Are Orange Oatmeal Cookies Healthy
Orange and oatmeal hitherto not widely popular combinations for preparing cookies are slowly and steadily gaining ground. However, the question here is, will this ingredient combination help in making the cookies a healthy snack option? Oranges are known for their immune boosting properties and oats are popular as the new age elixir of good health. This article attempts to analyze the interactions of the key ingredients to determine the health quotient of orange oatmeal cookies…
Nutritional composition of orange oatmeal cookies
With orange and oatmeal cookies soon turning out to be new “in thing” among the health conscious groups, several commercial cookie brands have come up with their own versions of “healthy orange oatmeal cookies.” However, there is no standardization of the recipe used to prepare these treats making it difficult to give an absolute nutritional composition of these cookies. Hence, here is the nutrient break up of one of the popular commercially available oatmeal and orange cookie…
Total calories – 131kcal
Total fat – 5 gm
Saturated fat – 3 gm
Total carbohydrates – 19 gm
Sugar – 6 gm
Dietary fiber – 2 gm
Protein – 3 gm
Sodium – 65 mg
The calcium and iron content of the cookies can vary from 1% to 2% and depending upon the extent of fortification, these cookies may contain up to 2% Vitamin C and traces of B vitamins.
Health benefits of orange oatmeal cookies:
· Promote GI health
Oatmeal and oranges are a rich source of dietary fiber – both soluble and insoluble. Combined consumption of these foods is known to promote GI health, prevent constipation and enhance satiety value. Moreover, these cookies provide a special type of carbohydrate called resistant starch; this compound acts as a substrate for the growth of gut friendly probiotics, thus, further promoting good and healthy gut.
· Boosts immunity
Oranges are trove of vitamins and antioxidants. They contain more Vitamin C than any other commonly consumed fruit along with several classes of flavaniods, anthocynins, and a number of polyphenolic compounds. Oats on the other hand provide good amounts of potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. All of these boost immunity, protect cells from free radical damage, and prevent progression of degenerative diseases. The zest of orange is known to have antimicrobial and anti fungal properties
· Heart healthy
These cookies are a good source of potassium, and homocysteine - nutrients responsible for promoting and maintaining cardiac health. The citrus polyphenols present in orange pulp and orange zest help lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent wear and tear of blood vessels. Oats on the other hand help promote healthy blood lipid profile. These activities prevent aging of the cardiovascular system and reduce risk of developing CVDs.
· Are low in artificial flavors
Oranges have a rich flavor and zing to them. Adding orange pulp and zest to cookie recipe is a perfect way to add astringency to the cookies, which helps reduce the need for any artificial flavoring agents.
· Prevent Menopausal and PMS related symptoms
These cookies are a rich source of chemicals such as flavanoids, carotenoids, and other antioxidants, which help reduce hot flushes and night sweats. Oats is also a good source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals – required for maintaining general health, preventing depressive symptoms, and giving relief from PMS.
Disadvantages of eating oranges oatmeal cookies:
· Oranges and oatmeal are just 2 of the several ingredients used to prepare oatmeal cookies. Usually white flour, some form of fat, and at least a small quantity of sugar are needed along with other food additives to prepare cookies. Even though, the principle elements are surely teeming with nutrients, the same cannot be said about the other ingredients. Refined flour and sugar increase the glycemic index, while the fat increases the calorie value of the dish. These ingredients are typically low in fiber and high in empty calories.
· Apart from this, addition of additives like baking powder and cooking at high baking temperatures further degrades several nutrients present in uncooked oranges and oatmeal.
· However, the major problem seems to stem from the fact that most commercial orange oatmeal cookies may not contain any orange at all! Since oranges have a tendency to oxidize, manufacturers prefer using orange colors and flavors instead. Such cookies are obviously devoid of any health benefits and must be avoided.
To conclude, oranges sure don’t retain all their vital properties at the end of the baking process. What few nutrients are left, nevertheless, are good enough to make orange oatmeal cookies healthy. However, one needs to be wary of the commercial cookies, which are filled with refine carbs – these only serve your taste buds and derail you off your diet regime.