Think nutritionists don’t eat carb-filled bagels? Think again! As all foods fit into a healthy eating plan — in moderation, of course — I got the inside scoop (pun intended!) on how 9 nutritionists from around the country love make eating bagels part of their well-balanced diet.
“When I eat bagels (which are not often) I definitely scoop them! By getting rid of the dough, I am saving some extra calories. I always order whole wheat for added fiber and put some almond butter and a little all-natural jelly on it. It’s a yummy, satisfying and filling!”
–Ilyse Schapiro MS, RDN, co-author of “Should I Scoop Out My Bagel”
“My usual bagel choice is a whole wheat everything bagel. Once sliced, I pull out the inside doughy part, which eliminates some of the bread but gives room to add a lot of good vegetables and protein. First I put on some cream cheese, followed by capers and crumbled hard-boiled egg – the “moat” keeps all these goodies in and the cream cheese sort of locks them in place. Then on top I put lox, sliced tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers. Voila! A bagel full of great protein and vegetables. Other good additions or swaps include grated carrots, vegetable cream cheese, and peppers.”
–Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN, is a New York City-based registered dietitian and chef and owner of Culinary Nutrition Cuisine.
“I’m a bagel scooper. I’d much rather have room for extra filling and balance my meal to feature fewer carbs. I start with a whole wheat or oat bran bagel, truly because I prefer the taste as well as the nutritional boost. My fave is a bit of veggie cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato, onion and a small amount of whitefish salad if it’s available.”
–Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, owner of Nutrition Starring YOU.
The Fueling Bagel
“One of my top favorite whole grain bagel toppings is Greek yogurt, chia seeds, blackberries and mint. This powerful combination adds protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, probiotics and vitamin C. This is a perfect meal to start off your day with a ton of energy.”
–Jim White RDN, ACSM EX-P, Owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios.
“As a runner, bagels are one of my favorite ways to fuel during training. I grab a small or medium whole wheat bagel and add peanut butter and jelly. The combination of carbohydrates, plus a bit of protein and fat from the peanut butter, help me maintain energy during and after my long runs. Bagels aren’t a super high fiber food, which means it’s gentle on my gastric system as opposed to other foods that can cause stomach issues during intense exercise.”
–Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD of Street Smart Nutrition.
The DIY Bagel
“I recently made homemade bagels (boiled then baked!) and wish I had a few hours built into each day just for bagel-making — they’re SO good! I love slathering a bagel with an almond or cashew based cream cheese substitute, mashed avocado, or plain cream cheese and topping with a thick slice of tomato, red onion, smoked salmon, and capers. I usually stick with half a bagel and pile the toppings high.”
–Willow Jarosh, MS, RD co-owner of C&J Nutrition.
The New York Bagel
“Being originally from New York City, I grew up eating bagels. My favorite way to eat them is with a thin layer of schmear (full fat, thank you very much!), an egg for protein and piled high with veggies like cucumber, tomato and sprouts! Since my mornings are jam-packed between getting my baby ready for the day and seeing back-to-back clients, this bagel breakfast keeps me full till the afternoon!”
–Jessica Spiro, RD of Jessica Spiro Nutrition.
The Half Bagel
“I don’t indulge in my bagel craving too often, but when I do I switch it up by adding protein and fiber. Since bagels are typically made with refined wheat flour and are very dense, I reach for a whole grain bagel and only enjoy half. I steer away from the typical cream cheese topping and add protein-rich skyr instead. Skyr is an Icelandic dairy product similar to Greek yogurt, but not as tart. I then add lox, tomato and onion.”
–Kathy Siegel, MS, RDN Nutrition Communications Consultant for Triad to Wellness
“I stick with the whole grain kind, preferably one that’s loaded with seeds and grains. I cut it horizontally so that one half is larger than the other and then I toast it. I spread 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter on the larger half and then top it with smashed frozen raspberries and a drizzle of honey. That is my half. I do the same with the other, smaller half, using less of all of the same ingredients and that is my 4-year old’s half!”
–Culinary dietitian Sara Haas RDN, LDN.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.
*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.