National Donut Day and You

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According to Friday, June 5th is National Donut Day. Everyone should take a moment to indulge every now and again, and if donuts are your thing- this is the day for you! BUT it doesn’t mean, that you can’t still make an informed decision about your donut choices and the best way to make sure that your indulgence doesn’t cause future weight loss frustration!

What is a Donut?

Many people aren’t aware that donuts are actually made by deep frying batter, and then topping with icing or additional sugars. Most major chains have removed trans fats from the oils they use to fry the donuts, but according to some individual analyses, these “safe” brands may still contain trace amounts of trans fats that can add up if you indulge too often. Generally, it is recommended that your trans fat intake does not exceed 2 grams per day, and many of these more processed baked goods can carry upwards of .5 grams of trans fats with each serving. Basically, having one donut every now and again is probably no big deal, as long as the rest of your diet is free from trans fats.

What are the Nutrition Facts for a Donut?

According to the nutrition facts for donuts are as follows:

Type of Donut Calories Fat (grams) Carbohydrates (g) Protein (g)
1 Donut Hole 52 2 7 1
1 Small  Donut (3” Diameter) 124 6 16 2
1 Large Donut (4-4.5” Diameter) 299 14 38 5
1 Extra Large Donut (5” Diameter) 487 23 62 8

Clearly, if you are going to have a treat, your best option is to have a donut hole, but is that really realistic??????

Instead, having a small donut (approximately 3 inches in diameter) is probably a better way to go. That way, you will feel satisfied but not too full. Additionally, if you really want to make sure you are indulging with the best intentions, have your donut along with some protein, such as eggs, which will help slow down how quickly the sugar from the donut hits your system.

What if I Indulge Too Much?

If you find yourself elbow deep in some donut-y goodness, don’t despair. Yes, it was probably not the best choice and you may feel really crummy afterward, but you have the opportunity to un-do some of the damage with these healthy choices:

  1. Don’t try to limit calories because you indulged. Wait until you are hungry again (which may happen quickly due to all of the sugar in the donuts) and have a small meal with protein and non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables provide fiber which will help steady your blood sugar. Good choices include vegetables that you could eat raw if you wanted to: broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, greens, etc.
  2. Don’t kill yourself in the gym… Exercise does absolutely burn calories, however it is a bad idea to try and “work off” your indulgence with a marathon workout session. Instead, go to the gym and focus on intensity. Your goal should be to push yourself as hard as you can for short bouts, which helps your body metabolize the extra sugar you consumed most effectively.

For example, if you want to do a cardio session, plan to do intervals of 20-30 seconds working very hard (7-8 out of 10 if 10 is the hardest you could work) followed by a slower effort (3-4 out of 10) for 1 minute. Repeat these intervals up to 10 times as you are able.

If you are more in the mood for weight training, focus on going a little heavier than you normally do and focus on adding power to the movement. An example would be squats taking 2-3 seconds to drop into a squat position and an explosive 1 second to return to standing. This type of explosive movement also helps to process extra sugar.

If you are interested in learning more about how exercise can help you manage your blood sugar, or ways to improve your diet, Vita Fitness and Physical Therapy is here to help! Our nationally certified trainers and therapists will provide you the resources you need to make the best choices for a fit life!


By : Colleen Baughn, OTR, CES 

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Vita Physical Therapy

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