A free donut sounds great to most people, but a free donut every day for nearly 300 days? Sounds like a recipe for poor health. What happens when you eat seven days of donuts versus seven days of whole foods? We’ve got lots of research to give us the answer!
When a popular donut chain recently announced a promotion to gift a free donut to COVID-vaccinated customers—every day for the rest of the year—we had to wonder, what would eating a daily donut do to gut health as well as overall health?
The answer wasn’t encouraging.
It’s no secret that sugar isn’t good for us, but it’s not just because of the potential for cavities or weight gain. Sugar is wrecking our gut health, compromising our immune systems, and creating a state of chronic inflammation in our bodies—a condition associated with many serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more (¹,²).
When you consider the stats, it’s a pretty sobering situation.
655,000 Americans die each year from heart disease—1 in 4 deaths (³).
606,000 Americans died in 2020 of cancer (⁴)
34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes (⁷).
88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes (⁷).
79,535 deaths occur each year due to diabetes (⁸).
300,000 deaths per year are due to the obesity epidemic (⁹).
How Does Sugar Compromise the Immune System?
The more we understand the role of added sugars in the body, the better equipped we are to change our habits! And because of its hugely negative impact on our health, there’s never been a better time.
“Too much sugar in your system allows the bacteria or viruses to propagate much more because your initial innate system doesn’t work as well. That’s why diabetics, for example, have more infections,” Dr. Michael Roizen, MD and COO of the Cleveland Clinic (¹⁰).
How Much Sugar Are We Actually Eating
According to the NH Dept Health and Human Services, “Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week.”
Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, nutritionists suggest eating 10% of our calories from sugar. This equals 13.3 teaspoons of sugar per day. The current average is 42.5 teaspoons of sugar per day.
What Does Eating A Lot Of Donuts Do?
While most of us will never consume 5,000 calories of donuts per day for seven days, one YouTuber did (¹¹). What was most impressive about this experiment (other than his ability to actually do it!) was the fact that he was able to compare his bloodwork before and after this challenge. While his weight actually went down, everything else suffered considerably.
Reported Feelings Throughout the Week
Extremely poor sleep
Hungrier during the day
Weight & Blood work Before → After
Weight: 170.1 lb → 168.2 LB
Cholesterol: LDL (“bad”) 86 → 126 | HDL (“good”) 66 → 56
Triglycerides: 52 → 69
Blood sugar: 93 → 111
Testosterone: 491 → 444
This example is obviously extreme because the average person will never eat this many donuts in a seven-day period. But (you knew that was coming!), how many of us WILL eat this many donuts in a month? Or even a year?
If you were to take advantage of the daily donut offer mentioned above, you’d equal this donut intake in about 6 months (based on two dozen donuts per day for seven days—the average from the challenge).
When we combine this rate of intake with a diet high in other inflammatory foods, it’s a recipe for terrible health, as cited in the statistics above.
What Happens When We Eat Whole Foods Instead?
Whole foods are full of micronutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and more. In other words, they’re filled with exactly what our bodies need in order to function properly.
Processed food, junk food, and treats, on the other hand, are filled with empty calories (calories without nutrition) and are typically low in protein. The carbs and fat they do provide are usually heavily processed and very low quality. It’s no surprise that one of the reported feelings of the above-mentioned 5,000 calorie/day donut challenge was INCREASED HUNGER during the day—he was eating a ton of food but taking in almost no nutrition!
Whole foods keep us fuller longer while providing a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. While that’s reason enough to eat whole foods most of the time, there are plenty of other reasons to focus on them!
Better for the environment
Help control blood sugar
Better for your skin
Provide lots of variety
Cheaper in the long run (factor in the cost of managing chronic lifestyle diseases!)
Good for your gut
Promote dental health
Support local farmers
The Bottom Line
While the FASTer Way lifestyle does NOT support deprivation (we teach our clients how to enjoy a 100% guilt-free treat every week, even donuts!), we want to raise awareness that a daily donut is NOT the best answer when it comes to preventing disease and illness—including COVID-19.
Get Started for FREE!
If you’re ready to eat more whole foods, we’re here to help! Download our FREE 5-day meal guide and start enjoying delicious, nutrient meals the whole family will love!
To see Amanda Tress’s response to the daily donut offer, click here.