Is a donut a breakfast food or dessert? Most mornings, when I wake up, I start my day with breakfast. So it’s not uncommon to find myself eating a donut in the morning. But is that enough? Are donuts a breakfast food?
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Why Are Doughnuts Seen As A Breakfast Food?
If you were like me when I was a kid, the best part of waking up was the donut your mom had placed on the kitchen countertop. It barely mattered what kind of donut you had; they were all delicious and sweet and made breakfast taste so good.
So it’s no surprise that urban legends about donuts becoming popular thanks to the Salvation Army abound. According to this legend, the Salvation Army sold donuts for five cents apiece during WWI in order to raise awareness and money for their cause.
And apparently, people liked them so much then that (and every day since) doughnuts have become a breakfast food staple.
However, in my humble opinion, as a foodie and history buff, I believe that people eat donuts for breakfast because that’s what they remember doing as kids. Most adults today grew up when the Salvation Army sold donuts at local schools.
5 Reasons Why Donuts Are Not Breakfast Food They Are Dessert Food
1. Donuts Are Not Very Nutritious
Like any other sweet treat, donuts are not a very nutritious option. Nutritionally speaking, they’re only marginally better than a candy bar. Donuts contain hardly any protein or fat, including the grease from most donut shops.
For example, one of my favorite doughnuts contains less than 80 calories but packs 3 grams of saturated fat! On its own “grease,” it’s not even really worth eating!
2. Donut Consumption Contains Under-Consumption
The typical American eats around the same number of donuts as we did during WWII. That’s about 70 donuts per year. Compare this to the amount of powdered milk and other goods that were given away during WWII. Sweet treats are a luxury item, not a staple food.
3. Most Donuts Are Sweeter Than They Need To Be
I know that many people who don’t like donuts seem to have a problem with the way they taste. But here’s the thing: you can’t taste donuts as much as you can just eat them, especially if they’re served in sweet pastry or frosted with chocolate sprinkles!
4. Donuts Can Be A Health Hazard
Some kinds of chocolate glazes have been found to contain harmful chemicals that can cause cancer. And in the case of sugar-coated donuts, an excessive amount of sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes.
5. Anyone Can Make Donuts
Anybody who owns a food truck knows that you can make a profit by selling donuts out the side door. So while you may be having a mediocre one (or even a bad one), like how Subway sandwiches can be made by anybody who works there and they’ll still taste good, donuts are almost an art form, so they can’t really be made as cheaply as fast food, especially by someone without experience.
Do Americans Consider Donuts To Be A Breakfast Food?
So if donuts can be seen as a dessert food instead of breakfast food, then why are they sold in most supermarkets in the U.S. right next to cereal?
That’s just because Americans think of donuts as breakfast food, but it’s not because we’re having that much of them. Most Americans prefer to spend their mornings eating fruit and coffee, with even less than one percent eating donuts every day!
Only two percent of people say they’ve eaten three or more donuts from one place before! Maybe twice! Not every day like we do pancakes or muffins and bagels.
The Bottom Line
It’s pretty clear that donuts are not breakfast food, even for those who like them. They’re not full of nutritious ingredients like eggs are and can’t be made at home by anyone with access to a supermarket. All in all, donuts should never be called breakfast food.
So the next time someone asks you what you had for breakfast, tell them that it was your favorite donut!
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