Are Oatmeal Cookies Healthy?

Oatmeal cookies are quite possibly the most divisive cookie choice ever. It’s the Marmite of the baked goods world.

So often they are considered “bland”, “like chewable Ovaltine” and, overarchingly, “too healthy”. But are oatmeal cookies actually a more nutritious choice than Double Chocolate Chip or Snickerdoodle? Or are Oatmeal Raisins just another tasty treat from the oatmeal franchise who have been several misrepresented?

Related: Are Granola Bars Actually Healthy? 

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Are Oatmeal Cookies Healthy?

First of all, let’s look at the typical ingredients list on a standard Oatmeal Raisin cookie. Let’s go for the best of the bunch – Subway’s own.

Ingredients:

Flour Enriched ( Wheat Flour, Barley Malted Flour, Niacin Vitamin B3, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid Vitamin B9 ), Sugar, Raisins, Palm Oil, Oats, Eggs, Water, Molasses, Salt, Whey, Baking Soda, Cinnamon

Well, there are healthy oats in these cookies

Whilst we all know that eating oats can help improve digestion (See here for why oats are great for digestion) and regulate blood sugar levels, oats are actually the 11th ingredient in the bunch, preceded by sugar, raisins and palm oil. Before all of these, however, is enriched flour which ups the carb intake ten-fold.

Raisins are healthy snacks, so these are healthy too

Yeah, I guess raisins are okay but they are actually full of natural sugars and eating too many of these is just as bad as eating table sugar. They also have a medium GI (Glycemic index) which means they make your blood sugar shoot up if you eat too many of them (more on the Glycemic Index here).

There isn’t as much sugar as in other cookies

HA! Believe what you want but thanks to the pure sugar, raisins, and molasses (basically just brown sugar), four Oatmeal Raisin cookies contain on average 16g, whilst four Double Choc Chip cookies contain 9g of sugar on average.

So which cookie is my healthiest option?

Of course, we can now rule out Oatmeal Raisin as healthy, and a lot of cookies get their sweet and snappy nature from lots of sugar and oil, so your best option is to find a recipe online that suits your lifestyle. My favourite are the three ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies from My Whole Food Life which are comprised of just peanut butter, a little syrup and salt. Delish!

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