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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Bagels

Aug 23, 2010

Bagels are a delicious food for any time of the day. They come in many varieties and flavors and taste great with a good number of toppings. Bagels were first introduced in 1693 as tribute to a Polish king. Since then they have crossed continents and become a mainstay in America. They're sold in bakeries, grocery stores and coffee shops. Although bagels are good eats, the nutrition of bagels isn't thought about unless you're counting calories. Here is a rundown on this tasty treat and what it's made of.

Popular Flavors

Bagels are shaped rings made out of flour and yeast. Many people love bagels topped with condiments such as cream cheese or jam. Others prefer their bagels plain. Here is a list of popular flavors eaten in the United States:

  • Cinnamon and Raisin
  • Egg
  • Onion
  • Rye
  • Sour Dough
  • Poppy Seed
  • Wheat Grain
  • Multi-grain
  • Sesame

Calories

A bagel has zero to very low fat content, but it does contain between 70 and 380 calories. The size of the bagel determines how many calories it has. A mini or small bagel has between 60 and 79 calories, while a large one may have between 300 and 400 calories. When ordering from a coffee shop or bakery, choose a small plain bagel for less calories. Bagels are hearty enough to ward off hunger. If eaten for breakfast, a bagel will keep you full until lunch. The problem comes when you eat more than one serving or one bagel. Remember to count the calories from toppings as well; they increase the amount of calories you consume.

Excellent Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Bagels are a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein and fiber. Although they aren't considered the healthiest of foods to eat, they do provide high amounts of fiber to keep you regular. Fiber lowers your chances of heart disease, diabetes and constipation. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient needed to fight off illness, by making the immune system stronger and less susceptible to colds and viruses. Calcium gives you strong bones and teeth. Women need this mineral to avoid osteoporosis as they age. Iron helps in cell growth and the building of protein in red blood cells. These cells transport oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Protein also helps build and provide strength to muscle.

Healthy Varieties

Multigrain bagels are a healthier alternative when eating this food. They're packed with flax seeds, wheat and sunflower seeds. Flax seeds are excellent for providing essential Omega 3 fats. Omega 3 lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also has fiber to help keep your bowels regular. Sunflower seeds provide vitamin E, magnesium and selenium. Magnesium reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and increases bone strength. Selenium helps fight cancer cells.

The multi-grain variety is good choice in choosing a bagel. The benefits are great, but eating more than one serving is not good. Calories may run around 300 to 320 per bagel.

With so many food choices, it's easy to grab the first thing that appears the best. It's important to know exactly what you eat. Read food labels before making a decision on what to buy. This helps you make a healthier diet plan.

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