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Celebrate National Doughnut Day with minimal diet guilt

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – The first Friday in June is celebrated as ‘National Doughnut Day.’

While doughnuts are certainly not known for their ‘healthy’ qualities, according to Lindsay Malone, a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic, it’s okay to indulge a little – but it’s smart to have a plan to keep the damage to a minimum.

“Doughnuts, typically, are pretty high in saturated fat and sugar, but if you’re using it as an indulgence for one of your favorite foods, you can have one, and make it a smart choice,” she said. “So, instead of eating two or three doughnuts, if you want to try a couple or maybe split them in half, share them with family or friends, or maybe even get the doughnut holes or mini doughnuts instead.” 

Malone said reducing the quantity of doughnuts consumed will allow folks to enjoy the indulgence without adding hundreds of calories.

While doughnuts pair well with coffee – Malone suggests making it a black coffee.

Many coffee drinks are flavored or sweetened with creams and sugars and can have as many calories – if not more – than a doughnut.

For people who like to have doughnuts more than once in a while, Malone suggests making them at home.

“If it’s something you want to have on a more regular basis, you might consider making a healthier version at home using a mini muffin tin, with some better ingredients, and that way you can enjoy it and make it a little more nutritionally sound,” she said.

Doughnuts are often thought of as a breakfast treat, but Malone said they’re not the best way to start the day. 

“Doughnuts are essentially fried cakes, with sometimes frosting, or other fillings, so it’s really more like a dessert,” she said. “If you want to have really lasting, sustained energy, throughout the day, you’re going to want to start with something that has a little bit more nutritional value – protein, healthy fat, fiber – and you’re really not going to get any of those things from a doughnut.” 

Malone said people who wish to celebrate National Doughnut Day with a high calorie treat should be sure to make good choices the rest of the day.  She recommends eating whole foods and getting plenty of movement to balance the indulgence and still feel pretty good.