Starting your day off the right way is very important; your body needs a good meal to fuel it for the day! A bagel is a good way to fill up, but your diet won't thank you for the carbs and calories from most bagels. Luckily, you can still enjoy your morning bagel if you follow these tips.
1. Scoop it. By asking for your bagel scooped, they'll take out a bit of the inside, cutting out carbs and calories. It may not be ideal, but if you insist on a bagel, it's for the best. You can also purchase bagel thins, which are just a thin version of a bagel, no scooping required!
2. Add veggies. Instead of a cheese option, go for an avocado spread! It's a great texture filled with healthy fats. Then put some veggies on your bagel for a boost of nutrients; think bell peppers, spinach or whatever else is on hand! Try a few tomato slices and cucumber. They go great together and with a dash of black pepper or cayenne, you'll have a flavorful breakfast.
3. Ditch the sugar. Chocolate chip bagels are good, but they aren't good for you. Say bye-bye to cinnamon raisin because that extra sugar isn't going to help your waistline and will only lead to a mid-morning crash.
4. Switch to whole wheat. This is a great way to get some benefits from your bagel. Whole grains have tons of health benefits, so go ahead and ask for a whole-wheat option. You can even get whole-wheat bagel thins!
5. Make it spicy. Pick a low-fat cheese for your bagel and top it with slices of jalapeño! It's a great way to add flavor to your plain bagel. Check out these spicy foods that will rev up your metabolism!
6. Lighten it up. If losing the cream cheese is a deal breaker, at least opt for something on the light side. A thin layer of low-fat or whipped cream cheese is a far better option than many calorie-filled spreads. You can also opt for Neufchâtel, pictured below. It's a cheese originally from France and has the same taste and texture of low-fat cream cheese. Other cream cheese alternatives are cottage cheese, ricotta or yogurt cheese. You can compare these alternative on LiveStrong!
7. Alternative jam. Instead of a sugar-loaded jelly, mash up your own fresh berries! They are naturally sweet so you can avoid added sugars and you can use as much homemade jam as you want.
8. Make your own. Making your own bagels is a great way to be sure of exactly what goes in them. It does take a bit of time and effort, but it's not as difficult as some breads. Try out this whole-wheat, vegan recipe from Hidden Fruits and Veggies!