Bagel Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Bagel nutritional facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Are you a bagel lover who enjoys a toasted bagel in the morning or a hearty bagel sandwich for lunch? With so many flavors and styles to choose from, bagels are a convenient and versatile food.

You might not know that bagel nutrition has changed over the years because of the way they are made. If you're trying to be mindful of your daily calories or other key nutrients, you'll want to carefully check the nutrition info for the bagel you choose.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one large bagel 3 1/2 to 4" in diameter (131g).

  • Calories: 346
  • Fat: 1.7g
  • Sodium: 553mg
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Sugars: 11g
  • Protein: 13.8g

Most plain bagels are low in saturated fat and usually contain no cholesterol or sugar. They can also be a good source of thiamin.

Your bagel's calorie count and nutrition will vary depending on the brand that you buy. For example, Lender's Plain New York Style Bagels (frozen) only provide 230 calories but are made with high fructose corn syrup. As a result, you'll consume 3 grams of sugar with each bagel.

You also need to consider the size of the bagel you buy. Bagels have increased in size over the years. 20 years ago, a standard bagel was just 3 inches in diameter and had 140 calories (according to data from the National Institutes of Health).

A typical plain bagel from a deli or bakery can measure up to 6 inches in diameter and can add 350 calories to your daily calorie count. Even if you split the bagel with a friend, the calories are still higher.

The many varieties of bagels will differ in nutritional content. The total calories in a cinnamon raisin bagel are much higher than a plain bagel because of the extra sugar and fruit.

For example, a cinnamon raisin swirl bagel from Panera has 320 calories, 66 grams of carbohydrate, and 11 grams of sugar.

Savory bagels aren't necessarily lower in calories than a sweeter bagel. A cheddar pesto bagel from Bruegger's provides 420 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar.

Health Benefits 

Bagels are often a source of refined carbohydrates. "Refined" means that the grains used to make the product have been processed by a food manufacturer so that the whole grain is no longer intact.

The refining or milling process also removes dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In general, nutritionists recommend that you limit your intake of refined grains.

A food that is refined often says "enriched" on the label. Enriched products have had some nutrients added back in during production. However, these foods are still often lacking fiber—an important nutrient in a balanced diet.

While a whole wheat bagel might sound like a healthier choice, eating one whole wheat bagel is equivalent to eating about four to six slices of bread. Carbohydrate-dense meals can your blood sugar— one reason bagels are not recommended if you have diabetes.

Selection and Storage

Knowing that not all bagels are created equal, be mindful of the kind you're buying as well as the portion size. Ask about their freshness to be sure you're not buying day-old (or older) bagels.

When you do buy a few bagels at a time, you can keep them fresh by storing them at room temperature in a plastic bag. You might think that refrigerating bagels will make them last longer, but the opposite is usually true.

You can freeze bagels for up to four months and them warm them up in the oven when you're ready to enjoy them.

How to Make a Healthier Bagel

If you are trying to cut back on carbs or limit your intake of refined bread products, there are a few things you can do to make a healthier bagel-based meal.

  • Make an open-face sandwich. You don't have to use both halves of the bagel to make a sandwich. Skip the upper part and simply top your bagel bottom with lean meats and veggies.
  • Scoop out your bagel. If you want to have both the top and bottom of your bagel, try scooping out the middle. Use a spoon to remove the soft middle part and build your sandwich around the bagel crust.
  • Go whole grain. Even though whole wheat bagels provide more calories and carbs, a whole grain choice is healthier than a refined product because you get the dietary benefits of fiber.
  • Watch for added sugar. Most sweet bagels will add to your sugar intake for the day. Check the ingredients and try to choose a bagel without corn syrup or other added sweeteners.
  • Toppings matter. A bigger bagel will require more toppings, so be mindful of what you layer on top. For a lower calorie option, skip the butter and high-calorie cream cheese. Instead, add veggies, hummus, or make a healthier bagel pizza using fresh ingredients.

A Word From Verywell

Most foods can be part of a nutritious diet as long as you eat them in moderation—including your favorite bagels. You can balance the occasional bagel with nutritious foods that provide fiber, protein, and healthy fats. When you enjoy a bagel, make sure to be mindful of portion size, look for whole-grain options, and choose healthy toppings.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Bagel. Updated April 2019.

  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Wecan! Portion distortion quiz.

  3. Ludwig DS, Hu FB, Tappy L, Brand-Miller J. Dietary carbohydrates: role of quality and quantity in chronic diseaseBMJ. 2018;361:k2340. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2340

  4. Yamada Y, Uchida J, Izumi H, et al. A non-calorie-restricted low-carbohydrate diet is effective as an alternative therapy for patients with type 2 diabetesIntern Med. 2014;53(1):13–19. doi:10.2169/internalmedicine.53.0861

  5. Jones JM, García CG, Braun HJ. Perspective: Whole and refined grains and health—Evidence supporting “make half your grains wholeAdv Nutr. 2019;nmz114. doi:10.1093/advances/nmz114