As I found myself surrounded by those tasty once-a-year cookie treats, sorting them in preparation for delivery (and sampling my favorite flavors), I paused long enough to check the nutrition labels to see just how many cookies were in a serving size. It turns out two to five cookies are considered one serving (depending on your cookie of choice), at 110 to 170 calories per serving.
If you’re able to have two cookies and call it quits, that’s great. But if you’re like me, you’ll have to stop yourself before dunking an entire row of Do-si-dos peanut butter creme cookies into milk before eating them all (just the row, not the entire box!). At least I can say I met part of my daily calcium requirement from the milk.
Sometimes it’s better to know when you’ve met your match and learn to satisfy a sweet tooth in ways in which you’re less likely to overindulge.
Fresh fruit is a great choice. You’d be hard-pressed to eat an entire watermelon or a bunch of bananas in a single sitting! In addition to being low in fat, sodium and calories, fruit provides many different nutrients, including potassium (may help to maintain healthy blood pressure), vitamin C (important for growth and repair of all body tissues and keeps teeth and gums healthy), folate or folic acid (helps the body form red blood cells and reduces the risk of neural tube defects in women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in their third trimester of pregnancy) and dietary fiber (important for proper bowel function, and helps provide a feeling of fullness, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease).
If chocolate is your sweet treat of choice, try dark chocolate (I talked about the
healthy antioxidant benefits in my last blog post).
And if you just want that cookie crunch, try making your own healthy batch
by substituting white flour for whole wheat flour or adding quick cooking
rolled oats (for more fiber), replacing oil or butter with equal amounts of
unsweetened applesauce or adding dried fruit for an antioxidant boost.
Girl Scout cookies in moderation are great (have a few and freeze the rest), but healthier options may prevent your sweet tooth from taking over!
For more information on the health benefits of fruits (and vegetables), go to www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid.
Take care and God Bless,
Dayo Wilson Lanier, M.D.