How to fit sufganiyot into your diet

Make sure to eat some nutritious food with your donut!

Yehuda bakery prepares for Hanukkah with freshly baked donuts, or sufganiyot, December 6, 2022. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yehuda bakery prepares for Hanukkah with freshly baked donuts, or sufganiyot, December 6, 2022.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Hanukkah donuts appear in bakeries and supermarkets soon after the end of Sukkot in October, even though the oily, fried delicacy is traditionally eaten only during the Festival of Lights in late December.

Most Israelis can’t resist, not only the ordinary jam-filled donuts but also expensive ones with regular and white chocolate, crème pâtissière, icing, marzipan and more, while in the US, less-tempting potato pancakes with applesauce still rule supreme.

Yossi Lin, director of the sports department at the Middle Arava Regional Council, offers a variety of tips that may help you get through the holiday without raising your blood sugar by too much.

1. Plan in advance

Try to commit to yourself in advance to how many donuts you will eat during the eight-day holiday.

 Traditional Hanukkah jelly donuts.  (credit: ALON LEVITA) Traditional Hanukkah jelly donuts. (credit: ALON LEVITA)

2. Stay moving

Exercise and take walks on Hanukkah, alone or together with the family – trips in nature, spending time with the children in playgrounds, running and more.

3. Homemade is better

Try to bake the donuts instead of frying them. Just brush the balls of dough with a little oil and bake. After that, you can fill it with whatever you want.

4. Be picky with your flour

Use as much spelt or whole-wheat flour as possible instead of white refined flour. Although this doesn’t minimize the calories, these more-healthy flours are rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and create a feeling of satiety for a longer time.

5. A little oil goes a long way

It’s best not to deep-fry the donuts, but if you do, put the dough in the oil only when it is very hot so they will absorb less of it. Canola oil is the preferred oil for frying.

Some more tips

The larger the surface area of the donut, the less oil it absorbs, so a large donut is better than two small ones. Prepare the filling at home and don’t use purchased jams and chocolate spreads that are high in sugar. Make fritters not only from potatoes, but use sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini and other vegetables.

Additionally, when you’re having your donut for dessert, first eat some nutritious foods.

You don’t have to avoid the rich holiday foods at all costs, and if there is a day where you overdo it a bit, the next day you can cut down on high-fat foods. Above all, concluded Lin, maintain health and fitness.