How many carbs in a cheddar cheese bagel?

Quick Answer

A cheddar cheese bagel can contain anywhere from 30-60 grams of total carbohydrates depending on the brand and size. On average, a plain 3-4 inch bagel contains around 45-55 grams of carbs while one with cheese or other toppings may have slightly less at 35-50 grams of carbs. The amount of net carbs, accounting for fiber, is generally around 30-40 grams.

What Are Bagels Made Of?

Bagels are made from wheat flour, water, yeast, salt, malt syrup or barley malt, and sometimes eggs or flavorings. The dough is boiled briefly before being baked, which gives bagels their distinctive chewy texture.

Plain bagels are made entirely from the basic dough ingredients. Flavored or topped bagels may also contain ingredients like onions, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, garlic, cheeses, or blueberries.

So the primary source of carbohydrates in a bagel is from the wheat flour used to make the dough. Most bagel dough contains bread flour or high-gluten flour to give bagels their unique dense and chewy quality.

Nutrition Profile of Wheat Flour

The nutrition facts for a 100 gram serving of wheat flour is:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 364
Protein 13.7g
Carbs 76.3g
Fiber 3.6g
Sugar 0.4g

As you can see, wheat flour contains a significant amount of carbohydrates. A 100 gram serving provides over 75 grams of total carbs, most of which comes from starch.

The starch molecules found in flour are long chains of glucose molecules. When flour is mixed with water and baked, the starch gelatinizes and eventually becomes digestible carbohydrates.

Average Carb Count of Bagels

On average, a plain bagel made with enriched wheat flour contains around 50-60 grams of total carbs per 3-4 inch bagel. This includes fiber.

For example, here are the nutrition facts for some popular plain bagel brands:

Bagel (3-4 inches) Total Carbs
Lender’s Plain Bagel 53g
Thomas’ Plain Bagel 48g
Einstein Bros Plain Bagel 51g
Trader Joe’s Plain Bagel 49g

As you can see, a plain bagel from a typical brand contains right around 50 grams of total carbs.

However, the exact number can vary depending on factors like:

– Bagel size – A larger 4-5 inch bagel may have up to 60 grams of carbs.

– Ingredients – Using whole wheat flour adds slightly more fiber and nutrients than white enriched flour.

– Thickness – Thicker bagels tend to be denser and higher in carbs. Thinner bagels may have 5-10 grams less carbs.

– Cooking method – Boiling before baking increases starch gelatinization. Directly baked bagels are slightly lower carb.

So on the low end, a small 3 inch white bagel may contain around 40 grams of carbs. On the high side, a large whole wheat bagel could have up to 60 grams.

Carbs in Cheddar Cheese Bagels

What about a bagel with toppings like cheeses?

Adding cheddar cheese or other cheese toppings slightly reduces the total carbohydrate content.

This is because cheese displace some of the original dough, replacing those carbs and calories with fat and protein instead.

For example, here is the nutrition data for two popular cheese bagel varieties:

Cheddar Cheese Bagel (3-4 inches) Total Carbs
Einstein Bros Cheddar Cheese Bagel 36g
Bruegger’s Cheddar Bagel 39g

As you can see, cheese bagels contain around 10 grams less total carbs than plain bagels on average. However, the amount of carbs reduced depends on the actual amount of cheese topping used.

Some other examples:

– An “Everything” bagel with just a sprinkling of cheeses may still have around 50 grams of carbs.
– A heavily loaded cheese bagel could potentially reduce carbs by 15-20 grams.

So in summary, a cheddar cheese bagel can be estimated to contain around 35-50 grams of total carbohydrates depending on size and preparation.

Net Carbs in Bagels

To calculate net carbs in a bagel, you subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrate.

Most plain bagels contain around 1-3 grams of fiber per serving. Here are some examples:

Bagel (3-4 inches) Total Carbs Fiber Net Carbs
Lender’s, plain 53g 2g 51g
Dave’s Killer Bread, plain 48g 3g 45g
Trader Joe’s, multigrain 45g 4g 41g
Ezekiel, sesame 30g 4g 26g

As you can see, net carbs in a typical plain or cheese bagel are around 40-50 grams, depending on size and fiber content.

Some varieties like Ezekiel brand bagels are significantly lower in net carbs due to their higher fiber flour blend.

Tips for Lower Carb Bagels

If you’re limiting carbs, here are some tips for lowering the carb count in bagels:

– Choose smaller bagels. A 3 inch mini bagel may have 15 fewer grams than a large 5 inch one.

– Go for thinner bagels rather than thick chewy ones. Density adds carbs.

– Select bagels made with whole wheat or multigrain flour for more fiber.

– Try lower-carb “diet” bagel alternatives with added protein and fiber.

– Opt for bagels topped or mixed with seeds, cheeses, meats, or vegetables to displace some flour.

– Consider a bagel “thin” which removes some of the doughy interior. This may save about 10 grams of carbs.

– Split a bagel in half or quarters and only eat one portion. Halving the size can cut carbs significantly.

– Make your own smaller bagels from low-carb dough using almond flour or protein powders.

With smart selections and portions, it’s possible to enjoy bagels while maintaining a low carb, keto, or diabetic diet. A half cheese bagel may contain as little as 15-20 net grams of carbs.

How Bagel Carbs Impact Blood Sugar

The carbohydrates in a bagel will directly affect blood sugar and insulin levels, especially in people with diabetes.

