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Doughnuts vs. Bagels: Which Is the Healthier Breakfast Option?
Doughnuts vs. Bagels: Which Is the Healthier Breakfast Option?
Doughnuts, even the plain kind, are perhaps one of the most fattening breakfast options available. However, that doesn’t stop millions of people from indulging in these sweet treats for breakfast. On the other hand, bagels can be considered a much more traditional breakfast food than doughnuts ever will be. But while bagels only seem healthier because they are not deep-fried like doughnuts, they are surprisingly unhealthy as a breakfast option (or as an option for any time of day) and may, in fact, even be unhealthier than donuts.
Health Issues With Doughnuts
Doughnuts are not ideal for breakfast because of their high calorie content and also their high carbohydrate content. Even as a snack, they are unhealthy, so your best course of action is to limit how many doughnuts you munch on. You can eat more doughnuts if you correspondingly increase your daily exercise in order to burn off all those extra calories and carbohydrates that you are taking in, but that is not realistic for most people due to the stresses of life. A typical doughnut, such as a simple glazed doughnut, already brings with it 229 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates. Other, fancier types of doughnuts such as those with chocolate or filling will easily increase those totals by a significant margin.
Health Issues With Bagels
While bagels are generally a more traditional breakfast food than doughnuts, they are surprisingly unhealthy. They may be even worse than doughnuts in some nutritional aspects. Calorie-wise, you are basically just as bad off eating one bagel as you are eating one doughnut. For example, one basic, plain bagel has 215 calories, which is just a little bit better (but not significantly better) than the calories in one glazed doughnut. However, carbohydrate-wise, just one plain bagel takes a harder toll on you because it comes with 42 grams of carbohydrates. The real shocker about bagels is their extremely high content of sodium. Just one plain bagel can already account for a good chunk of your daily recommended intake value of sodium. A plain bagel carries with it an astounding 443 milligrams of sodium, and just a few bagels can already take you well beyond your daily intake recommendations for sodium.
Which is Healthier?
Doughnuts are just a little bit healthier than bagels as a breakfast food. The reasoning comes down to two things: carbohydrates and sodium. Again, while this can vary based on the type of doughnut that you have, carbohydrates and sodium are not as high in doughnuts as they are in bagels. While bagels have, generally, fewer calories, they are worse for you in terms of carbohydrates and sodium content. If you add additional things to your bagel–such as the ever-popular cream cheese spread–you will only add to the already higher amounts of both c
tened cocoa powder
3 tbsp. milk
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. melted butter
- Grease a large bowl with cooking spray. In a small, microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, add milk. Microwave until lukewarm, 40 seconds. Add a teaspoon of sugar and stir to dissolve, then sprinkle over yeast and let sit until frothy, about 8 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ¼ cup sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Pour in yeast mixture, mix to combine, then add in dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic and only slightly tacky, adding more flour a teaspoon at a time if needed, about 5 minutes. Form into a ball then place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Punch down dough, then turn onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a ½” thick rectangle.
- Using a doughnut cutter or 3″ and 1″ biscuit cutters, punch out your doughnuts. Knead any scraps together and punch out more doughnuts or holes. Place doughnuts and holes onto baking sheets, cover with dish towel, and let rise again, 40 minutes to 1 hour more.
- Grease basket of air fryer with cooking spray and add 2 doughnuts and 2 doughnut holes at a time, making sure doughnuts don’t touch. Cook at 375° for 6 minutes, until deeply golden. Place on cooling rack and repeat with remaining dough.
- Dip doughnuts in glaze (see below) or follow instructions for cinnamon sugar. Return to cooling rack and let set for 5 minutes before serving.
- In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
- In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk.
- In a large shallow bowl, whisk together cinnamon and sugar. Brush doughnuts with melted butter and toss in cinnamon su
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12 Dunkin’ Donuts foods to order when you’re trying to be healthy
- Dunkin’ Donuts has plenty of offerings that are calorie and fat-conscious but are still incredibly tasty.
- The DD Smart menu offers multigrain oatmeal which is packed with protein and dietary fiber.
- If you’re craving a doughnut, the French cruller is not a bad option. It has 220 calories and 10 grams of sugar.
Dunkin’ Donuts has been a New England institution for more than half a century, serving up all sorts of delicious coffees and bakery treats. But in a land of all things donuts, bagels, and “extra extra,” is healthy Dunkin’ Donuts food an impossible reality?
It certainly doesn’t have to be! Dunks has plenty of offerings that are calorie and fat-conscious, but are still incredibly tasty. They even have a healthier DD Smart menu, filled with sensible options. That said, if you have a hankering for a donut, there are still options for you too.
Obviously, the best tip is to enjoy your food and eat everything in moderation, but with these healthy Dunkin’ Donuts food options, you can still treat yourself and run on Dunkin’.
Bagels often get a bad rap in the nutritional world, and Dunkin’ Donuts’ bagels are generally no exception. However, if you can’t get through the morning without a bagel, spring for whole wheat.
This bagel landed itself on the DD Smart menu for good reason: a whole bagel only has 320 calories and two grams of fat. Additionally, one bagel has 28% of your daily intake of dietary fiber and 13 grams of protein. With this many nutritional facts in this bagel’s favor, you can definitely afford to add some cream cheese.
