Doughnut Downsides: Health Risks and Disadvantages

It’s hard to imagine anything better than munching on a few decadent doughnuts when you’re in the mood to treat yourself. Unfortunately, however, most people are blind to the harmful effects of sugary treats on our bodies.

Doughnuts can increase body weight and lead to health problems such as high blood sugar, cancer, and obesity. The problem is they taste delicious when warm, and there are so many new flavors on the market. The truth is, you shouldn’t be eating doughnuts too frequently, and if you are, there are many reasons why you should stop.

You already know that doughnuts are not good for your health. Still, because they taste so good, you may give them a free pass onto your morning snack plate. However, the truth is one doughnut can contain almost 500 calories — that’s one-fourth of your total calories a day!  

Doughnuts make some people feel good, and they can’t resist eating them to satisfy their appetite. But here are some reasons why eating donuts can hurt your mind and body. So keep reading to find out why you should take your doughnut intake down a notch.

1. Doughnuts are loaded with calories.

If you are on a low-calorie diet, it’s not a good idea to have a doughnut with your cheat meal. Although they are delicious and tempting, one of these rings can have 300 to 500 calories. That’s one-fourth of all the calories a healthy adult should consume in one day.

2. They are high in sugar.

One doughnut can have an average of 30 grams of sugar. Now, let’s be honest: who feels satisfied with just one doughnut? You can easily eat more than one to start feeling full. But according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, sugars should not be more than 10 percent of a person’s daily calorie intake. A high-sugar diet can put you at significant risk of heart disease, aside from being the culprit for causing insulin resistance and diabetes.

As your body tries to deal with so much sugar, it pumps out tons of insulin, which leads to a massive sugar crash. As a result, you’ll feel hungry soon after your breakfast – and you’ll crave refined carbs even more. 

3. Cancer is associated with doughnuts.

Because doughnuts are high in calories, added sugar, and fat, it is at increased risk of causing cancer. Of course, that may not happen if you eat one doughnut every once in a while. The issue lies when this treat becomes a regular food in your diet. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, many types of cancer are related to obesity and unhealthy nutrition. Synthetic flavors, additives, trans fat, and preservatives are also present in doughnuts and can cause cancer. 

 Remember the concept that police officers always have a box of doughnuts with them? That’s not a habit you should develop if you want to live a healthy life.

4. Doughnuts are not that tasty when they are cold.

Why do you think Krispy Kreme doughnuts are so famous? That’s because they are always served fresh and warm, picked up right off the cooling rack. But that’s not always the case with all doughnut shops. Depending on where you are, these fried goods may have been sitting there for hours. Not to mention that some may be there for days before they are sold. It isn’t easy to find freshly made doughnuts at grocery stores, for example. 

5. Some people eat doughnuts “for the ‘gram.”

Doughnut shops are very successful at embellishing their goods with loads of creative toppings, and some people are drawn by their looks, especially these days when everything is going on social media. A beautiful doughnut is an excellent prop for your photos and can yield hundreds of likes, but that doesn’t mean that they are healthy for you.

6. More dough than icing.

The dough-to-icing ratio on doughnuts can be a little bit off. So if you are a fan of filled and iced doughnuts, the reality is that they may not always satisfy your cravings for icing. Instead, all you are getting is fried bread, which is not worth all the calories, sugar and fat, and harmful ingredients that we all tend to ignore when indulging.

7. Doughnut puns are addictive — and lame.

How many connections to the word “DOUGHNUT” have you already made reading this article? Doughnut puns are addictive. When you realize you are replacing “do not” with “doughnut” almost every time. So, “donut” do this. The doughnut jokes are getting old.

8. Some flavors are just gross.

Who in their right mind would eat a pickle doughnut? Well, lots of people, apparently. So much so that the chain Hurts Donut has a pickled flavored doughnut on its menu. They even describe their fried cakes as breaking the “rules with their uniform-free toppings and amped-up flavors.” Insert exploding head emoji here. 

