When the craving for coffee and donuts strikes, there’s no better place to be than a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru. As a foodie and dietitian, I firmly believe that when you crave a coffee drink, pastry, or donut, you should absolutely let yourself eat and enjoy them. Life’s too short to deny yourself the simple pleasures that come from the Dunkin’s Donuts menu. That being said, some menu items can satisfy your craving while leaving you feeling good, energized, and still on track for your health goals. Other items, not so much.
After inspecting the Dunkin’ Donuts menu and nutrition facts, and chatting with other dietitians about the best and worst foods on the menu, there are a few nutrients that stand out as deciding factors.
None of these nutrients are “bad” by themselves, but when eaten in excessive amounts, they can lead to poor health outcomes.
Donuts & Pastries
Keep reading to learn what Dunkin’ Donuts menu items can satisfy your cravings while still keeping your health on track—and which ones you may want to limit or avoid—according to dietitians.
Need just a “little” something sweet, or just can’t decide between two of your favorite flavors? You may want to place an order for some Munchkins Donut Holes.
“Donut holes are a great option because they’re smaller and less calorie-dense than full donuts. You can have as few or as many as you’d like to satisfy your cravings while still honoring your health goals,” says Miranda Galati, MHSc, RD, dietitian and Founder at Real Life Nutritionist.
Bagels and Muffins
You can enjoy two cinnamon munchkins for only 120 calories and 4 grams of added sugar.
For a fruit-flavored treat, a healthier option at Dunkin is the Jelly Donut, which has only 250 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat, explains Kimberley Wiemann, MS, RDN, a Long Island, NY-based registered dietitian specializing in heart health. One jelly donut has just 18% of the recommended saturated fat limit, making it easy to stay within the recommended amount for the day.
Snacks and Wraps
It has apples, so it must be good for you, right?! “The Apple Stick may be the worst choice when it comes to a donut or pastry,” says Wiemann. Each apple stick has 470 calories, which is close to the amount of calories most people eat in an entire meal. While I don’t believe in the phrase “empty calories,” since all calories contribute something, this donut provides all the calories of a nutrient-dense meal without the vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients your body needs.
This fan-favorite cakey chocolate donut is covered in a crumbly topping and had fans petitioning for it to come back when they took it off the menu years ago. While it may taste delicious, just one donut has over 50% of your DV for saturated fat and 18% of your DV for sodium, even though it doesn’t taste the least bit salty. The high sodium is likely masked by its 34 grams of added sugar, which is 68% of the amount you should have in an entire day.
Craving a classic breakfast food? There are plenty of options to choose from. Some will leave you energized and ready to take on the day, while others are better left as an occasional treat.
“The Dunkin’ Multigrain Bagel is made from whole grains, seeds, and oat fiber, which add a great source of fiber in the morning,” says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD. A high-fiber diet prevents constipation, promotes a healthy gut, and can help lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar.
Even without a topping, this bagel has an impressive 15 grams of protein. “For additional protein, you can add cream cheese or even some peanut butter for a vegan option,” says Na Chun.