Is a Bagel With Cream Cheese Healthy? Health Benefits & Risks

Bagels are typically served with cream cheese. However, there have been raised eyebrows on whether bagel with cream cheese is healthy.

Bagels and cream cheese are prepared differently and with different ingredients which makes their nutritional value unique. But, in combination, it may look like a lot, although it is a delicious pair.

So, people want to know if eating bagels with cream cheese is healthy or not. Read this article to learn about the health benefits and side effects involved in eating this snack.

Overview of bagels

A bagel is a type of bread shaped like a doughnut and is mostly characterized by a crisp, shiny crust and a dense, chewy interior. It is shaped into a round ring that is boiled before baking.

Bagels are made with instant yeast, dark brown sugar, water, salt, baking soda, cornmeal, and flour.

The first step in making a bagel is to cook it in water for a minute or two to keep its flavor locked in.

The bagel is further cooked in the oven to create that hard and delectable crust we all love. This step also gives the bagel its thick and fluffy roll with a crispy shell or casing.

What is cream cheese?

Cream cheese is a type of soft cheese made from milk and cream. It is a fatty cheese with a mild and tangy taste. To preserve its texture, taste, and nutritional value, stabilizers like carrageenan and carob bean gum are added to the cheese.

Cream cheese is quite easy to make and serves a lot of purposes; one of which is as a spread for bagels.

Is bagel with cream cheese healthy?

Bagel and cream cheese is a delicious meal combo and can be healthy too.

According to the USDA, one bagel provides 245 calories and one tablespoon of cream cheese provides 49 calories. This is a total of 294 calories per serving. which is about 350g and a lot of calories to be eaten in just one serving.

This number of calories is about 1/5 of your daily calorie intake. If you eat bagels with cream cheese in moderation, you can enjoy the health benefits this meal combo has to offer.

Furthermore, to ensure you are eating healthy, go for bagels made with whole grains. This type of bagel has higher protein and fiber content. Similarly, go for healthy cream cheese. Look for reduced-fat or Greek yogurt-based cream cheese.

In addition, add toppings that will make your cream cheese bagels healthier. Some of these toppings include cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, nut butter, boiled egg, dill, chives, sauteed mushrooms, and peppers.

What are the health benefits of bagels with cream cheese?

1. High source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals

Cream cheese bagels contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can help maintain a healthy blood sugar level and aid digestion.

2. Source of antioxidants

Bagels and cream cheese are right in antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for their efficiency in removing and reversing damages done by oxidizing organisms in your body’s cells.

3. Lowered risk of heart disease

Cheese cream bagels produced from whole grain flour may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. However, you must eat cream cheese bagels in moderation to enjoy this benefit.

Side effects

Even though bagels with cream cheese can be part of a healthy diet, there can be side effects, especially with overconsumption.

Overconsumption of bagels can increase your calorie intake if you do not eat bagels made with whole grains and cream cheese made from reduced-fat milk.

Excess consumption of cream cheese bagels can predispose you to illnesses such as type 2 diabetes because of the high sugar content.


Is a bagel with cream cheese healthier than a donut?

While donuts have their benefits, they are low in fiber and have more fat than bagels. Therefore, a bagel with cream cheese is healthier.

Is a bagel with cream cheese healthier than a bagel with butter?

Bagels with cream cheese are healthier than bagels with butter. While one tablespoon of butter packs 102 calories, one tablespoon of cream cheese contains only 49 calories.

Also, cream cheese has a lower fat content. One tablespoon of butter supplies your body with 10g of fat while cream cheese contains only 5g.

How can you make your bagel healthier?

You can try using a thin bagel to reduce the fat and sugar content of the bagel. You can also consider using avocado and almond butter spread to balance your diet.


Eating a bagel with cream cheese is healthy and filling. It makes a healthier option when compared with some cereals.

While there are benefits to eating cream cheese bagels, there are downsides to it. This meal combo doe not have a rich and balanced nutrient profile. It lacks some much-needed nutrients and is also very rich in fat.

Therefore, you must eat cream cheese bagels in moderation.

Bagels and donuts look alike. I bet you’ve also confused one for the other. Find out what donuts are.

I hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading.