Are Almond Oatmeal Cookies Healthy?
Cookies have long been considered as nothing but tasty treats, however, does that hold true for almond oatmeal cookies? Almonds are popular as the memory enhancers and oatmeal is a known source of several wholesome nutrients. It is obvious to assume that anything prepared using these as the key ingredients would be healthy, or is it! Read on to find out the truth…
Nutritional composition of almond oatmeal cookies
Several forms of almond and oatmeal cookies are available with many recipes combining other ingredients like chocolate chip, peanuts, raisins, etc. to the cookie mixture. The values given here are for standardized oatmeal and almond cookies prepared using flour, butter, and sugar as the main adjuncts. For ease of discussion, the other varieties have not been included.
Total calories – 165 kcal
Total fat – 4 gm
Saturated fat – 1 gm
Cholesterol – 23 mg
Total carbohydrates – 30 gm
Sugar – 8 gm
Dietary fiber – 5 gm
Protein – 6 gm
Sodium – 63 mg
The calcium, potassium, and iron content of the cookies can vary from 1% to 15%.
Health benefits of almond oatmeal cookies:
Good for brain development and function
Almonds are a rich source of essential fatty acids, which are important for brain development and cognition. Oatmeal is a good source of carbohydrates, which is the primary source of energy to the brain. These 2 ingredients together enhance brain activity and cognitive functions.
Prevents lifestyle related diseases and disorders
Both oatmeal and almonds are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These nutrients help prevent a medley of diseases including CVD, diabetes, and cancer.
Helps reduce weight
The abundance of soluble fibers in the cookies provides very high satiety value. This helps curb sweet cravings and junk food addiction. Almonds have a naturally sweet taste, which helps reduce the amount of sugar added to cookies. If prepared using the right adjuncts, these cookies can actually help maintain weight loss regimen.
Good for skin
Almonds are rich source of tocopherol / Vitamin E: a nutrient known for preventing premature aging, wrinkles, and promoting supple skin. Irregular bowel movements is purported to cause acne, the high fiber content of these cookies helps prevent this malady as well.
Disadvantages of eating almonds oatmeal cookies:
Even though almonds and oatmeal healthy ingredients, they make up for less than 50% of the cookie recipe. Adjuncts such as butter or shortening, white flour, and sugar are essential to prepare this dish and responsible for making them not so healthy after all. As is evident from the nutrition profile given earlier, these add unnecessary calories and free sugar to the baked dish. Moreover, while the key ingredients help reduce cholesterol, fat used to prepare the cookies add direct cholesterol to the diet. Sugar and white flour cause a sudden peak in blood sugar levels, which negates the presence of dietary fibers in oats and almonds. Thus nullifying the health benefits brought about by almonds and oats.
Apart from the additives added the processing that the key ingredients endure ends up damaging several of their virtues. Most antioxidants are heat labile and so are the vitamins present in these foods. Unless fortified, the cookies may not provide any of the antioxidant and vitamin benefits of the raw ingredients.
Certain studies have shown that over consumption of almonds can cause hair loss problems and hence, must be consumed in moderation.
People with almond and/or tree nut allergy must avoid consuming almonds in any form. Consuming any food product that has come in contact with and/or contains almonds can cause fatal anaphylactic shock among these people.
Thus, to conclude, almond oatmeal cookies can at the best be labeled as best of the 2 evils. They surely are better options than butter cookies or sugar cookies, but when compared to other snack or breakfast dishes like almond oatmeal porridge, they do fail to deliver results.