Like the bagel before it, the big draw of this DD Smart menu item is the whole grains. This cup of oatmeal has five grams each of protein and dietary fiber.
The brown sugar flavor will give you the burst of sweetness you need, and you can even top your cup with some dried fruit. Just beware if you have a nut allergy—this oatmeal may contain traces of almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
A breakfast sandwich is many people’s go-to in the morning. It’s a quick way to get some carbs, protein, and some tasty breakfast breads. Good news is, if you want some healthy Dunkin’ Donuts food, you don’t have to give up your beloved breakfast sandwich.
This sandwich is on the DD Smart menu, along with its cousin, the regular egg and cheese sandwich, because it’s at least 25% reduced in calories, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium as compared to the sausage, egg, and cheese croissant. So if you’re looking for a healthy twist on your fave BEC, this might be your best bet!
If you need a lil’ espresso to get through your day, but you still want some healthy Dunkin’ Donuts food, a Latte Lite is a great option. You can get a Latte Lite in any size, and you don’t even have to compromise on flavor—there are vanilla, caramel, and mocha options!
These drinks are a good choice because they’re made with skim milk, and as such they are around 25% lower in fat and calories than a regular DD latte. If you order a small, you can get a little coffee indulgence for less than 100 calories. Lite indeed!
If you ask me, a muffin is just a clever excuse to eat a cupcake for breakfast…without the frosting, of course. Most of the muffins at Dunkin’ take this idea pretty literally, boasting enough calories, fat, and sugar to make these baked goods as good as a dessert.
The OG blueberry muffin from Dunkin’ Donuts was one of the worst offenders here, but the reduced-fat version has made its way onto the DD Smart menu. As the name suggests, this version has 25% less fat than the original. However, these muffins are still pretty hefty. Try shaving even more fat and cals by saving half of the treat for later.
Sometimes you get to Dunkin’ Donuts and just aren’t in the mood for coffee. Hey, it happens! On the rare days when I’m not feeling coffee, I usually spring for unsweetened iced tea. If you choose to get your tea without sugar and extra flavoring, a large will only run you 10 paltry calories.
My favorite is the green tea, which is chock full of added health benefits. But if you can’t stand unsweetened tea, you can get the new fruited varieties for less than 100 calories as well.
Honestly, English muffins are criminally underrated. I much prefer them to bagels because I think these babies get a lot crisper in the toaster than the rest of their bakery counterparts. The English muffins at Dunkin’ Donuts are sure to satisfy.
An English muffin off the Dunkin’ menu clocks in at 140 calories, with 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and only half a gram of fat. Plus, this bakery item is on the DD Smart menu because it has 25% less calories, fat, and sodium than a DD plain bagel. Maybe our neighbors across the pond got something right in terms of breakfast breads?
I honestly don’t think you had a real New England childhood unless a PTA mom brought Munchkins in to every single class party throughout elementary school. These donut holes are a healthy Dunkin’ Donut food because they satisfy your craving for a donut without wrecking your whole diet.
Most flavors of these treats only clock in at 70 calories a pop, so a Munchkin is a great way to get that great donut taste without going overboard on sugar and fat. You can even have two or three without blowing your healthy eating (we won’t tell if you sneak a few more!).
If you can’t have your coffee without a little something extra added in (like flavoring), a flavor shot would be the better option as opposed to a flavor swirl. You can get a flavor shot in hot or iced coffee, and a lot of your fave swirl flavors also come in shot versions.
According to the official nutrition info on the Dunkin’ Donuts website, flavor shots are unsweetened and sugar-free, which will save you plenty of extra calories. Plus, there’s a wider range of shots versus swirls, from classic mocha and caramel, to more exotic flavors like blueberry and coconut.
Okay, but the real reason people go to Dunkin’ is for the donuts. Can healthy Dunkin’ Donuts food include donuts? It can if you get the French cruller. This donut consistently tops lists of the healthiest donut options at Dunkin’ Donuts.
Each French cruller from Dunkin’ only has 220 calories and 10 grams of sugar. As far as donuts go, the French cruller is practically a health food. Sure, you probably shouldn’t have on every day, but choosing this as an occasional treat won’t wreck anyone’s diet.
Original glazed doughnut
So maybe you want a donut that’s a little more…American? If one little glazed Munchkin isn’t doing it for you, try a full glazed donut. This donut is still under 300 calories, so it’s perfectly within a healthy calorie range for breakfast.
Plus, there’s only 12 grams of sugar, which isn’t too terrible for a bakery treat. Sure, with this option you’re not getting crazy fillings or drizzles, but sometimes simple is definitely better.
Bavarian cream doughnut
That said, if you’re missing some filling in your donut with the previous two options, you can order a Bavarian Kreme donut. This donut clocks in at 270 calories, making it one of the lower calorie options on the Dunkin’ Donuts menu.
Plus, even with all the delicious cream, there’s only 9 grams of sugar per donut. So, if you get a fairly simple coffee or tea to pair with this donut, you can get away with having a little bit of morning indulgence.
Healthy Dunkin’ Donuts food definitely sounds like a myth, but clearly it’s not impossible! If you hit up Dunkin’ on the regular, you can walk in with confidence knowing that you have plenty of options to make smart choices. You can still “run on Dunkin’,” but with these choices, you won’t need to go for