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Is a Bagel Worse Than a Doughnut?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Ask the Diva: Is a Bagel Really Worse Than a Doughnut?

Q. Every now and then I enjoy a bagel with cream cheese, but people are always telling me that bagels are actually worse for you than doughnuts. I have looked up the nutrition information and it just doesn't seem true. Sure bagels have a lot of carbs, but are they really worse than other bread? Yes the cream cheese has some fat, but is it really worse than a doughnut with chocolate icing? And what if I have a whole wheat bagel with low fat cream cheese?

A. Who are these "people" and why are they bothering you about your breakfast? And what’s this healthy alternative they’re proposing? A trans-fat and sugar-laden doughnut? Please.

You’re right, bagels are no worse than other types of bread--although a large bagel can be the equivalent of 3 or more slices of bread.  And the fats in cream cheese are no “worse” than a doughnut--although a heavy schmear could add a few hundred calories.

And, yes, a whole wheat bagel might be a slightly better choice. My personal preference, however, would be to stick with my favorite (poppy) and just have half—with reduced fat cream cheese.

For more up-to-date information on healthy eating, check out my new guidebook, Nutrition Diva's Secrets for a Healthy Diet. Read a free chapter here.

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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