It's hard to beat the taste of a warm glazed doughnut in the morning. However, it may not taste as good after you find out the calories in a doughnut. Get the nutrition facts and seek healthier options to start your day off on the right foot.
A glazed doughnut from Dunkin' Donuts has 260 calories, while one from Krispy Kreme boasts 190 calories. In addition to their high calorie content, these treats are loaded with sugar and saturated fats.
Glazed Doughnut Nutrition and Calories
It's no surprise why glazed doughnuts are so popular. They're the perfect combination of soft and buttery bread dipped in a sugary glaze. That delicious taste, however, comes with a price in the form of calories, sugar and saturated fat.
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The Dunkin' Donuts nutrition and calorie guide shows that one glazed doughnut has 260 calories, with 12 grams of sugar, 6 grams of saturated fat and 14 grams of total fat. If your doughnut is glazed in chocolate, it increases the calories to 340, with 17 grams of sugar and 19 grams of fat.
How many calories are in a doughnut varies from one brand to the next, depending on the ingredients used and the size of the doughnut. For instance, one Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut has 190 calories versus the 260 calories listed on the Dunkin' Donuts nutrition and calorie guide. If you have the option, go with the Krispy Kreme version to save some calories.
Doughnuts are also chock-full of unhealthy trans fat and saturated fats. According to the Mayo Clinic, trans fats not only raise your levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) but also lower the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). A diet high in trans fats may increase your risk of heart disease.
While many companies have removed trans fats from their products, some have just simply replaced them with higher levels of saturated fats. This is important to keep in mind, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 20 grams per day. To put this in perspective, just one Dunkin' Donut chocolate glazed doughnuts has 9 grams of saturated fat.
Health Implications of Sugar
You know that tired feeling you have not long after eating a doughnut in the morning? Blame the sugar!
The American Heart Association states that men should have no more than 36 grams of sugar per day, which is about 9 teaspoons. Women should not exceed 25 grams of sugar per day, or 6 teaspoons. A single Dunkin' Donuts glazed doughnut has 12 grams of sugar.
What's the problem with too much sugar? A September 2017 review in Current Opinion in Cardiology has found that those who drank sugary beverages were at a higher risk for weight gain, type II diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Sugar doesn't affect just your physical health. It also wreaks havoc on mental health. A July 2017 cohort study in Scientific Reports has linked the consumption of high-sugar foods and beverages to depression. As the researchers point out, decreasing sugar intake may improve mental health.
This doesn't mean you can never enjoy a doughnut again, but you do need to be aware of the health implications of eating too many doughnuts. If you're craving something sweet, try a healthier doughnut option or just enjoy one every once in a while.
Read more: The Health Risks of Eating Donuts
Healthier Doughnut Options
Got a doughnut craving? Try a doughnut hole instead. One Dunkin' Donut glazed donut hole has 70 calories and 3 grams of sugar, which is much less compared to a regular doughnut.
You can also lower the calories and sugar in doughnuts by making your own. Experiment in the kitchen with healthy ingredients like coconut or almond flour, stevia, dark chocolate, berries and more.
For example, this paleo blueberry doughnut recipe contains wholesome ingredients like blueberries, almond flour, yogurt and honey. It has 369 calories per serving, but it's packed with 8 grams of protein and other key nutrients.
For those looking to satisfy a chocolate doughnut craving without all the fat, this chocolate doughnut recipe is a smart choice. It's made with black beans and protein powder, which gives each doughnut 12 grams of protein. Overall, there are several ways to get your morning doughnut fix in while still keeping your health goals in mind.
- Dunkin' Donuts: "Nutrition"
- American Heart Association: "Added Sugars"
- Current Opinion in Cardiology: "Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Cardiometabolic Health."
- Scientific Reports: "Sugar Intake From Sweet Food and Beverages, Common Mental Disorder and Depression: Prospective Findings From the Whitehall II Study"
- Krispy Kreme: "Original Glazed Doughnut"
- Mayo Clinic: "Trans Fat Is Double Trouble for Your Heart Health"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Saturated Fat"
- Dunkin' Donuts: "Munchkins Donut Holes"
- FoodFit.com: Baked Soufganiyot -- Low Fat Israeli Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts