Cookies are a favorite childhood snack and treat, and can be the perfect way to stave off hunger pangs in the middle of a work or school day. These treats are easy to carry around, and conveniently available from stores everywhere. With the world becoming more concerned about the levels of obesity and some countries and health products becoming more popular, it is inevitable that the topic of discussion will shift to these little treats as well. The truth is, there is a very large difference between off-the-shelf and homemade cookies in terms of nutritional value, and here is the lowdown on the nutrition of cookies.
Off-the-shelf cookies are very high in sugar content, and some contain up to 37.5% sugar. Sugar is what that makes a cookie taste good and appealing to children (in particular), but it is also the very thing that pushes up the rates of obesity when too much of it is included in the diet. Sugar is necessary for the daily needs of people, but too much of it puts a person at risk of diabetes. The alternative to store-bought cookies is homemade ones, and with those that are homemade, the level of sugar can be controlled and therefore reduced.
A cookie is made out of mostly carbohydrate in the form of sugar and flour. Flour is the very thing that binds a cookie together and gives it the shape and texture, and is therefore essential in a cookie. There is nothing wrong with eating carbohydrates, but too much puts a person at risk of obesity. The body burns carbohydrates to run itself, but the excess is stored away as fat. Flour has also given issues in recent years about gluten-related allergies, and is therefore not suitable for those people. In addition, large amounts of flour-based items are not recommended for those who have a weight problem or diabetes.
With butter in a cookie, fats are evidently present. Traditional recipes call for lard or shortening, but these days, butter is used in their place. Too much fat is bad for the body, and causes weight problems and a buildup of fatty acids as the body tries to break down the fat that is ingested. Homemade cookies can opt for the healthier choice of using vegetable oil that has a higher level of unsaturated fats and therefore are less prone to causing heart problems.
Fiber can form part of a cookie if it contains dried fruit or nuts. More fiber is beneficial for the body as it helps to shift bowels, preventing constipation that can result in colon cancer over a prolonged period of time. However, it is better to choose those that have larger chunks of fruit, so that the fiber strands are not broken up and are therefore more effective in helping the digestion process.
It is definitely preferable to make cookies at home for the best nutritional value in these snacks. However, for those who cannot afford the time, try to cut down on the number of cookies eaten every day, or choose those from the stores with a lower sugar and fat content.