Food & Nutrition

It's National Donut Day! Here's How to Celebrate in a Healthy Way

If you haven’t heard the news, let us do your tastebuds a favor: It’s one of two–yes, two!–National Donut Days! While many chains like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts offer free donuts for customers on the June version of the holiday, we’re not above celebrating this tasty “holiday” twice.

Before you indulge, brush up on this “indulge smarter” advice:

RELATED: 5 Decadent (Healthy!) Chocolate Recipes

Skip the novelty donuts

Sometimes, being basic is a good thing: Less-adorned donuts will (usually) be lower in calories. (Not so surprising, perhaps, but still good to remember.) At Krispy Kreme, for instance, a simple (but still sugary and decadent) glazed number has fewer than half the calories of their Oreo Cookies and Kreme specialty donut with Oreo cookie crumbles on top (190 vs. 420).

Munchkins make sense—sometimes

Stick to two or three Munchkins, and you’re doing better than if you’d downed a full donut. Make it four donut holes, though, and you might has well have had the real deal, calorie-wise. Plus, if you’ve got a whole box of bite-sized guys in front of you, its really hard to just have one—or four—so you may be better off splitting a regular donut (if you can manage to share) or even just committing to savoring a whole one yourself and calling it a day.

RELATED: 5 Healthier Donut Recipes

Indulge…on something else

OK, we just have to put it out there: “Donuts are notoriously filled with ingredients that drive inflammation, like refined grains and sugars and highly refined fats,” says Kate Geagan, RDN. So while we don’t want to be diet downers, we also wouldn’t suggest making donuts a daily habit. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat dessert every single day, though. Geagan suggests enjoying a 1 oz. square of high-quality dark chocolate or chocolate-dipped fresh strawberries or apricots as a go-to treat.

And if you’re still craving the round stuff, try making your own healthier (but still so-delicious) versions at home (start with the baked buttermilk donut). That way, every day can be National Donut Day!

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