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Starchy white bagels — and flavored varieties like onion, garlic, poppy seed, and "everything" bagels — are made with refined wheat flour, which has been stripped of the fiber and nutrients that give whole grains their health benefits. That's bad enough, but my biggest issue with bagels is that they're incredibly dense, which means they're also incredibly caloric. In fact, the standard bagel is the caloric equivalent of four to five slices of junky white bread. I much prefer whole-grain English muffins, bread, or sandwich thins, which offer a more appropriate portion of starch for one meal. For times when nothing but a real bagel will do, though, go for whole wheat or oat bran (fortunately, many stores now carry them), scoop out some of the bready filling on the inside, and top it with a thin spread of light cream cheese, or, better yet, heart-healthy nut butter.