They aren’t getting this whole “healthy food” thing.
Dunkin Donuts kicked off 2018 by wooing increasingly health conscious Americans with an announcement that they had removed all artificial dyes from their donuts.
The changes only affect donuts, but the move is part of a plan to remove the chemicals from all products, including donut icing, fillings, toppings, frozen beverages, and more.
The donut company originally announced the change last March. Rick Golden, whose title is manager of donut excellence wrote: “This is all part of a larger initiative to offer our guests simpler ingredients and cleaner menu labels.”
New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.
But are the donuts really any healthier just because they tossed the food dye? According to the website’s nutrition calculator (and everyone’s basic understanding that donuts don’t offer any nutritional benefit), we’re still not riding the Dunkin train.
Just one old-fashioned donut clocks in at 290 calories, 19g of fat, 8g saturated fat, and 10g of sugar. And that’s just their most basic donut. Snag something sweeter like a Boston Kreme and you’re looking at 17g of sugar and 300 calories.
Of course, we’re all for companies trying to streamline their ingredient list. There’s more to healthy eating than just counting calories, and anything moderation is always acceptable.
WATCH: Lighten up your donut recipe by baking, instead of frying:
What we’re not buying is the idea that eliminating the artificial dyes makes Dunkin’s donuts any healthier—which they’re definitely trying to insinuate.
The company explains that their artificial dyes have been replaced with “fruit juices and other extracts.” That certainly sounds healthier, but we doubt the miniscule amount of, say, beet juice is really going to balance all that sugar.
In addition, the press release explains several exceptions, so you’ll still get plenty of artificial colors in supplier-branded ingredients, as well as some limited edition and custom image donuts. It doesn’t sound like that candy themed donut will be any cleaner than it was last year.