Fat Tuesday – why exactly do we eat doughnuts?

Today is the last Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday and Lent. Every year part of the people wonder how many doughnuts can they eat to not gaining weight, how many calories will they consume, how much must exercise is needed to burn them, and whether he should eat them or it may be better to give up binging, not to forfeit the recently started diet.

1. How exactly did the tradition of eating donuts on Fat Tuesday start?

The history of Fat Tuesday dates back to ancient times and the Romans celebrating the end of winter and beginning of spring. What were they indulging in back then? Above all, fatty meats, but they also had bread-dough pastries filled with bacon, unlike today’s marmalade-filled doughnuts. Baked goods as such meant to symbolize abundance.

The tradition of the fat Tuesday appeared in Poland in the sixteenth century. Then it appeared the habit of eating donuts. In contrast to those that can currently be purchased in stores, inside of this sweet delicacy placed walnut or almond. Finding them in the doughnut to symbolize happiness.

2. What does the tradition look today?

Most of us don’t know or remember this history. It’s worth noting the fact that the tradition of the fat Tuesday and the carnival festivities once had a much greater significance, since they pertained to the Lent, which lasted until Easter Sunday.

In fact, nowadays Fat Tuesday for many people is a day like any other. For the rest of the people is the time in which they can without remorse gorge on donuts glazed with icing and filled with jam and churros sprinkled with icing sugar. But there also are people - and there will be more of them - who care about their health and figure every day, who exercise and watch what they eat. For the majority of such people Mardi Gras is a stressful situation. On the one hand they do not want to break the rules of their diet, and the other – they’re constantly tempted by everyone around them.

3. To eat or not to eat?

First, I suggest you shouldn’t be doing things just because other people do them. If you don’t want to eat doughnuts – then don’t.

On the other hand, use common sense. If you’re dying for a donut, and you ate your last one on the previous Shrove Tuesday, then one or even two treats will not ruin your hard work.

One donut with icing and jam, weighing 70g is 290 kcal, and about 11g is fat, 44g carbohydrates.

Remember, however, that five doughnuts sum up to about 1450 kcal, 220g of carbohydrates. So if you decide to celebrate the tradition but do not want it to negatively affect your diet – do not consume doughnuts in bulk.

If you are on a very strict diet, include the doughnut in the calorie balance. If you do so, there is very little chance that this doughnut will end up where it shouldn’t (e.g. your hips)

If you decided to eat a doughnut - do not buy it in the supermarket. Just like the bread, it’s made from re-baked deep-freeze dough. These pastries usually include the entire periodic table, including ascordil palmitate, carboxymethyl cellulose, carrageenan, xanthan gum, lactone of gluconic acid, potassium sorbate or polysorbate 60. The recipe for a real doughnut is flour, sugar, oil, yeast, egg yolks, nothing else.

4. A not so fat doughnut

If you look at what you’ll provide your body with by eating five donuts, the doubt arises is it’ realty a Fat Tuesday. In the end, doughnuts mainly contain large amount of sugars of dubious quality.

5. So why not celebrate Fat Tuesday with a full-fat meal?

In ancient times, the Romans were enjoying greasy meats and pastries and bacon.

So if we look back into history, we should celebrate Fat Tuesday by eating a good portion of pork or fatty sea fish. For dessert, a most fitting dish would be a pastry based on eggs, desiccated coconut and dark chocolate.

To sum it up, the tradition of Fat Tuesday dates back to ancient times, when the Romans were munching on fatty meats and savory pastries -not filled with marmalade. If you care about honoring the tradition, why not eat a decent portion of fatty meat?