by Bryan Albuquerque
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new face of healthy eating!
Look at all of those healthy options right there. Why, I can see doughnuts… doughnuts… and more DOUGHNUTS!
You can call me Casey, or you can call me Mrs. Obvious, because I'm here to tell you that doughnuts are NOT very good for you. Don't believe me? I'm not the only one who believes this crazy news…there are others who are saying the exact same thing. ( Livestrong, "Health Effects Of Doughnuts", 2014)
As you can see, I'm being slightly facetious here about doughnuts. I don't think there's anyone who thinks that doughnuts are a healthy eating option.
In fact, the number of people who still believe the earth is flat probably outnumber the people who believe that doughnuts are a healthy eating choice 10 to 1. Well, there are possibly those who have convinced themselves that doughnuts are healthy, but I think us rational folk all know that those people just want to believe it.
Behold to your immediate left - my own sublime paean to healthy living!
Living in Montreal here in Quebec, Canada, there are a number of Dunkin Donuts here which I like to frequent, mainly for their coffee, which I actually am a big fan of. My favorite DD is actually the one located at 5825 Henri Bourassa West.
The other day, a friend of mine was talking about Dunkin' Donuts and mentioned their DDSmart menu, featuring their "Smart Swaps", and claiming that Dunkin' Donuts had definitely taken a turn for the health conscious over the past five or ten years.
"Are you kidding me?" was my immediate response. Right away I had to tell her that a place called Dunkin' Donuts would have a hard time maintaining that health was their primary concern, since their name itself has the word "Donut" in it. Even McDonald's has a brand name so nebulous that they could be selling any type of food in there and their name wouldn't give it away.
I love DD as much as the next red-blooded Canadian, particularly because I like their coffee. In fact, I buy their whole beans all the time and grind them at home with one of my two burr grinders, but would i ever claim that Dunkin' Donuts was a healthy place to eat? Not on your life… For instance, would I bring my dad there for a quick bite to eat, knowing that he just had heart surgery last year. I have a feeling that taking him to DD for dinner might just be his last meal if I were to take him there.
My friend, being the stubborn woman she is, just assumed she was correct in assuming that Dunkin' Donuts had become a bastion of healthy eating choices. "What, like the turkey-bacon-cheddar wrap?" I said, to which she said something about getting it on whole wheat. "Yeah, genetically modified whole wheat!" It certainly was hard to argue with her, since she eats at DD 2x a week and somehow maintains a lithe physique. Placing her hand on her hip and scrunching her nose at me, she walked away from the conversation, apparently 100% correct in everything she said.
Trying to conjure up their menu in my hazy memory, I was able to picture it clearly enough, but I was not able to think of anything that struck me as too healthy overall. Big N' Toasty..hmm…no…maybe the "Wake-Up Wrap"?
Could perhaps their advertising hold some clue?
I guess not…
Determined to find out more about the healthiness of Dunkin' Donuts, I started reading up on Dunkin' Donuts to learn more about them, hoping to shed some light on their motivations for "going healthy", and anything else I could dig up.
I did read one very interesting essay on Dunkin' Donuts called " The Birth Of A New Distribution And Franchising Concept", and written by Ruth A. Schmidt and Brenda A. Oldfield in 1998 for the British Food Journal. This document, however, was not predictably not so much focused on health as it was on marketing. What I did learn, though, is that there has been quite a bit written about Dunkin' Donuts in terms of different studies, although not a whole lot has been written about the nutritiousness of their DDSmart menu items.
If you look here at the Dunkin' Donuts Corporate Promise, you see that DD has been attempting to, or rather, promising to adhere to some healthier guidelines for several years now (since 2007, according to Wiki ).
Based on this promise, DD promises to "Reduced in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar or sodium by at least 25% compared to a base product or other appropriate reference product" and/or "Contain an ingredient or nutrient that is nutritionally beneficial". I figured this could be proven, more or less, simply by looking at one item on the DDSmart Menu and seeing if their promise was kept.
Straight from their Smart Swaps page itself, lets take a look at one of their recommended "Smart Swaps" - swapping an english muffin for a plain bagel, with the claim that it would cut 170 calories. I figured this wouldn't be hard to figure out; just a quick bit of research and maybe some simple addition (or subtraction).
Just a quick scan of the internet here…
Our source on this one is: http://www.caloriecount.com/
But wait…that's only 140 calories less, not 170. Better try another source.
Our source for this one: http://www.calorieking.com
Uh oh, that doesn't look right. The plain bagel is apparently 38 calories less than the english muffin. Better check one more source…
Whew! I was getting worried there for a second…now what was the source for that one again? Oh, that's right, that was Dunkin' Donuts!
Well, its a good thing it adds up on their website, at least. Although, noticing how very different some of the calorie counts can be for the same exact thing; eg. bagels or english muffins, it makes me wonder…where does Dunkin' Donuts get their bagels and english muffins from? This is a story for another blog post I guess, but for now, I will have to concede that my female friend who knew she was right all along…was right all along. Dunkin' Donuts, at least according to themselves, have made the necessary health adjustments to say they're offering healthier choices.
STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 where I go deep undercover and figure out where Dunkin' Donuts get their bagels and english muffins.
We've got a lot more on this site to offer you in terms of coffee related articles, information, and reviews. Feel free to click the logo below to return to the Home Page:
About Bryan Albuquerque
Bryan Albuquerque is a coffee lover and vaping advocate who writes reviews and information about coffee accessories and KYG. A former coffee addict, Bryan traded his morning fix for an electronic cigarette in an effort to quit smoking, and has never looked back. He's dedicated to helping others make the switch to vaping, and believes that it's one of the best decisions anyone can make for their health.