I happen to work next to a Dunkin Donuts.. This has been very convenient (I love coffee), and not nearly as dangerous as I had feared – as long as I bring food with me. On those days that I have forgotten to bring my greek yogurt, or that I have run out… Its dangerous.
Today is one of those days. As such, I took a look at their nutrional information before heading over. I find myself staring at a very definite first world issue, but an issue none the less. The calorie count.
I think the hardest part of this issue – is that consistency doesn’t exist. What I mean by that – is it is impossible to guess calories on foods – unless you do use a tool like “Myfitnesspal” or “fatsecret” – in which case you aren’t guessing anymore. But back to the donut.
I expected the donuts to be rather high calorie. In fact 350 calories wouldn’t have surprised me in the least. What IS surprising to me, is the range of calories. You can get a “French Kruller” or a “Sugared Cocoa Donut” for only 200 calories a piece. While their lack of nutrition (for a Sugared Cocoa Donut – Vitamin A 0% – Vitamin C 0% – Calcium 0% – Iron 10%) is evident, at least they have a lower calorie count. Yet, you can just as easily get a Chocolate Coconut Cake Donut (550 calories each) or a Blueberry Crumb Donut (500 Calories.)
Lets not even discuss things like the “Frozen Caramel Coffee with Cream – Large” at 1050 Calories.
Dunkin Donuts has 53 items that it considers “DDSMART.” This seems to mean that they are 410 Calories or under. I don’t know about you – but any beverage that has 170 calories and no benefits of vitamins, doesn’t qualify as a “Smart” choice to me.
You will be relieved to know that there are some “ok” choices – though most of them are still high in sodium. I find the Original Oatmeal with Dried Fruit Topping to be the best choice when I am picking something up that ISN’T going to be eaten on the road.
Dunkin Donuts – Original Oatmeal with Dried Fruit topping
Calories – 270, Total Fat – 4(g), Sat Fat -1(g), Trans Fat (0)g, cholesterol (0)mg, Sodium (140)mg, Total Carb (54)g, Fiber (6)g, Sugar (22)g, Protein (7)g.
So, as I see it – one of our largest problems (See what I did there?) as a society, is we can go into a “restaurant” and see rows of nearly identical things, that we assume are all reasonably similar in calorie count. We don’t realize that the reality is some of the “nearly identical” items have two and a half TIMES the amount of calories of others in front of us. I think this is one of the primary reasons we see waist-lines growing in people of all ages & fitness levels.
Heck, at McDonalds, you can get a Premium Southwest salad with Crispy Chicken (450) calories, add some Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar Dressing (190 Calories) and blow away the calories you would have had with a Big Mac (550).
At Wendy’s you can pick up a Baja Chili Salad, for a measly 730 Calories.
At Burger King, maybe a fruit smoothie sounds like a healthy choice instead of a soda.. A medium is 310 calories – not bad as a meal replacement, but seems a bit high for a beverage if you ask me!
Weight loss is simple math, that is all there is to it. Eat fewer calories than you burn in a given day and you will lose weight. While there are those that burn calories at a significantly different rate than expected, the large majority of people can use normal nutritional value as their guidelines. I think the biggest trick is to check the numbers, and not assume you know what the calorie count will be!