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Why a doughnut a day wont keep doctors away

It always happens pretty much the same way.

A blogger somewhere posts some ‘nutrition advice’ that takes off like wildfire across social media sites. The more crazy and unsubstantiated the claims, the faster it seems to spread. It doesn’t take long for the post to find its way into the newsfeed of one of our accredited (yes they’re the real thing) HBF dietitians.

That’s when the internal emails start. Our frustrated HBF health champs flood the social team’s inbox: “We have to do something about this. We have to respond. Can’t you post something on our Facebook page?” 
The latest click-bait to catch their attention was this post by Debrief Daily, shared on Mamamia’s Health and Fitness Facebook page on Monday:

Mamamia Healthy & Fitness Facebook Post

In it, the author compares the sugar content of 13 ‘healthy’ foods, to that of a Krispy Kreme doughnut –

“I cannot tell you how frustrated I am to discover that instead of forcing a boring strawberry yogurt down my throat each morning for breakfast, I could have been enjoying two – yes, TWO – delicious Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.” says Bern Morley, the post’s author.

She includes an info-graphic which shows the sugar content of said ‘healthy’ foods in terms of the number of Krispy Kreme doughnuts she could have eaten instead.

Aside from the observation that many of the ‘healthy’ foods listed are, well, not (mocha frappuccino, seriously?) - the author fails to address the nutritional void or ‘what you don’t get’ for calories ingested from not just one, but two, yes, two sugar glazed Krispy Kremes!


Apple, banana and coffee infographic

Spend your sugar wisely 

As HBF dietitian Janelle Healey points out, the Australian Dietary Guidelines are about much more than sugar. The goal is to help people consume “the right balance of macro and micro nutrients to prevent deficiencies and diseases.” 

“Think of it as a sugar budget”, says Janelle. “You only have a certain allowance of sugars each day to get all of the nutrients your body needs. So spend them wisely”.

Our dietitians had so much to say that we decided to create our own, revised version of Daily Debrief’s infographic:

HBF sugar infographic

So does that mean that Krispy Kremes should be strictly off limits? 

Not according to HBF dietitians:

No foods off limit, but limit some foods. 

 “Sugar is not inherently bad” says Kate. “But you should keep your intake of added sugar to a minimum, and spend your daily allocation on whole foods with lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Don’t waste it on empty calories”.

Mary’s motto is “no foods are off limit, but we do need to limit some food.”

“Think of foods with added sugar as an occasional treat for your taste buds. The trick is not to have too much.”

“Today the average Australian gets about a third of their energy from discretionary foods which don’t add any nutritional value to our diet and have added fat, sugar and salt. And yes, Krispy Kremes fit right into this category.”

“So enjoy, just not every day.”

Anything we’ve missed? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.


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