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Croissant vs. Danish Pastry — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on July 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan Article author photo Astghik Baghinyan
Croissant
vs
Danish pastry

Summary

Although both croissants and Danish pastries use similar ingredients for the dough, traditional Danish pastries also incorporate eggs into the dough. Croissants provide around 3 times more cholesterol as well as slightly more carbs and calories when compared to Danish pastries. 

Generally, croissants contain higher levels of various vitamins than Danish pastries. For instance, they provide 2 times more vitamins B1 and B5 and 5 times more vitamin A. However, the mineral contents in both pastries are quite similar.

Introduction

Croissants and Danish pastries are popular sweets of European origin. In this article, we will be comparing Croissants and Danish pastries while focusing on nutrition.

What's the Actual Difference?

Croissants and Danish pastries are both multilayered laminated pastries, but croissant dough is believed to produce even more layers when baked.

While both croissants and Danish pastries use similar ingredients and recipes to prepare the doughs, traditional Danish pastries also include eggs in the dough.

Different types of these pastries may have various fillings. Croissants and Danish pastries differ in their folding techniques: the former is letter-folded, while the latter is made using a book fold.

Nutrition

The nutritional differences here are depicted for butter croissants and cheese-filled Danish pastries

The serving sizes for both are usually one piece. Depending on the size, the weight of the croissant will differ. On average, one medium-sized croissant is about 57 grams, while a large one weighs 67 grams. One Danish pastry weighs about 71 grams

However, to keep the comparison between the two pastries simple, we will sometimes refer to 100-gram servings of each in this section. 

Macronutrients and Calories

As can be seen from the macronutrient comparison charts below, Danish pastries and croissants have similar macronutrient compositions. The predominant macronutrients in both are carbs, which make up 46% of the entire macronutrient composition of croissants and 37% of the entire macronutrient composition of Danish pastries. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Carbs +23.1%
Contains more Other +20%
Contains more Water +35.3%
Equal in Protein - 8
Equal in Fats - 21.9
8% 21% 46% 23% 2%
Protein: 8.2 g
Fats: 21 g
Carbs: 45.8 g
Water: 23.2 g
Other: 1.8 g
8% 22% 37% 31%
Protein: 8 g
Fats: 21.9 g
Carbs: 37.2 g
Water: 31.4 g
Other: 1.5 g
Contains more Carbs +23.1%
Contains more Other +20%
Contains more Water +35.3%
Equal in Protein - 8
Equal in Fats - 21.9

Calories

Both croissants and Danish pastries are high-calorie foods, but croissants provide slightly more calories than Danish pastries.

Per 100-gram serving, croissants provide 406 calories, while the same serving of Danish pastries provides 374 calories.

Fats

Croissants and Danish pastries have similar amounts of fats; however, they differ in the amount of saturated and unsaturated fats they contain. 

Croissants are higher in saturated fats, while Danish pastries provide 2 times more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -41.7%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +104.8%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +135.4%
64% 30% 6%
Saturated Fat: 11.659 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5.525 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.094 g
33% 55% 12%
Saturated Fat: 6.794 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 11.313 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.575 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -41.7%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +104.8%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +135.4%

Cholesterol

Croissant is 3 times richer in cholesterol when compared to Danish pastry.

Per 100-gram serving, Danish pastries provide 23mg of cholesterol, while croissants contain 67mg.

Carbohydrates

Croissants are slightly higher in carbs than Danish pastries. Per 100-gram serving, they contain 45.8g of carbs, while Danish pastries contain 37.2g

Croissant is higher in sugar content. It also provides 2 times more fiber than Danish pastry.   

Protein

Croissants and Danish pastries contain some proteins due to the ingredients they are prepared from. Croissant contains 0.2g more protein per 100g; hence, this difference is negligible.

Again, keep in mind that we are referring to butter croissants and cheese-filled Danish pastries; hence, the nutritional values presented above may change if we compare different fillings of these pastries. 

Vitamins

Croissants have higher vitamin content than Danish pastries. 

Croissants are more than 2 times richer in vitamins B1 and B5 and 5 times richer in vitamin A compared to Danish pastries. They also contain higher amounts of folate

Danish pastries provide slightly more amounts of vitamin K and vitamin B12. Both croissants and Danish pastries also contain similar amounts of vitamin B2 and vitamin B3.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +481.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +140%
Contains more Vitamin C +100%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +104.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +183.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +45%
Contains more Folate +46.7%
Contains more Choline +93%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +25%
Contains more Vitamin K +283.3%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.26
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 2
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 45% 17% 0% 1% 97% 56% 42% 52% 14% 66% 20% 22% 5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 8% 7% 0% 1% 48% 60% 38% 19% 10% 45% 25% 11% 18%
Contains more Vitamin A +481.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +140%
Contains more Vitamin C +100%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +104.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +183.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +45%
Contains more Folate +46.7%
Contains more Choline +93%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +25%
Contains more Vitamin K +283.3%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.26
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 2

Minerals

The mineral composition of these two pastries is quite similar. The predominant minerals found in both are selenium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and manganese

