It’s common that as a food gets more popular, the less healthy it becomes. Many fast food joints prove this theory, and as bagels have hit the mainstream as a go-to breakfast or snack, certain modifications have gotten a bit extreme. From over-the-top toppings to excessive sizes, it seems the bagel isn’t exactly viewed as the pinnacle of healthy eating anymore.
Fresh bagels are still an amazingly health food, however. They have a great ratio of protein and carbs, with healthy fat and no preservatives (assuming you are buying good bagels form a reputable bakery.)
With reasonable toppings, self-control, and portion regulation, bagels can still taste great and not put a strain on your calorie-count. Here just a few ways you can ditch unhealthy bagel habits, and build a better, healthier breakfast.
- Get a reasonably sized, healthy bagel. While more may seem tempting, your bagel should be four to six inches wide, and tall enough to cut into two healthy sized halves. Try whole wheat bagel or mixed grain if you’re looking for a healthier option; the complex carbohydrates can power you through your day without harming your diet.
- If it doesn’t taste good on its own, don’t buy it! A bagel should be able to stand on its own, and only be improved by toppings. If you’re finding yourself slathering on cream cheese just to bear it, you probably should stop eating them.
- Watch those toppings. A healthy layer of light cream cheese is never a bad idea, but don’t go overboard. Try nut butters, veggies, or even proteins for an extra kick to start your day. Peanut butter is your best friend, so don’t be hesitant to invite your friend Jiffy over for breakfast.
- Avoid butter. Butter is nothing but empty calories, and if you’re using salted butter, you’re adding sodium into the mix. While buttering a bagel can seem like a good idea at first, it may not feel like the best choice later.
These tips can go a long way in helping you improve your eating habits, and help you even more in your journey towards health. However, it’s important to remember that these tips and tricks aren’t rules, so be sure to enjoy yourself sometimes!
Don’t be afraid to put a little lox along with the cream cheese on your bagel if you want to have a cheat day, and give yourself a Blueberry or French Toast bagel once in a while too. Healthy eating can be fun once you figure out how to include your favorite foods.