Making The Case for Healthy Cookies

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Just when your resolve to stay on your New Year’s diet is beginning to crumble, a little cherub-faced darling arrives at the door hawking Girl Scout cookies. What’s worse, it’s your boss's daughter or favorite niece. How can anyone resist pint-sized salespeople, those moist and delicious Samoas or the chocolate-minty wafers—Thin Mints? Well, do not fear the calories or fat content. In order to serve the most calorie and nutrition conscious customer, Girl Scout cookie bakers offer a variety of cookies that can fit into your weight-loss plan.


Chances are these cookies will start showing up in lunch boxes, on dessert plates, and office break rooms. Just what you need to continue the over-indulgence of the December holidays!  Do not fear. Those tempting morsels of sugar, fat and fillings masquerading as treats can be a sensible snack that won’t break the diet.


An article in Money Talk News gives the nutritional data for a number of Girl Scout cookies to help consumers choose the best and healthiest“The Healthiest and the Fattiest Girl Scout Cookies of 2013” contains a chart listing the calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates and sodium in each cookie type. Depending on your particular diet or ingredient you’re trying to avoid, some cookies rank higher on the healthy scale than others.


If you’re counting calories, Shortbread cookies (60) or Savannah Smiles, a crescent-shaped lemon cookie dusted with powdered sugar (56) are your best bets. Stay away from the Samoas/Caramel deLites (the same cookie, different bakeries), and the Thanks-a-Lot, a shortbread cookie with a chocolate fudge bottom, all with a 150 calorie count per cookie. 


Counting the percentage of fat calories? According to the study, your best choices are the Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies (31%) and that low-calorie pick, Savannah Smiles (32%). Two cookies top the artery-clogging list of high-percentage fat cookies—Peanut Butter Patties (54%) and Tagalongs (57%), again same cookie, different bakeries. 


Counting fat grams? The dynamic duo of Samoas/Caramel deLites tops the charts at eight and nine grams respectively. The low-calorie winners, Shortbread and Savannah Smiles, scored the lowest fat gram content  with two grams each. 


With sugar considered “toxic” in some health studies, you might want to push aside the Caramel deLites/Samoas and Thanks-a-Lots, with their 11 grams of sugar, and choose the low-fat, low-calorie Shortbreads, Trefoils and Savannah Smiles with three grams of sugar or less.


Staying healthy is a matter of choices, and some people are better and stronger when it comes to making good choices about diet and nutrition. A lot of jobs are sedentary, or require sitting while driving or operating machinery. All that sugar, fat and empty calories can take their toll on the waistline. Consider your co-workers and yourself before you dump those Girl Scout cookies on the break room counter or open a box on your desk. Healthy is relative, and after all, they are still cookies. 


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