Bagels and other refined wheat products have a high glycemic index. This means the carbohydrates convert rapidly into blood sugar during digestion.

For example, a 4 inch 50 gram carb bagel may cause blood sugar to spike by around 50-60 mg/dL. That’s a significant rise for people needing to control blood sugar.

Protein, fat, and fiber help blunt the impact of carbs on blood sugar. So cheese, seeds, or nut toppings can slightly help slow the absorption of bagel carbs.

But in general, bagels cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. So people with diabetes need to be mindful of portion sizes and incorporate bagels into meals with a healthy balance of proteins and fats. An insulin dose adjustment may also be required.

Tips for Managing Bagels with Diabetes

Here are some tips for people with diabetes eating bagels:

– Stick to half a small 3 inch bagel or less
– Combine with egg whites, nut butters, avocado for more protein and fats
– Take an extra dose of insulin to cover the carb intake
– Avoid large bagels on an empty stomach or by themselves
– Pre-bolus insulin by 15-30 minutes before eating a bagel
– Check glucose 2 hours after eating to see impact and adjust insulin ratio

With smart carb counting and insulin management, people with diabetes can work bagels into their meal plan. Moderation is key.

Simple Bagel Recipes Lower in Carbs

Here are some bagel recipe ideas with fewer carbs:

Cheddar Jalapeno Bagels


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 tbsp chopped jalapenos


  1. Preheat over to 375F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk egg.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry until a thick dough forms.
  5. Divide into 4 equal pieces and shape into bagels.
  6. Top with cheddar and jalapenos.
  7. Bake 15 minutes until lightly browned.

This makes 4 low-carb bagels with only around 3 net carbs each.

Everything Bagels

A tasty low-carb “everything” bagel with all the classic toppings but made with almond flour instead of wheat.


  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together almond flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together egg, olive oil and vinegar.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry until a dough forms.
  5. Divide dough into 4 pieces and shape into bagels.
  6. Mix together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic and onion. Coat bagels in topping.
  7. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown.

This makes 4 tasty everything bagels with only 5 grams of net carbs each.

Healthier Bagel Alternatives

If you want something resembling a bagel for fewer carbs, here are some healthier alternatives:

– Cauliflower bagels – Made by swapping wheat flour for riced cauliflower. Save about 40 grams of carbs.

– Lettuce wraps – Use large lettuce leaves in place of a bagel for keto egg sandwiches. Extremely low carb.

– Egg white “bagels” – Make thin cooked egg white discs as bagel substitutes. Almost zero carbs.

– Cloud bread – Fluffy wheat-free bread can be formed into bagel shapes. Under 5 net carbs per bagel.

– Portobello mushroom caps – Slightly similar texture and shape to bagels when stuffed or topped. 3-5 grams of carbs.

– Avocado halves – Sliced in half, these make great edible bagel replacements for only a few carbs.

Getting creative with vegetable- and protein-based substitutes can allow you to enjoy bagel flavors and toppings while keeping carbs and calories controlled.

Is a Bagel Healthy?

Bagels are not necessarily an unhealthy food when enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. However, they are high in refined carbs.

Here are some considerations regarding the healthiness of bagels:

– High in calories and carbs – A 4 inch bagel can contain 200-300 calories and 50+ grams carbs. This is a significant portion of most people’s daily intake.

– Low nutrient density – Bagels are made with refined wheat flour which is low in fiber and micronutrients compared to whole grains. Plain bagels offer little nutritional value besides calories and carbs.

– Spikes blood sugar – The refined carbs cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion, especially problematic for diabetes management.

– Often high in sodium – On their own, bagels don’t have much sodium. But popular flavors like everything or Asiago can have 500+ mg sodium per serving.

– Filling but not very satiating – The dense dough makes bagels filling but refined grains don’t provide long lasting energy. Hunger can return quickly after eating one plain.

– Easy to overeat – Bagels tend to be consumed in large serving sizes, often over 300 calories each. Their portable nature also makes it easy to mindlessly consume multiple in a sitting.

On the positive side, bagels do provide some nutritional pros:

– Contain some B vitamins like thiamin and folic acid from the enriched flour.

– No sugar added – Unlike muffins or donuts, plain bagels have minimal added sugar, only around 1 gram per serving typically.

– Can be part of balanced breakfast – When topped with protein sources like eggs or avocado, bagels can be an energizing breakfast with fiber, fat and carbs.

Overall, enjoying a bagel occasionally is not detrimental to health when careful with portions and paired with nutrition-dense toppings. But for regular intake, healthier whole grain alternatives would provide more benefits.


A cheddar cheese bagel contains between 35-50 grams of total carbohydrates typically, with around 30-40 grams as net carbs when accounting for fiber. This is based on a standard 3-4 inch bagel.

Compared to plain bagels with around 50-60 grams of carbs, the addition of cheese lowers the carbohydrate content by displacing some dough. However, cheese bagels still contain a significant number of carbs.

When managing diabetes or eating low-carb, be mindful of bagel portion sizes. Combining with protein foods can help slow the blood sugar spike. Low-carb bagel alternatives like those made with almond flour provide an option with far fewer digestible carbohydrates.

Overall, those without dietary restrictions can enjoy bagels like other refined grain products in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Limiting portion sizes to 1-2 small bagels and choosing whole grain varieties will provide the greatest nutritional benefits.

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