foods. Moderation is key for diabetic-friendly bagel consumption.


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