Are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Healthy?

Oatmeal raisin cookies, you either love them or you hate them.

There are some that will tell you that they don’t even deserve to be a cookie, while others will defend them to the ends of the earth, saying that not only are they a cookie but they are the best cookie.

Are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Healthy?

Where do I stand on the issue? If I’m being totally candid with you, the only time I have ever really picked up an oatmeal raisin cookie is when I’ve had that unignorable cookie craving and I’m trying to be ‘good.’ 

Anyone relate? You know when you scour past the white chocolate and raspberry cookies, the chocolate chip, and the ultimate double chocolate chip cookie, and you think no, better not.

But you can’t quite get yourself to walk away from the confectionaries. So you swipe the oatmeal and raisin thinking well they’re the healthiest option, they’ll do. 

And while that is true, oatmeal raisin cookies are one of the healthiest cookie options, it doesn’t equate that the cookies themselves are actually healthy.

They do provide your body with energy pretty quickly and there are some nutrients within them, but there are a whole lot more saturated fats and processed sugars in them.

And simply put, the negatives outweigh the benefits to a point that they just can’t really be called a healthy snack. 

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients within a raisin cookie and their advantages and disadvantages. 

Nutritional Information

Based on a typically store-bought oatmeal raisin cookie, they contain the following: 

  • 105 calories
  • 1.3 grams of protein
  • 18 grams of carbs
  • 0.7 grams of fiber
  • 10 grams of sugar
  • 3 grams of fat

As you can see the main ingredients within these cookies are sugar, fat, and carbohydrates.

And while these are fine in moderation, and one or two cookies here and there won’t hurt, you don’t want to be excessively consuming large amounts of sugar and fat. 

They are still a much better option that a chocolate chip cookie though. So if you must eat a cookie, oatmeal raisin cookies are the better choice.

While only having a minimal amount of extra calories, these cookies have substantially less of the good ingredients while having around twice the amount of saturated fats. 

The Good Ingredients In Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Healthy?

There are some good ingredients in these cookies that can have some health benefits. For example, these types of cookies often have two forms of carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber.

The benefit of these types of carbohydrates is that they are slow-burning. This means that they will offer energy for longer periods of time and will keep you fuller for longer.

Not only this but it can actually prevent your blood levels from spiking which can be dangerous. 

Oatmeal raisin cookies also contain raisins (obviously) which are another great source of fiber. Raisins can also help with your immune system, and a healthy immune system means you’re less likely to become sick. 

The Bad Ingredients In Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While there are some good ingredients in raisin cookies, they are used pretty sparingly compared to the ingredients which are bad for you.

So really, that minuscule amount of goodness is just going to become engulfed by the ingredients that are not so great. For example, a woman’s recommended intake of fiber per day should be around 25 grams while for men it’s 30 grams.

Each oatmeal cookie doesn’t even contain a whole gram of fiber. So you’d need to eat approximately 30-40 oatmeal cookies to have your daily fiber intake. Shall we now compare this to the sugar in these cookies?

For women, you should be eating no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar. Each cookie contains 3 teaspoons of sugar.

So that’s half of a woman’s daily sugar intake, and a third of men’s. So where you would need to eat 30-40 cookies to get your daily fiber intake, you’d need to only eat 3-4 cookies to exceed your daily sugar allowance.

That is quite the difference in numbers. 

Home Baked Cookies

While oatmeal cookies will never really be a super healthy snack, you can make them a lot healthier by baking them at home. Healthier food and a fun activity for the day?

Yes, please! When you make your own cookies you are in control of what ingredients you choose, and so you can substitute some ingredients for healthier swaps. 

For example, whole-wheat flour is a whole lot better for you than refined white flour. And I’ve tried this myself, so I can tell you that it really doesn’t impact the taste. But it does increase those ‘good’ carbohydrates that we spoke about earlier. 

You can also substitute some of the butter for applesauce. Now, I can’t say this won’t affect the cookie slightly, because it will. But it only really changes the texture of the cookie.

It does add a whole lot more nutrients to the cookie though, while also decreasing the number of calories within the cookie (butter is a real offender for calories.)

You can also double up your raisins and cut down on your sugar to keep a natural sweetness that is healthier but still super scrumptious. 

Final Thoughts

Oatmeal raisin cookies are not exactly the epitome of a healthy treat. They contain quite a lot of sugar and fats while having little nutritional value. However, with that being said, everything is okay in moderation.

An oatmeal cookie here and there isn’t going to severely impact your health or make you gain tons of weight. But you just don’t want to be eating them every night.

They are still a better option in terms of healthy swaps too, if you are definitely going to be eating a cookie tonight, it is better to be an oatmeal raisin cookie than a triple chocolate chip cookie for example.

However, if you often get those cookie cravings, I would consider home-baking your own cookies and swapping out some of those unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones. 

Jenna Priestly
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