When you think of the phrase, “going on a diet,” you probably imagine eating nothing but fruits and salads.

However, recent studies have shown that a balanced diet is better for overall health and weight loss, rather than eliminating entire food groups from your diet just because they have carbs or fat.

This means you don’t have to feel bad about eating bagels, because although they are known for their fat and sodium content, they can also contain valuable whole grains that give you fiber, folic acid and magnesium—all essential nutrients that make your body healthier and make it easier to lose weight the healthy way.

Feel free to eat a bagel for breakfast, lunch, or a snack, because there are many ways to add healthy foods to bagels that will support a healthy diet and weight loss.

Bagels for Breakfast

You can enjoy a bagel for breakfast without guilt if you pair it with other healthy toppings that will only add to your daily nutrients and support your health.

Topping half a whole wheat or oat bran bagel with sliced strawberries or blueberries is a healthy and delicious breakfast.

Strawberries and blueberries contain antioxidants that will help your body get rid of toxins, making it stronger to fight diseases.

You could also top your bagel with an egg, fried or scrambled.

Eggs are rich in potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D, all of which are helpful contributions to a balanced and healthy diet which will ultimately help you lose weight, paired with a good exercise routine.

Bagels for Lunch or a Snack

A bagel for lunch is a satisfying and wholesome choice when paired with the right toppings.

Half a whole wheat or oat bran bagel with a slice of tomato and a slice of low-fat cheese will not add a whole lot more calories compared to eating the bagel plain—many types of cheese contain less than 100 calories per ounce.

Tomatoes are also good for you, being low in sodium and boosting your diet with vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, as well as phosphorous and dietary fiber.

“Good” fats like monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are better for you than no fat intake at all.

The most important step you can take towards losing weight is eliminating truly unhealthy foods that are filled with sodium, sugar and fat, so as long as you are making wholesome food choices and maintaining a balanced diet, you will be on your way to weight loss.