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Healthy…or Not? Granola and Organic Cookies
May 16, 2011
Before I get started, though, I wanted to mention a series of books entitled Eat This, Not That! These books are coauthored by David Zinczenko, the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine, and Matt Goulding, the food and nutrition editor of Men’s Health. They also publish a free e-newsletter that you can sign up for. You’ll learn a lot from them, believe me.
So, back to some deceptively healthy foods:
There are some redeeming qualities to granola, such as the fiber and the healthy fat (if it’s there), but the calories, total fat, and carbohydrate are on the high side. And granola tends to taste so good that it’s easy to overdo the portion. You CAN find lower-fat granolas on the market. For example, Bear Naked makes a “Fit” Granola. Depending on the flavor, one half-cup of this granola contains:
If the carbohydrate is concerning, it might be best to limit your portion to one quarter of a cup and mix it with a lower-carbohydrate cereal, such as Fiber One. Or use granola as a topping for fat-free Greek yogurt. Making your own granola is also an option, and you have more control over the ingredients and how much you add.
Well, that’s beside the point. My concern has to do with the marketing around them. These cookies are made with organic ingredients (organic sugar, organic cocoa, organic palm fruit oil, and so forth), which is commendable. But an organic food isn’t necessarily any better for you. Organic shouldn’t necessarily translate into “eat more.” Here’s what’s in a serving of two Original Newman-Os:
For comparison purposes, here’s what’s in two Oreos:
Both cookies contain palm oil (palm fruit oil, in the case of Newman-Os), which hasn’t exactly been proven to be a healthy oil at this point. Oreos do contain high-fructose corn syrup, while Newman-O’s have organic sugar and powdered sugar. The bottom line? If you enjoy a chocolate sandwich cookie now and then (and are a fan of Paul Newman!), go ahead and enjoy the Newman-O’s. Eating cookies is one of those treats in life and isn’t a problem as long as you don’t overdo it! You can always count those carbs. But as I always say, just be sure to read that label and know what you’re eating!
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