A basic glazed doughnut and good cup of coffee is a classic combination favored by many.

Without all of the frosting, fillings, and sprinkles of some other types of pastries, a simple glazed doughnut may seem like a lighter, less unhealthy choice when you want a quick breakfast or sweet treat.

However, there’s a great deal of variation among different brands, and some come with a higher calorie count than others.

This article examines the calories in various brands of glazed doughnuts and whether they’re a decent choice.

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Marti Sans/Stocksy United

Not all glazed doughnuts are created equal.

Yeast doughnuts are made from a yeast dough that rises, so they’re taller and fluffier than other types.

Cake doughnuts use baking powder as a leavening agent and have a denser texture.

Meanwhile, old fashioned doughnuts have a cake-like texture that’s often bumpy and crispy on the outside. They’re made with sour cream or buttermilk.

Their different ingredients and production methods affect their calorie counts somewhat.

Here are the calorie counts of some popular brands of glazed doughnuts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12):

  • Generic plain glazed: 269 calories
  • Generic chocolate glazed: 312 calories
  • Generic maple-glazed: 310 calories
  • Dunkin Donuts Plain Glazed: 240 calories
  • Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Glazed: 360 calories
  • Krispy Kreme Original Glazed: 190 calories
  • Publix Plain Glazed: 340 calories
  • Safeway Plain Glazed: 250 calories
  • Shipley Do-Nuts Plain Glazed: 190 calories
  • Target Plain Glazed: 140 calories
  • Tim Hortons Honey Dip: 190 calories
  • Generic cake glazed: 192 calories
  • Generic sour cream/old fashioned glazed: 234 calories
  • Starbucks Old Fashioned Glazed: 480 calories
  • Generic cake glazed doughnut holes (1 piece): 60 calories
  • Generic yeast glazed doughnut holes (1 piece): 55 calories

Among the full-size doughnuts, Starbucks’ Old Fashioned glazed doughnut is highest in calories, but it’s also fairly large at 113 grams. Most of the others weigh 50–70 grams.

If you want a doughnut that doesn’t break your calorie bank, choose one or two small doughnut holes.

SUMMARY

Cake, yeast, or old fashioned glazed doughnuts are each made differently and vary somewhat in their calories counts. If you want a lower calorie glazed doughnut, choose one that’s on the smaller side.

Whether they’re cake, yeast, or old fashioned style, glazed doughnuts are made with mostly the same ingredients:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • yeast or baking powder
  • eggs
  • milk, buttermilk, or sour cream
  • butter or shortening

After the batter is made, the doughnuts are shaped and fried in oil.

The average medium-size (64-gram) glazed doughnut contains (1):

  • Calories: 269
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 31 grams
  • Sugar: 15 grams
  • Folate: 65 mcg, or 16% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine: 0.2mg, or 12% of the DV
  • Iron: 2.2mg, or 12% of the DV

If they’re made with enriched flour, doughnuts provide small amounts of folic acid, thiamine, and iron. Yet, overall, they’re not considered a good source of healthy nutrients (1).

Instead, they’re high in sugar, refined carbs, and fat. What’s more, they fall into the category of ultra-processed foods (13).

Ultra-processed foods are defined as foods with many ingredients. They commonly include high amounts of salt, sugar, fats, starches, and other ingredients that aren’t available at retail outlets (13).

Ultra-processed foods are tasty and easy to eat in large amounts, but they’re very low in nutrients (13).

SUMMARY

Glazed doughnuts have a fair amount of sugar, starch, and fat but are low in beneficial nutrients. They’re considered a non-nutritious, ultra-processed food.

Compared with doughnuts filled with jelly or custard, glazed doughnuts may be a healthier choice. Still, they’re far from a healthy breakfast or snack and should only be enjoyed in moderation.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sugar to no more than 10% of your total daily calories. For someone who eats a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s fewer than 200 calories or less than 50 grams of sugar per day (14).

If you down a few doughnuts with your sugar-sweetened coffee, you could easily hit that goal with breakfast.

Additionally, reaching for processed foods like doughnuts frequently is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes (15).

It’s fine to enjoy a glazed doughnut every once in a while, but for your health, it’s best not to make it a habit.

SUMMARY

Glazed doughnuts are not healthy, although you can certainly enjoy one every now and again. Eating too many of them may lead to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease over time.

Glazed doughnuts are a tasty treat but not something you should eat every day.

On average, 1 medium size doughnut provides 190–300 calories, although some are significantly higher in calories, depending on the size and ingredients used.

Eating too many foods that are high in sugar, starch, and fat may cause health problems, such as overweight, diabetes, and heart disease, down the road. A such, it’s best to only enjoy glazed doughnuts in moderation.