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The 8 Worst Fast-Food Donuts to Stay Away From Right Now

If you want a sweet treat with your coffee, almost anything is better than these calorie bombs.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

Let's face it, sometimes you need something a little sweet and nothing satisfies like a soft, chewy donut. While you can always stop by a donut shop, many fast-food and fast-casual restaurants also carry these round, sugary treats. Whether you're craving a pastry with your coffee or you want a bit of sugar to go with your lunch, there are a few donuts and pastries that are best left at the store.

From the top national donut shops to the fast-food counter, here are the 8 unhealthiest donuts and pastries you should rethink any time of day. And when it's time for lunch, make healthier choices by avoiding the 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers Right Now.

1

Cinnabon Delights – Taco Bell

taco bell cinnabon delights
Courtesy of Taco Bell
Serving Size: Half a 12-pack, 470 calories, 27 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 240 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 5 g protein

If you get a two-pack of these tiny little cinnamon donuts filled with icing, then you aren't going to break the calorie bank. At 190 for two, these are still too easy to eat but less harmful than the 12-pack (which ups your meals calorie count 470 calories, 27 grams of fat, and nearly 30 grams of pure sugar, even if you only eat half). Plus, who goes to Taco Bell for just donut holes? You know a couple of tacos or a chalupa are in your order too.

2

Glazed Jelly Stick – Dunkin'

Shutterstock
Serving Size: 1 donut, 540 calories, 30 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 430 mg sodium, 66 g carbs ( 1 g fiber, 37 g sugar), 4 g protein

Stick to the donuts with the holes when you want a treat at Dunkin'. If you browse the nutrition information on the Dunkin' site, you'll see that their sticks are not the best choice. The Glazed Jelly Stick is the worst, clocking in at 540 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 37 grams of sugar.

According to The American Heart Association, women shouldn't consume more than 24 grams of added sugar per day, and men should stick to under 35 grams with an absolute cap at 50 grams. Well, if you eat one of these sticks, both sides are pushing into the danger zone. A glazed jelly donut, by comparison, has a little more than half the calories at 280. A Powdered Stick has 440 calories while a powdered donut has 330 calories.

RELATED: We Tried 12 Donuts from Dunkin' & This Is the Best One

3

Peanut Donut – Dunkin'

Dunkin donuts donuts
Shutterstock
Serving Size: 1 donut, 470 calories, 27 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 320 mg sodium, 50 g carbs (2 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 8 g protein

Not all of the holey donuts are worth the splurge. The Peanut Donut has a whopping 470 calories, 27 grams of fat, and 26 grams of sugar. Also, skip the Chocolate Butternut Donut (450 calories) and the Toasted Coconut Donut (430 calories). Your best bets are the Sugared Donut (210 calories), French Cruller (230 calories), or plain Jelly Donut (250 calories). If your donut has lots of toppings, it's best to consult the online nutrition info before you indulge.

4

Bar Doughnut Filled with TWIX – Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme
Serving Size: 1 donut, 530 calories, 27 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 220 mg sodium, 68 g carbs (2 g fiber, 42 g sugar), 6 g protein

When the red light is on, it's time to stop for a hot, freshly made Krispy Kreme donut. That's fine, on occasion, especially if you opt for an original glazed with 190 calories per serving. What you should really skip are the limited edition donuts like the new Bar Doughnut Filled with TWIX, which packs in 530 calories, 27 grams of fat, and an outlandish 42 grams of sugar. If you really want to try this limited-edition flavor, Krispy Kreme offers a mini version with 140 calories. Other high-calorie picks to avoid from the menu? The Reese's Peanut Butter donut (400 calories) and the Oreo Cookies and Kreme donut (400 calories).

RELATED: We Tasted Every Krispy Kreme Donut & This Is the Best

5

Apple Fritter – McDonald's

McDonald's
Serving Size: 1 donut, 530 calories, 29 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 360 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (2 g fiber, 25 g sugar), 5 g protein

If you find yourself in McDonald's for a morning coffee and you feel a bit peckish, you might want to skip the Apple Fritter. At 510 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 25 grams of sugar, this pastry isn't the best start to your day. (P.S. don't choose the Cinnamon Roll either because it's even worse at 560 calories and 46 grams of sugar.) Even a Sausage McGriddle would be better for you at 430 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar. Plus, it has 11 grams of satiating protein.

6

Glazed Donut – Starbucks

starbucks glazed donut
Courtesy of Starbucks
Serving Size: 1 donut, 480 calories, 27 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 410 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (1 g fiber, 30 g sugar), 5 g protein

In many restaurants, a simple glazed donut might be the least caloric treat on the menu. Starbucks, however, is known for being a bit extra. The chain's innocent-looking donut clocks in at 480 calories, 27 grams of fat, and 30 grams of sugar. Plus, since Starbucks isn't known for donuts, it might not even be worth the splurge. If you must have sugar, the best little treat to have with your latte of choice is a Petite Vanilla Scone. With just 120 calories and 8 grams of sugar, it will give you a little jolt without sending you back to bed.

7

Pecan Braid and Bear Claw – Panera

Panera
Serving Size: 1 Pecan Braid, 500 calories, 30 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 280 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (3 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 8 g protein

The people that run Panera know what they are doing by stocking their pastry case with tasty-looking treats. While you might not be able to resist everything you see, try to pause before you choose a Pecan Braid or Bear Claw. Both will you give 500 calories, 23-30 grams of fat, and 23-30 grams of sugar. If you must have one of the treats, look for the mini versions, which will be less of a hit to your daily nutrition goal. When in doubt, always go mini.

RELATED: 11 Secrets Panera Bread Doesn't Want You to Know

8

Oreo Donut – Tim Horton's

tim hortons oreo donut
Courtesy of Tim Hortons
Serving Size: 1 donut, 420 calories, 18 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 270 mg sodium, 60 g carbs (1 g fiber, 33 g sugar), 5 g protein

Tim Horton's is a Canadian coffee chain that is considered one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. If you happen upon one of these chains and must grab a coffee and a donut, you should skip the Oreo donut. With 420 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 33 grams of sugar, almost anything on the menu would be better—even the decadent-sounding ​​Chocolate Caramel Donut is lighter at 280 calories and 23 grams of sugar.

For more restaurant news, don't miss 15 Discontinued Fast-Food Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

Meaghan Cameron
Meaghan Cameron is Deputy Editor of Syndication at Eat This, Not That! Read more about Meaghan
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