The Case Against Guilt-Free Donuts

Holey Donuts Main PageIf you’re a true donut-head (like me), you face the same sweet temptation day in and day out. The treats are plentiful, and there’s usually nothing stopping you from indulging a li’l bit. The problem with this is that your “li’l” indulgences end up getting a little too indulgent. The delirious sugar-high of the cream-filled donut quickly gives way to guilt-filled emotions. Soon, you’re eating donuts alone in a dark room. The door opens and you suddenly cry out, “Don’t look at me! …Sorry, sweetie.”

A new donut shop in New York’s West Village wants to change this cycle of shame and guilt by offering low-fat concoctions that promise to be just as satisfying. “Holey Donuts” uses Pillsbury products to make donuts that are not deep-fried and have 2/3 less fat than a traditional donut (148 calories, 3 grams of fat, and no trans fat). Holey uses all-natural sweeteners to get that sweet donut effect, and a proprietary (secret) recipe to cut down on the fat.

Holey already sells these $4.00 donuts online – the pieces are flash-frozen and shipped with instructions to zap them in the microwave for 8 seconds (…”and enjoy!”). On Holey’s homepage, you’ll see that The Whoopie Goldberg Show and Every Day With Rachael Ray are listed as programs that have featured the donuts. This must have seemed like manna from the heavens for their audiences.

I can’t get on board with healthier donuts. Donuts should be an occasional treat: once or twice a week at a meeting, or sharing some with a friend who you don’t see very often. When you make donut-eating a regular event, you are in danger of taking away some of the mystique of the donut and also ruining the exquisite sugar-high that comes from an infrequent indulgence. By making a donut (quote-unquote) healthier, we’re psychologically encouraged to eat them with abandon and what was once an exciting treat will become as boring as popping baby carrots in your mouth.

I think that I’d rather live with the “guilt” of a sugary, fatty donut. I want to preserve the excitement and every unhealthy element of the treat. Eating a donut is SUPPOSED to be a roller coaster of emotions. It’d be a shame to take that away.

Holey Donuts opens Sunday at 101 Seventh Avenue S., New York, NYHoley Donuts

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