Whole Grain Cookies – Help or Hype?

Craving a cookie? Go ahead… eat a cookie! Seriously.
The Brand Doctors here at eBrandAid.com never preach total abstinence. What we do urge is that you practice safe snacks. And, what we mean by that is you should opt for the cookies that are still great-tasting, but don’t contain a bunch of junk ingredients.

Abstinence from anything you desire is unrealistic, inflexible, and frankly no fun. So, if you’re going to indulge every once in a while, you might as well choose the cookie that has the least amount of preservatives, additives, and harmful ingredients. We recommend that you go for the ones that use mostly real, all-natural ingredients.


Reality Check

Cookie buyers beware! Label deception and false advertising claims have even made their way into the cookie aisle. Popular food manufacturers are jumping on the better-for-you bandwagon – offering popular brand name cookies as “healthier” options because they’re made from whole grains. Suspicious!

Case in point: Nabisco Fig Newtons 100% Whole Grain Cookies

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Nutrition facts: 2 cookies per serving, 110 cals, 2g fat, 115mg sodium, 2g fiber, 12g sugar, 1g protein

Ingredients: WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR, FIGS PRESERVED WITH SULFUR DIOXIDE, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, WHEY (FROM MILK), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, SALT, BAKING SODA, CALCIUM LACTATE, MALIC ACID, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), POTASSIUM SORBATE ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

Watch the cookie crumble as we check out the fine print on this wannabe healthy cookie.


Decoding the Fine Print

Wow. Nabisco’s new and improved Fig Newtons list “whole grain wheat flour” as the first ingredient on the label! If we were lazy readers we might have stopped there and taken the cookie at face value. But since we’re savvy-shoppers we kept reading to discover that those whole grains are followed up with a whole lot of junk ingredients. Take a look.

  • These cookies contain two chemical preservatives: sulfur dioxide and potassium sorbate.
  • Their sweet taste is chemically induced using corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
  • There’s nothing “whole” about partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, which is code for trans fats – the most harmful fat!
  • And the unnatural icing on this cookie is a mish mosh of chemical fillers like calcium lactate, malic acid, and artificial flavors!

Although these Fig Newtons do contain whole grain wheat flour, the other junk ingredients cancel out any benefit you might get from the whole grains. Nice try Nabisco!


BestBrands

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Readers, before you buy into the latest healthy cookie trends, tune in next week for the BrandAid Cookie Guidelines. There are a few brands in the cookie aisle that have answered our prayers and created cookies that are safe for consumption. When you follow our safety guidelines you’ll be sure to bypass the Healthy Food Imposters and go straight for the BestBrands cookies!

Can’t wait? Here’s a sneak preview of some of our favorite BestBrands cookies:

Barbara’s All-Natural Fig Bars – (all flavors)

Kashi TLC Tasty Little Chewy Cookies – Oatmeal Dark Chocolate
Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.

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In Our Opinion: The information contained in the eBrandAid e-newsletters is strictly based on the opinions of the eBrand Doctors. We have created a set of guidelines that we believe will help shoppers to better understand and decode food labels on products found in most grocery stores. Our mission is to help shoppers find the healthier brands that have the least amount of chemicals and other junk ingredients.

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