But I Just Want A Doughnut!?!

Every year I celebrate Hanukah by enjoying the infamous holiday doughnut. Yes, I am a registered dietitian who’s telling you that it’s okay to eat a doughnut—can you believe it?! This doesn’t mean you have permission for a free-for-all indulgence, but if you really want a doughnut—then go for it using these tips.
Related To:


Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Amy Wilson

Every year I celebrate Hanukkah by enjoying the infamous holiday doughnut. Yes, I am a registered dietitian who’s telling you that it’s okay to eat a doughnut — can you believe it?! This doesn’t mean you have permission for a free-for-all indulgence, but if you really want a doughnut, go for it! Just use our tips to do it the smart way.

Nutrition Information

A typical store bought jelly doughnut (which is the traditional holiday doughnut) contains about 290 calories, 14 grams of fat (7 grams of which are saturated) and not much of anything considered healthy. Doughnuts are a junk food, but if you really want one (or two), then it’s important to choose something you’ll really enjoy

Choose Wisely

If you’re buying doughnuts, then go for the mini’s. Jelly-filled Munchkin’s from Dunkin’ Donuts contain 80 calories, 4 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat. Eat 2 or 3 and supplement it with a side of fresh fruit. Once you’re on your fourth mini, you may as well have eaten a regular-sized doughnut.

To shave off a few calories, go jelly-less. I’m not a jelly fan and I’m able to save about 30 calories on regular-sized doughnuts by choosing a glazed one instead.  To save even more calories (about 70), choose a plain doughnut without icing or filling (but how fun is that?). Get the mini-doughnut recipe featured above.

Make Your Own

Store made and packaged varieties contain preservatives, but you can make your own using fresher ingredients. Be mindful of the doughnut size and use 1/4 less icing than the recipe calls for to shave off a few calories. Also the temp of the oil is really important so that the doughnuts don’t absorb too much excess oil. Always use a thermometer and fry in small batches.

Take It Easy

Plan in advance as to when you’re going to enjoy this holiday fave. Hanukkah lasts 8 days, choose one or two days to indulge in a delicious doughnut, then choose another dessert on the other days (like fruit and a few chocolate coins). If you know that you’re the type of person who just can’t stop eating doughnuts once you start, then just walk away.

Another thing to think about: What other fried foods are being served at the meal? If you know you’re going to be chomping on a fried doughnut for dessert, then stay away from, say, latkes, during appetizers. This will help reduce the amount of artery-clogging fat (not to mention calories) you’re eating at one time.

TELL US: What's your favorite Hanukkah recipe?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Next Up

5 Frozen Treats for a Sweet Fourth — Summer Soiree

Celebrate America's birthday with these sweet frozen desserts, guilt-free.

Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Food Network Magazine's Sweet

Learn how you can win a copy of Food Network Magazine's Sweet:Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More.

Bread Pudding, Lightened Up

Soaked in sugar, eggs and half-and-half, bread pudding is decadent to say the least. Good news – it’s possible to cozy up with a tasty version of this comfort food for less calories.

Tiramisu, Lightened Up

In honor of Italian week, we’re lightening up this all-time favorite dessert. Find out how you can enjoy this delectable classic without all the guilt.

5 Decadent Hand-Held Desserts for a Tailgate

The treats are perfect to bring to a tailgate in the stadium parking lot or serve at home while watching the game on television. They're easy to make, easy to eat and you won't have any plates to tidy up after.

Budget-Friendly Cherry Jam Tart — Recipe of the Day

Melissa's take on the classic French cherry tart cuts down on time and the cost of pricey cherries by using good-quality cherry jam.

Recipe Spotlight: Lightened-Up Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is a classic, creamy, indulgent dessert, but Food Network Kitchen's came up with an easy-to-make lighter version.

9 Impressive Valentine's Day Dishes You Actually Have Time to Make This Year

The big day is on a Sunday this year, so you've got all weekend to plan a great meal for your sweetheart.

Best 5 Red Velvet Recipes for Valentine's Day

Treat your someone special to a simple yet showstopping red velvet dessert on Valentine's Day with Food Network's best five red velvet recipes.