Donuts and Dietary Thoughts

1st July, 2015

Nothing says ‘Tuckshop’ – at least of my own childhood – as much as a cream bun; That glorious, plump, yeasty vehicle for lashings of cream and impossibly sweet red jam; powered with icing sugar it was an art to enclose ones lips over the first bite and either not be cascaded with the sugar or the cream or both.

I’d forgotten cream buns until my sister (who has recently embraced the 5.2 diet) elaborated upon an amazing donut place she had found.

Clearly it was not on her “2” day (where you have very few calories) and Daniels Donuts is far away from Bayside – in fact it’s in Springvale.

But the cream bun is just one of its incredible offerings amongst Lemon Meringue pie donuts, Tiramisu custard donuts, Snickers bar donuts, Peanut butter jelly donuts, Golden Gaytime donuts, Mars Bar donuts with Salted Caramel donuts and on and on the variety is as extraordinary as the imagination which dreamed them up.  So creative are the bakers that they offer to make up any reasonable flavour customers may come up with.

Indeed the donut has morphed unrecognisably from the days of yore when it figured enticingly during a trip to the market – especially on a frosty Melbourne morning with the ‘Donut Van’ a veritable little temple where customers could be transformed by the alchemy of carbs and fat.

Who can forget clutching that brown paper bag, immediately blotched with fat and plunging ones hand in to grab a sugar coated yeasty donut and biting tentatively (yet with huge expectation) lest the jam burn your tongue?

The donut van was very assured of its product.  No side lines to tempt at the      window and make extra dough.  The only dough that mattered was the plump offerings of sugary splendour that disappeared very rapidly.  They were really the joy of the moment – a bit like a Billy Graham conversion all ardent passion on the day but  dry and withered the next.

Daniels Donuts on Princes Highway is the sister establishment to the first bakery opened in Wyndham Vale in the Western Suburbs.  This outlet achieved International attention when it opened in 2015.  It sold 10,000 Nutella donuts everyday with queues winding forever.

The Springvale Daniels is open 24 hours a day (like emergency Departments in Hospitals – well you never know when a chocolate glazed triple banana cream donut is as necessary as a blood transfusion).  It achieves its highest sales and is at its busiest at 12 midnight every Saturday night.

Daniel’s cleverly balance their saturated sweetness with some savoury sensibility as well; their pies and pastries sit alongside all the creamy, iced delicacies and have their own devoted followers.  Some travel for miles and go ape especially for the curry pie.

There are vegan and gluten free options for savoury and sweet offerings alike.  Now I know I am very ignorant about veganism and gluten free-ism.  I have always had the notion that these folk are very health conscious.  Well, Coeliacs who need gluten free food must avoid gluten or suffer profound and potentially damaging effects upon their gut, and vegans of course, reject all use of animals for their flesh or other exploitative use.  But the thought of    either of these groups queuing up for decadent donuts and pies seems a bit contradictory – like searching for healthy fairy floss or nutritious sherbie bombs.

But how ridiculous is this …. Vegans and Coeliacs have just as much right (and often need) to indulge in some pleasure as the next one.

And oh! The advertising and commercial power of this appeal would be “healthiness”.  Jumping on the bandwagon of food puritanism and the notion of eating clean (er ….. eating cream?) is great for the corporate bottom line.

Food and well-being can involve pleasure as a huge component but sometimes what we eat can be a bit tricky.

Diabetes and Dementia can be difficult bedfellows.  A disease with huge health implications, diabetes is managed very differently in the elderly than in the young, and by this I mean ‘our type of elderly’.  In the young, raised blood sugars and all the resulting complications can cause blood vessel disease, kidney damage, eyesight problems etc.  These are one very serious issue which sensibly warrant attention to diet; A healthy diet with complex carbohydrate, nutritionally rich and balanced foods and only a controlled allowance of decadent delicacies.

No one wants a younger person or adult to lay down long term damage that ends in disablement.

Treats now and then are fine but a ‘Hersches Heart Attack’ or ‘Nestle Neuropathy’ must be avoided at all costs.

However in the final years of the lifespan there can be a loosening up of the dietary discipline required to keep a young diabetic healthy.

In fact dieticians do not advocate a ‘diabetic’ diet in Aged Care.  The elderly often have reduced appetite and can struggle to take in enough calories.  Usually a ‘normal’ diet is advised but without too much added extra sugar.

Throw in a bit of Dementia with reduced insight and opportunity for pleasure and some treats would seem an appropriate way to go in advanced age.

Which reminds me of admitting a lady recently; In doing her health history I asked her son how her Type 2 Diabetes was managed.  “Oh! With Tim Tams and Ice Cream!!, he said.  I was even more impressed that he was a Doctor!

Keep happy and if you yield to temptation now and then ‘donut’ worry about it!



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