The cronut: How bad for your health is it?

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    Cronuts made their debut in the bustling city of New York, when pastry chef Dominique Ansel created a new item at his Manhattan bakery. The clever businessman took croissant dough, shaped it into a donut and then put it in the deep fryer. When it was at the right level of golden, flakey goodness, Ansel filled the creation with Tahitian vanilla cream.

    And cronut mania was born.

    Soon people all over the city—as well as the nation—were scrambling to make or buy their very own cronuts. Unfortunately, Ansel’s bakery reportedly sells out of their 200 daily cronut supply minutes after opening.

    “One woman legitimately cried,” chef Dominique Ansel said on Twitter, regarding how quickly his supply is diminished. “We felt so bad, we looked everywhere to find her the last remaining cronut.” Ansel added, “It is not OK to flip off our baristas because we are out of cronuts.”

    Though considered brilliant advertising use of a portmanteau (a combination of two words to create a slang word, donut+ croissant) by the Boston Globe, people started wondering if cronuts really should be worth all the hype, especially in a world where obesity is running rampant.

    So, there is a consensus that cronuts are delicious – but are they healthy?

    The actual caloric value of a cronut is unknown; Chef Ansel won’t give up his recipe. But according to Fat Secret, a comparable product, the donut, has 198 calories—and that’s a completely plain donut, no fillings. Approximately 48 percent of those calories are attributed to fat, 47 percent to carbs, and 5 percent to protein.

    A croissant isn’t that much better—depending on the recipe, this pastry served plain can be around 150 calories.

    cronuts

    The caloric value of cronuts is unknown, though it may be comparable to a Boston creme donut based on ingredients. (Shutterstock)

    The cronut is not only deep-fried, like a donut with the flakiness of a croissant, but it also contains a decadent filling which ups the estimated calorie count and the nutritional value remains low.

    “It’s a continuation of the doughnut craze but also sort of a continuation of everything fried. It’s kind of New York’s version of state fair food, only taken to a whole new level with the credibility of Dominique Ansel,” said to the Huffington Post, Niko Triantafillou, who founded Dessertbuzz.com and writes the Sugar Rush column at NewYork.SeriousEats.com.

    Ansel himself admits he does not know the nutritional value of his creation, but says it contains high amounts of butter, cream and glaze. It’s not looking good for the cronut so far.

    In comparison, take that plain donut mentioned before and turn it into a Boston crème donut, an idea fairly similar to the cronut concept. Now, you’re at approximately 400 calories for just one donut, states Fit Day, with almost 50 percent of those attributed to saturated fat.

    So the verdict on the cronut? Even without official nutritional information, it was not made to be a “light” meal item. If you’re going to indulge, it’s probably worth trying, but don’t wake up 2 hours early to stand in line every day. Doing so might just break your diet plans for day, week, or even one whole month!

    If you have cholesterol, blood sugar, cardiovascular or obesity issues, you probably want to stay away from this one.

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