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Myth: A whole grain muffin is a “better choice” than a whole grain bagel



TRUTH:  This myth is best explained by a side to side comparison.  The values I’m using are averages from the typical coffee shop or deli.

  Muffin Bagel with cream cheese (cc)
Calories 350-490 310-360 + 45 for an ounce of low fat  cc (100 if full fat)
Fat (in grams) 9-28 2 + 5 in low fat cc (9 if full fat)
Carbohydrates (in grams) 59-64 52-62
Fiber (in grams) 7 4
Protein (in grams) 6 12 grams + 2 from the cc



So, when you compare the two, you get more protein, less fat, and fewer calories from the bagel than from the muffin.  But you want something sweet.  Ok, I get it. You’re still better off ordering a cinnamon raisin bagel than a muffin.

On the other hand, if you’re considering making these from scratch, you could make small muffins, which is much easier than making bagels.  I love the bagel making process but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s lengthy!  Plus, you could use vegetable oil (vs. butter) in muffins, which would reduce the saturated fat content.

Of course you can make the bagel healthier too – rather than choosing cream cheese, choose hummus, pesto, or mashed avocado!

BOTTOM LINE:  Be creative with your breakfasts and have a variety of foods.  Choosing a muffin once in a while or having an egg sandwich on a bagel is a treat.  If you’re grabbing breakfast on the go at a neighborhood coffee shop, ask if they have nutrition information available so you can make an educated decision.


  1. MSNHealth
  2. Livestrong

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One Comment to "Myth: A whole grain muffin is a “better choice” than a whole grain bagel"

  1. TB1 says:

    Cool Comparison!

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