They both contain similar amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. Croissants are slightly higher in iron and potassium, while Danish pastries are slightly higher in sodium and copper.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Iron +12.8%
Contains more Potassium +20.4%
Contains more Selenium +20.1%
Contains less Sodium -10.7%
Contains more Copper +11.3%
Equal in Calcium - 35
Equal in Magnesium - 15
Equal in Phosphorus - 108
Equal in Zinc - 0.7
Equal in Manganese - 0.351
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 12% 77% 12% 45% 11% 61% 21% 27% 44% 124%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 11% 68% 11% 47% 9% 55% 20% 30% 46% 104%
Contains more Iron +12.8%
Contains more Potassium +20.4%
Contains more Selenium +20.1%
Contains less Sodium -10.7%
Contains more Copper +11.3%
Equal in Calcium - 35
Equal in Magnesium - 15
Equal in Phosphorus - 108
Equal in Zinc - 0.7
Equal in Manganese - 0.351

Glycemic Index

Both croissants and Danish pastries are considered to have a medium glycemic index value. However, the glycemic index of croissants (56) is slightly higher than the glycemic index of Danish pastries (50)

You can check the GI values for the other foods by visiting our glycemic index chart.

Acidity

One way to understand the acidity of foods is through their potential renal acid load (PRAL) value, which shows how much acid or base the given food produces inside the organism. 

Based on our calculations, the PRAL values of croissants and Danish pastries are 4.5 and 5, respectively, meaning both values are acidic.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Croissants and Danish pastries are considered to be processed food products. They can contain trans fats and saturated fats that increase the amounts of LDL cholesterol, causing a higher risk of heart disease and stroke (1, 2, 3). 

These two pastries are also high in sodium. A high intake of dietary sodium is linked with the development of heart disease (4). It is recommended to reduce the consumption of processed food products to improve health outcomes.

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: July 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan

Infographic

Croissant vs Danish pastry infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Croissant Danish pastry
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Croissant Danish pastry Opinion
Net carbs 43.2g 36.2g Croissant
Protein 8.2g 8g Croissant
Fats 21g 21.9g Danish pastry
Carbs 45.8g 37.2g Croissant
Calories 406kcal 374kcal Croissant
Sugar 11.26g 6.95g Danish pastry
Fiber 2.6g 1g Croissant
Calcium 37mg 35mg Croissant
Iron 2.03mg 1.8mg Croissant
Magnesium 16mg 15mg Croissant
Phosphorus 105mg 108mg Danish pastry
Potassium 118mg 98mg Croissant
Sodium 467mg 417mg Danish pastry
Zinc 0.75mg 0.7mg Croissant
Copper 0.08mg 0.089mg Danish pastry
Manganese 0.33mg 0.351mg Danish pastry
Selenium 22.7µg 18.9µg Croissant
Vitamin A 744IU 128IU Croissant
Vitamin A RAE 206µg 35µg Croissant
Vitamin E 0.84mg 0.35mg Croissant
Vitamin D 0IU 2IU Danish pastry
Vitamin C 0.2mg 0.1mg Croissant
Vitamin B1 0.388mg 0.19mg Croissant
Vitamin B2 0.241mg 0.26mg Danish pastry
Vitamin B3 2.188mg 2mg Croissant
Vitamin B5 0.861mg 0.304mg Croissant
Vitamin B6 0.058mg 0.04mg Croissant
Folate 88µg 60µg Croissant
Vitamin B12 0.16µg 0.2µg Danish pastry
Choline 38.8mg 20.1mg Croissant
Vitamin K 1.8µg 6.9µg Danish pastry
Tryptophan 0.099mg 0.089mg Croissant
Threonine 0.284mg 0.293mg Danish pastry
Isoleucine 0.365mg 0.371mg Danish pastry
Leucine 0.623mg 0.644mg Danish pastry
Lysine 0.329mg 0.43mg Danish pastry
Methionine 0.175mg 0.174mg Croissant
Phenylalanine 0.416mg 0.402mg Croissant
Valine 0.41mg 0.412mg Danish pastry
Histidine 0.187mg 0.205mg Danish pastry
Cholesterol 67mg 23mg Danish pastry
Saturated Fat 11.659g 6.794g Danish pastry
Omega-3 - DHA 0.002g 0.001g Croissant
Omega-3 - EPA 0.003g 0g Croissant
Monounsaturated Fat 5.525g 11.313g Danish pastry
Polyunsaturated fat 1.094g 2.575g Danish pastry

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Croissant Danish pastry
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
33%
Croissant
22%
Danish pastry
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
43%
Croissant
40%
Danish pastry

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Danish pastry
Danish pastry is lower in Sugar (difference - 4.31g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Danish pastry
Danish pastry contains less Sodium (difference - 50mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Danish pastry
Danish pastry is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 44mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Danish pastry
Danish pastry is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 4.865g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Danish pastry
Danish pastry is lower in glycemic index (difference - 6)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Croissant
Croissant is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Croissant
Croissant is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Croissant - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174987/nutrients
  2. Danish pastry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172754/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.