In partnership with BetterBrand.
For my sister and I, growing up in the world of competitive swimming meant that we devoured carbs at all times of the day. For dinner, we’d chow down on pasta. For lunch, we loved a good sandwich. And for breakfast, our carb of choice was always bagels. They were the perfect fuel on the way to the pool.
It wasn’t until college (and a full stop in the pool) that I realized just how many carbs I consumed. Having literally been raised on these foods, I still craved bread, specifically bagels… a lot.
When I learned of BetterBrand, a brand that makes bagels without the huge carb load, naturally, I was very interested. Into the cart it went!
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Freedom And Food For All
You might be wondering, why bother reinventing the bagel? BetterBrand believes in a world of food freedom, meaning you can eat what you want while doing good for your body. On top of this, it means not feeling restricted by conventional diet culture and unhealthy standards. The brand seeks to give people the freedom to indulge in life’s good-tasting food and to feel good about doing it.
Similar to the Impossible meats, BetterBrand has transformed bagels from being one of the most carb-heavy foods you can eat to a low-carb food.
In terms of nutrition facts, the Better Bagel has 5 net carbs and 0 grams of added sugar, while regular bagels have 50 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar. To replace the sugar and carbs, BetterBrand has added protein, giving you more of what you do want – and less of what you don’t. In practice, this means that your bagel has the same protein content as four eggs, plus the net carb content of two slices of banana. These low-carb, high-protein bagels are also non-GMO verified and plant based.
Updated June 2023: BetterBrand has also launched The Better Bun, available in three flavors – Brioche, Pretzel and Sesame – that similarly boasts 4g net carbs, 20g protein and no added sugar. It’s also all natural, 100% plant-based and non-GMO verified.
When I walked out to my porch to get the box, I thought I had inadvertently bought gym shoes and forgot about them! The packaging is slick and modern – this is a DTC-ified experience for sure. I opted to sample both the Everything Better Bagel and The Classic Better Bagel flavors. Each comes in a pack of 4 in sealed bags. The instructions recommend putting the bagels in the fridge or freezer when you get them to best preserve them. I chose to put them in the fridge, which gives them a “best by” date of eight months from now.
I’m always a little skeptical of “replacement” foods for the pure sake of ingredients. I really like to know what is going into my body, especially when eating fairly processed foods. The ingredients seem pretty decent compared to the generic brand bagels I had laying around – around 10 ingredients for BetterBrand and 20 for the generic. Additionally, while I can’t pronounce most of the ingredients in the generic bagels, I actually recognize the ingredients list: water, modified wheat starch, wheat protein isolates, potato starch, prebiotic inulin fiber, extra virgin olive oil, yeast, salt, and enzymes. I’m no nutritionist, but to me, that’s a great start in understanding that less of the bad stuff is going in my body.
A Familiar Taste
When I pulled the bagels out, I noticed they were pretty squishy, so I wasn’t sure how they would taste. I opted to toast and butter my first bagel, which was The Everything Better Bagel ($16 for 4 bagels). It completely blew my expectations out of the water – it’s the right amount of squishy, perfectly flavor-filled, and doesn’t leave me with a gross onion aftertaste like many everything bagels do. It’s a must-try for any everything bagel-lovers.
I also tried the The Classic Better Bagel ($16 for 4 bagels) flavor. Like the Everything flavor, it is squishy, but not too squishy, and serves as a great vessel for the chicken salad I typically enjoy at lunch. I don’t think I would’ve known the difference between it and the generic brand I have in my house, except for maybe the squishiness pre-toast.
Overall, the taste of these low-carb, high-protein bagels pleasantly surprised me! I was really expecting a fabricated, obviously-replacement taste, but I truly felt like I was indulging in a bagel like the good old days.
I’m thrilled to know that bagels are just the beginning of BetterBrand’s journey to transform food. The brand is on a mission to “create a world in which we have the freedom to experience pleasure and feel good about it,” and after trying its first product, I’m ready to book my one way ticket on the BetterBrand express.