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Bagels Versus Bread

author image Jennifer Bodin
Jennifer Bodin covers a variety of topics, from health to family budgets. An Army veteran, she is a fitness enthusiast who has designed physical fitness programs. Bodin holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Illinois and a Master of Arts in education from the University of Phoenix.
Bagels Versus Bread
Bagels have moved beyond breakfast, replacing bread in some lunch and dinner sandwiches. Photo Credit Elena Elisseeva/iStock/Getty Images

Bagels made their entrance in New York in the 1880s, when a flood of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe streamed into the country. In the 1960s, they started to be produced in large quantities for sale. The bread slicer was invented in the 1920s, and sliced bread has been a household staple ever since. Bagels and bread not only differ in look, but in calorie count and nutritional value as well.

Calorie Count Comparison

Bagels Versus Bread
Bagels are higher in calories. Photo Credit Carrie Miller/iStock/Getty Images

Bagels are not an even substitute for sliced bread, based on calories. Just one plain white bagel can account for about 300 calories, compared to around 90 calories per plain slice of white bread, according to Being Healthy TV. Half a bagel is a better substitute for morning toast, but remember that it will still equal almost two slices of bread in caloric content.


Bagels Versus Bread
Bran and whole wheat are healthier and higher in fiber. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Compared to bread, bagels are more commonly topped with higher calorie foods. If you add about 2 tbsp. of regular cream cheese to your bagel, you are adding about 100 calories and 6 g of fat. However, bagels themselves are low in saturated fats, but are also typically low in fiber. Bran or whole wheat types of bagels are a bit healthier, with more fiber than the standard enriched white flour bagel.


Bagels Versus Bread
White bread doesn't have much nutritional value. Photo Credit Bob Ingelhart/iStock/Getty Images

White bread is similar to white bagels in that it is typically not high in fiber, nor does it have much nutritional value. A slice of regular white bread has only 1.9 g of protein and 0.6 g of fiber. On the other hand, a slice of whole-wheat bread has 3.6 g of protein and 1.9 g of fiber, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. White whole-wheat bread, made with albino wheat, matches standard whole wheat in nutritional value.

Healthy Choices

Bagels Versus Bread
Whole grain should be the first ingredient of your bagel or bread of choice. Photo Credit Michael Gray/iStock/Getty Images

Whether choosing a bagel or bread, choose a whole-wheat variety rather than a plain white version for more protein and fiber per bite. Whole grain should be the first ingredient of your bagel or bread choice. Bread and bagels made from whole grain are not only healthier, but will also help you feel fuller longer. Also, when considering toppings for your bread or bagel, choose lowfat peanut butter, which has protein and lower saturated fat than cream cheese and less sugar than some jams. This will also help satisfy your hunger longer.

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