These terrible doughnut flavors don’t stop there. Hit a Dunkin Donuts in South Korea, and you will find a Kimchi doughnut and Pork Floss doughnut in China. But those are not the grossest flavors. Some places serve mustard olive doughnuts and wasabi cheese doughnuts. 

9. Doughnuts will give you some extra pounds.

You already know that doughnuts are filled with unhealthy ingredients that are the culprits for obesity and cancer. Eating too many doughnuts will make you put on that unwanted extra weight. Think of how hard it is to lose a pound. Is a doughnut worth all of that time spent at the gym working out?

10. Doughnuts have little nutrients.

 Although they taste like heaven, this fluffy fried cake has little health benefits—almost none. We can’t even say that the fat on them gives you energy for the day because most of it is saturated and trans fat, which will only make you feel bloated. Unfortunately, doughnuts are empty calories that won’t do you any good in the long term.

11. Doughnuts are not made with fresh ingredients.

Doughnuts are made of sugar and white flour, which we can keep in the pantry for months (sometimes even years) without going bad. Of course, it’s doubtful that a chain will be using years-old flour and sugar because they go through so many doughnuts, but the bottom line is that sugar and white flour are processed ingredients — not their raw material.

12. Doughnuts have lots of sodium.

Although sodium is usually related to salt, it doesn’t mean that food needs to be salty to have lots of sodium. For example, you may not realize that sugar overpowers the salty taste while indulging in a sweet treat. The problem is that sodium is a genuine thing that can cause several heart problems. 

The American Heart Association recommends that a healthy adult consumes no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium. It might seem like a lot, but when you think that one doughnut contains approximately 150 milligrams and represents 10 percent of your total intake, that perspective changes.​​

13. Doughnuts can lead to several blood sugar problems. 

Eating doughnuts for breakfast sounds delicious. Maybe you go to sleep thinking about that fried cake you’re going to have in the morning, but we’ve got some bad news. Medical News Today reported that some people experience the Somogyi effect and the dawn phenomenon, leading to high blood sugar levels in the morning. 

Unfortunately, doughnuts are nothing but carbs. If you wake up with high blood sugar, then doughnuts will further elevate it and result in hyperglycemia. Ultimately, it may increase your risk of insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.

14. Doughnuts can cause dental problems.

Did you think the only problem with doughnuts was the risk of developing cancer or obesity? Nope. Eating doughnuts can also make you go to the dentist more frequently, but not for the good old annual teeth cleaning and check-ups. Donuts can cause you to get cavities very quickly, causing bleeding gums anytime you try to eat something. 

Don’t ignore your dentist’s advice to stop eating high amounts of sugar and start taking better care of your teeth to avoid a bad diagnosis and possibly even severe tooth damage. Also, don’t count on your dentist to save your teeth and gums with expensive dental treatments because that is very unlikely once the damage is done. 

15. Doughnuts can be bad for your mental health.

If that is not obvious by now, then read on. Eating doughnuts may cause weight gain, lower confidence, and self-consciousness. In addition, if you develop health problems such as cancer and diabetes, that can become a significant stress factor in your life. But more importantly, the ingredients in donuts can cloud your judgment and result in impulsive decisions. 

In closing

 We all wish these doughnut facts weren’t true, but the good news is that if you already have a healthy diet, having the occasional doughnut won’t make a big difference. However, if giving up on doughnuts is too hard, don’t worry. There’s always a solution for almost anything these days. You can make healthy versions of this treat using stevia, honey, and whole wheat flour and baking them instead of frying them. This will significantly reduce the health risks that doughnuts pose.

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This article was co-authored by our team of writers and editors who share one thing in common: their passion for food and drinks!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco works as a New York-based editor at Foodrinke, driven by his lifelong love for food. His culinary journey began in childhood, as he eagerly assisted his mother with her local sandwich and bakery business, relishing every opportunity to sample her creations. Known among family and friends as an easy eater, JC has a particular affinity for Chinese, Italian, Mexican, and Peruvian cuisine. At Foodrinke, he channels his passion for food into his work, sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with readers.