Bagels and donuts have had their differences over the years…there’s been a big debate over which is better and honestly this is a touch call. I’ve always been a  doughnut fan but found that as I grew older I fell away from the sweet little treat and have actually started eating a lot more bagels…

…What’s the difference between the two though…are bagels really that much better than donuts for you?

In today’s article we’ll be going into all the different details of this and will also be able to distinguish exactly what the differences (other than the obvious ones) between the two are and offer some good advice for anyone that might be wondering.

And in case YOU were wondering I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to choose between the two although I DO know that all bagels will have a special place in my heart and is probably the one that I eat the most out of the two. I think the thing I like about bagels so much is just the fact that it goes good with so much and can really make pretty much anything into a nice sandwich or snack for not too much cash…can’t beat that!

Follow along because in today’s article I’ll be going over some of the distinct differences between the two as well as offer some insights into why you might like on over the other.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="670"]English: Another cinnamon raisin bagel. This w... English: Another cinnamon raisin bagel. This was bought at a Dunkin’ Donuts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

Bagels have gone back hundreds of years and were actually had their debut out in Poland, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the history of bagels:

Contrary to some beliefs, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan III Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. It was actually invented much earlier in Kraków, Poland, as a competitor to the obwarzanek, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent.

Linguist Leo Rosten wrote in “The Joys of Yiddish” about the first known mention of the word bajgiel in the “Community Regulations” of the city of Kraków in 1610, which stated that the item was given as a gift to women in childbirth.

In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of the Polish national diet, and a staple of the Slavic diet generally. Its name derives from the Yiddish word ‘beygal’ from the German dialect word ‘beugel,’ meaning ‘ring’ or ‘bracelet.’

And likewise here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the origins of the doughnut:

Doughnuts have a disputed history. One theory suggests they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers, Indeed, in the 19th century, doughnuts were sometimes referred to as one kind of oliekoek (a Dutch word literally meaning “oil cake”), a “sweetened cake fried in fat.”

Hanson Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship when he was only 16 years old. Gregory was dissatisfied with the greasiness of doughnuts twisted into various shapes and with the raw center of regular doughnuts. He claimed to have punched a hole in the center of dough with the ship’s tin pepper box, and later taught the technique to his mother.

According to anthropologist Paul R. Mullins, the first cookbook mentioning doughnuts was an 1803 English volume which included doughnuts in an appendix of American recipes. By the mid-19th century, the doughnut looked and tasted like today’s doughnut, and was viewed as a thoroughly American food.

As you can see there are a lot of differences between the two in terms of origins but actually aren’t that different when you think about it…

…Although the bagel is much older than it’s sugary cousin there’s still some pretty obvious similarities (other than the shape!) which were things that I really found interesting.

Bagels vs. Donuts

Now comes the age-old debate…the donut or the bagel…

This is a really interesting question for a lot of people but I think is going to come down to three simple factors:


I think we all know the obvious differences in texture among the two but how does this translate to the final bite? In my opinion this is more of a personal choice and although bagels and donuts have a wide range of textures and consistencies this is a big reason for people’s different opinions of them and plays a big part in what people pick for their flavors.


Another obvious thing is the flavor of these things. Now donuts are sweet while bagels not so much (although they certainly can be) but I think this is probably the main reason people differ on their opinions of the two. The big difference in flavor is going to cause a lot of differing opinions on the two and is probably going to be your best bet when it comes to figuring out what you like in each. Personally this is another thing that I really have to be in the mood for…if I’ve got a sugar craving then I’m going to choose the donut over the bagel nine times out of ten but this once again something that you’ll have to make your own decision about.


Finally is the ingredients/nutritional content of the two and this is another big deciding factor on bagels and donuts. Donuts are obviously a little sweeter than bagels and because of this a lot of people opt OUT of getting them but are they really that bad? Below I’ve included a side-by-side comparison of the two so you can get a better idea of how the two stack up…

Bagel vs. Donut

Final Verdict

At the end of the day I really think this is going to be a more personal decision on your part. I really think this is dependent on a lot of things but I’d say if you’re in the mood for something sweet then you really can’t go wrong with the donut and likewise if it’s breakfast time and you’re looking for something on the go then the bagel is going to be a great choice for a lot of different reasons.

Really there’s no true winner between the bagel and the donut. Both have different things that are appealing about them and because of that I think people will always like the two.

Of course if you’ve got any feedback or comments about what you read here (maybe you really think bagels are better?) then feel free to leave it in the feedback section below and I’d be more than happy to take a look at whatever it is you might be having trouble with – until next time!