All bagels are made from a basic dough of flour, yeast, salt and a sweetener such as malt syrup or honey. Egg bagels have one obvious difference: Whole eggs or egg yolks are added to the dough. They’re good sources of protein and iron and, thanks to the eggs, vitamins A and B12. The eggs also add some cholesterol.
In spite of the eggs, the macronutrients in egg bagels are about the same as wheat, cinnamon raisin and oat bran bagels. One large egg bagel has 364 calories and 69 grams of total carbohydrates. It contains 14 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Men get 25 percent of their recommended daily allowance of protein and 8 percent of fiber from one egg bagel, while women get 30 percent of their daily protein and 12 percent of fiber. Be aware that bagels tend to be high in sodium. A large egg bagel has 662 milligrams, or half of your recommended daily allowance of sodium.
Fat and Cholesterol
Egg bagels are low in total and saturated fats, but one large bagel has 31 milligrams of cholesterol. Wheat, cinnamon raisin and oat bran bagels don't contain cholesterol. Your daily cholesterol generally should not exceed 300 milligrams; however, if you have high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association recommends consuming 200 milligrams or less.
Without enough iron, tissues throughout your body wouldn’t have the oxygen they need and your immune system would weaken. Iron helps regulate the growth of cells that fight viruses. One egg bagel has 5 milligrams of iron. Men need only 8 milligrams of iron daily, so one egg bagel supplies 62 percent of an entire day’s recommended allowance. Women under 51 need 18 milligrams of iron daily, so an egg bagel provides them with 28 percent of their recommended intake. After 51, women need only 8 milligrams of iron daily. Iron becomes toxic if you consume more than 45 milligrams daily.
Vitamins from Eggs
Two essential vitamins you’ll gain from the added eggs are vitamin B12 and vitamin A. Other types of bagels may contain a small amount of vitamin A, but most do not naturally have any vitamin B12. One egg bagel has 0.2 micrograms of vitamin B12. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually 9 percent of your recommended dietary allowance. You’ll also get 42 micrograms of vitamin A, or 5 percent of men’s and 6 percent of women’s daily allowance.
The tricky part about eating an egg bagel is finding healthy toppings. You can always opt for fat-free cream cheese, but try replacing that with mashed avocado, which is slightly higher in calories but has no cholesterol or sodium and supplies healthy unsaturated fats. Top the avocado with spinach, mushrooms and grated carrots for a healthy meal. Spread your bagel with hummus with sweet red peppers and cucumbers. Another option that provides protein and cholesterol-lowering unsaturated fats is any type of nut butter, which you can top with sliced fruit.
Sandi Busch received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, then pursued training in nursing and nutrition. She taught families to plan and prepare special diets, worked as a therapeutic support specialist, and now writes about her favorite topics – nutrition, food, families and parenting – for hospitals and trade magazines.