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Beignet Nutrition

By Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

Before the doughnut, there was the beignet, according to What's Cooking America. A beignet is made from raised pieces of yeast dough that have been fried, then sprinkled with sugar or smeared with icing. Although the beignet is lower in fat and calories than a doughnut, it is still considered a sweet treat that you should not eat everyday if you are following a heart-healthy diet.

Calories

Calories in food indicate the amount of energy it supplies. Eating more calories than you can use causes your body to store the extra energy as fat. Most adults can maintain a healthy weight eating 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day. One 2 oz. beignet contains 147 calories. In comparison, one sugared cake doughnut contains 192 calories.

Fat

One 2 oz. beignet contains 1 g of total fat and 0 g of saturated fat. A traditional sugared cake doughnut contains 10 g of total fat and 2.6 g of saturated fat. The USDA's dietary guidelines suggest you limit your daily fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of total calories, and saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total calories. On a 2,000-calorie diet that means 44 to 78 g of total fat a day and no more than 22 g of saturated fat a day.

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Carbohydrates

One beignet contains 30 g of carbohydrates and 1 g of fiber. Most of your calories should come from carbohydrates because they serve as the primary source of fuel for your body. A balanced diet should contain 45 to 65 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, which means that on a 2,000-calorie diet, your carbohydrate intake should range from 225 to 325 g per day. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. It can help control hunger and alleviate constipation. The beignet is not a significant source of fiber. Healthy women should try to eat 21 to 25 g of fiber a day, and healthy men 30 to 38 g of fiber per day.

Protein

One beignet contains 4 g of protein. A balanced diet should contain 10 to 35 percent of its calories from protein. Your body uses the protein in foods to help rebuild tissue and maintain its muscle mass. Adequate intakes of protein also support your immune system.

Sodium

One beignet contains 80 mg of sodium. In comparison, one sugared cake doughnut contains 181 mg of sodium. High intakes of sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure. The USDA recommends that you limit your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg a day.

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