Is Cream Cheese Bad For You?

Cream cheese is a polarizing food, but many people enjoy this creamy and tangy treat. It's common to see cream cheese offered as toppings for bagels or as an ingredient in many dishes, but is it good for you? According to Health, the main ingredients in this food are pasteurized milk and cream, salt, carob bean gum, and cheese culture. A single ounce has about 100 calories and about two grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and less than two grams of carbs. There are not many nutrients in cream cheese, although it does contain vitamin A, calcium, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium.

The main concern with cream cheese is that it is high in fat. A 2016 Harvard study found that while consuming full-fat dairy does not necessarily increase your risk of developing heart disease, you can reduce your risk by replacing dairy fat with polyunsaturated fat found in nuts and seeds. All things considered, cream cheese isn't the best option for your health but there's no reason to avoid it altogether if you enjoy it. If you like to eat cream cheese, make sure you are also consuming plenty of plant-based fats from foods like avocados, olives, and nuts.

Are bagels and cream cheese bad for you?

The most popular food to pair with cream cheese is the bagel. This breakfast combo is enjoyed by many people as a tasty and satisfying meal in the morning. If it's okay to enjoy cream cheese in moderation, is it also okay to enjoy a bagel with cream cheese in moderation too? Yes, but with some important caveats. The biggest concern that dietitians have with bagels is that they are not very filling (via Eat This, Not That!). Although they are high in calories, they are often low in filling fiber. "Bagels, even wheat bagels, don't have much fiber, and if included regularly in your diet, it may affect your gastrointestinal tract if you aren't getting fiber from other foods, such as beans or lentils," Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, said.

Fiber is important for digestive health and helps to keep you full after eating. Cream cheese does not contain any fiber either, so this breakfast combo will probably not keep you satisfied for very long. This can lead you to eat more calories in the long run to fill yourself up. You can make your bagel breakfast more satisfying by opting for a whole-grain bagel that will add some fiber to your meal. Other bagel toppings, like spinach, tomatoes, and smoked salmon pair well with cream cheese and can turn your breakfast into a nutrient-packed meal.