Are Pecan Oatmeal Cookies Healthy?
A recent study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) called Pecans the “immune boosting nut,” due to the high levels of antioxidants it contains. However, will adding these nuts to oatmeal cookies spell HEALTHY SNACKS, or are pecan oatmeal cookies nothing more than tasty treats? If you are bogged by these questions then fret not for here is a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of these cookies to help you take an informed decision…
Nutritional composition of pecan oatmeal cookies
Pecan oatmeal cookies are usually combined with other ingredients like cranberries, choco-chips, peanuts, or pecans to bring in a better crunch. Since, the nutritional compositions and benefits of the cookies is majorly affected by these additions; the analysis given here refers to pure pecan and oatmeal cookies, prepared using butter, white flour, and sugar.
Total calories – 85kcal
Total fat – 3 gm
Saturated fat – 1.5 gm
Total carbohydrates – 13 gm
Sugar – 8 gm
Dietary fiber – 0.5 gm
Protein – 1 gm
Sodium – 85 mg
These cookies can provide up to 10 mg of Calcium and 0.5 mg of Iron.
Health benefits of pecan oatmeal cookies:
Helps reduce weight
Unlike the popular belief that nuts promote weight gain, pecans have a high satiety value, which along with the abundance of soluble fibers in the cookies (from presence of oatmeal) keeps one full for a long time. This helps curb sweet cravings and junk food addiction. Pecans are notably rich in certain amino acids that work as neurotransmitters and help curb sugar cravings, this too helps maintain healthy eating habits.
Promotes brain development and cognition
Pecans, like other tree nuts, are a rich source of essential fatty acids, which are important for brain development and cognition. Oatmeal is a good source of carbohydrates. Each serving of these cookies provides up to 13 gm of carbs (as indicated earlier) which is the primary source of energy to the brain. These 2 ingredients together enhance brain activity and cognitive functions.
Helps prevent diseases
Both oatmeal and pecans are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These nutrients help prevent a medley of diseases including CVD, diabetes, and hypertension. Apart from that, pecan has been recently labeled as the immune boosting nut, due to the abundance of Vitamin B complex nutrients, trace minerals, and anti-inflammatory compounds. These nutrients, together help prevent both lifestyle related and pollutant/pathogen linked diseases and disorders.
Contains potent anti cancer ingredients
Oatmeal has been long known as a potent cancer fighting food, with potential to prevent and even manage colo-rectal cancers. Pecan too is known to prevent several types of cancers including breast cancer, kidney cancer, and prostate cancer.
Disadvantages of eating pecans oatmeal cookies:
Incidence of pecan allergy and tree nut allergy are growing in the population today, making pecan containing cookies highly dangerous for these people. Consuming these cookies can results in symptoms ranging from mild rash, rhinitis, and taste changes, to more fatal anaphylactic shock.
Pecans and oats sure add a medley of nutrients to the cookies, but these benefits are not without a flip side. The cookies contain other ingredients like butter, flour, and sugar, which add empty calories, cholesterol, gluten, and sodium to the cookies. These compounds essentially negate all the healthful properties of pecans and oatmeal.
There is evidence that suggests that excess consumption of pecans can cause skin and hair problems, resulting in acne and hair loss.
Thus, one can easily say that pecan oatmeal cookies are treats that can be labeled as best of the two evils. If compared to other popular cookies, these provide much less calories and contain several components that promote good health. However, they are calorie dense, with questionable amounts of additives added. Hence, it is best to eat them as occasional treats rather than a regular diet feature.