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Eat oatmeal raisin cookies in moderation; they may contain more sugar than you expect.
Moist, sweet and chewy oatmeal cookies are hard to resist - especially when they're fresh out of the oven. As an occasional treat, an oatmeal cookie won't wreck your diet. But because of their sugar, fat and calorie content, you shouldn't eat too many of them too often. You also need to watch your portion size, as some store-bought oatmeal raisin cookies can be more than one serving.
Ingredients in Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
The typical oatmeal raisin cookie recipe contains oats, flour, salt, butter, sugar, eggs and raisins. Butter and sugar are the two big diet-wreckers on the list. Too much added sugar in your diet leads to weight gain, and it can also have more serious long-term effects. A 2014 analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a significant link between added sugar consumption and risk of death from cardiovascular disease among 10, 628 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Butter contains saturated fat, which can raise your levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease, according to study results published in the British Medical Journal in 2016.
The flour - especially if it's white flour - isn't innocent either. White flour is a refined grain product that has been stripped of its nutrition. Refined grains are metabolized similarly to added sugars and consumption has been linked with obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, according to Harvard Medical School.
A study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum in 2018 found that patients with stage III colon cancer who frequently consumed refined grains during and up to six months after chemotherapy had an increased risk of cancer recurrence and death compared to patients who ate less refined grains and more whole grains.
Calories and More
You probably already know that in order to maintain a healthy weight, you have to stay within a certain calorie budget each day that is determined by your gender, age and activity level. Calories from baked goods add up surprisingly quickly and can derail a diet plan.
A small cookie that is 2 inches in diameter and weighs about .75 ounces contains approximately 87 calories. That's about 4.5 percent of the 2,000 calories the typical moderately active woman needs daily, according to the USDA. It's not going to break the bankвЂ¦ unless you eat more than one.
Cookies are often larger than 2 inches. A 3-inch oatmeal raisin cookie weighing 1.25 ounces has 146 calories, or about 7.5 percent of a 2,000-calorie diet. Then there are those giant oatmeal raisin cookies wrapped in plastic near the checkout at cafes and fast food restaurants that are so hard to resist. They are at least 4 inches in diameter, and it's so hard to just eat a little bit and save or share the rest. A 4-inch cookie weighing 2.25 ounces has 259 calories, according to USDA nutrition data. That's over 10 percent of a 2,000-calorie diet in one cookie.
As for fat and sugar, your oatmeal cookie will contain between 3.5 and 8 grams of fat, depending on size. More than half of that is saturated fat. Your cookie will also contain 10 to 22.5 grams of sugars, the majority of which are added sugars.
Oatmeal cookies are sweet treats. They shouldn't be eaten every day or considered a good snack option. However, making your cookies at home with with whole-wheat flour can increase the nutrient value, according to Mayo Clinic. Using almond flour may be an even better option, according to 2014 research in the Journal of Research and Medical Sciences showing that almonds, although high in calories, may positively influence weight loss and reduce heart disease risk factors.
Lastly, decreasing the added sugar - or replacing it entirely with the natural sweetness of bananas or applesauce - can also bring your cookies up a few notches on the nutritional scale.