In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Krispy Kreme is covering their doughnuts in green glaze. That's right - they are making green doughnuts.
This made us here at ACSH wonder.... why are we turning our junk food green when we have plenty of great green foods available already? And, what makes food that is green everyday - not just on St. Patrick's Day - so great?
Green foods that are naturally green (without green icing) like leafy vegetables (collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, spinach, and kale) are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. They are also high in folate which is critical during prenatal care to prevent birth defects. Additionally, broccoli and bok choy have B-vitamins. So, there is no need to buy those expensive bottles of pills at GNC to get your vitamins - you can simply have a salad instead.
Greens are high in dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium while being low in salt, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. They also contain an abundance of carotenoids which act as antioxidants in protecting cells from damage.
All of the above can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. In addition, they can support health through maintaining a healthy body weight, digestive system and protecting bones from osteoporosis, to name a few.
So, how many greens should we eat in a day? In the reinvented dietary guidelines recommendations distributed by the USDA to educate us on the balance of our daily intake of different food groups - they now recommend filling half of your plate at each meal with fruits and veggies. The 'choose my plate' graphic (shown below) is designed to help put this idea into practice.
Today's green food of choice however, is the sweet, fattening, sugary and delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts - which are some of the more than 10 billion donuts made every year in the United States. The green doughnut has 190 calories and 10 grams of fat (15% daily value) with 5 of those saturated (25% daily value.) That being said, Dunkin Donuts donuts range from 340 - 490 calories. Suffice it to say; it is high in carbs while low in fiber and vitamins. It is, basically, the opposite of a green food.
If you are feeling like a treat today, go ahead and feel free to make it a green Krispy Kreme doughnut. But, the rest of the time, please try to keep in mind that half of your daily food intake should be the other kind of green food. At least until June 7th rolls around which is national doughnut day.... or November 5th - on doughnut appreciation day.