Health

There's nothing happy about National Donut Day

June 1, 2012, 9:50 a.m.

Pictured above: trans fat, sugar and refined flour. (Credit: Dan/Flickr Creative Commons)


It's National Donut Day, and as much as we'd like to endorse/celebrate/encourage that, as a health blog, we just can't.

There are a lot of reasons for that – one is the fact that donuts appear on so many "Worst Foods You Can Eat" lists – like this one, this one, this one and this one.

Oh, and this one, too.

It's a difficult reality, but the only good thing about donuts is their taste – there are no real redeeming health qualities. They can consist of up to 40 percent trans fat, the worst kind of fat you can eat. Reader's Digest says in donuts you'll find "the unholy trinity of ingredients": trans fat, sugar and refined flour.

It's like women's health site LifeScript says: "Nosh on a couple donuts with your coffee, and you've reached your daily fat quota."

And if there's one thing we know about South Los Angeles, it's that it's got enough health problems without bringing more donuts into the mix.

In the interest of fair reporting, though, we should say that not all the press about donuts is bad: One study says donuts can improve a person's memory, as well as their ability to concentrate. That's because it provides sugar (in the form of glucose energy) that the brain needs in order to function normally.

TIME also tells us that donuts were put to a good cause in World War I, when the so-called "Doughnut Girls" (female Salvation Army workers) would make and pass out donuts to homesick American soldiers stationed in France. (The same kind of thing happened in World War II, except this time they were called Doughnut Dollies.) National Donut Day actually succeeds the Donut Day event created by the Salvation Army in 1938 that honored the Doughnut Girls, according to the holiday's website.

But the bottom line is that we can't endorse the eating of donuts. If you do decide to partake in the day's festivities, we hope it's in moderation. Fruit is always the better option.

We will say this about donuts, though: They're better than bagels.

Photo by Dan via Flickr Creative Commons.

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