Are Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies Healthy?

 
03-Apr-2012 by

cranberry oatmeal cookiesCranberries and oatmeal, with their amazing hypertensive properties and disease retarding nutrients are considered as the perfect nutrient blends while preparing goodies like cookies and muffins.  These natural health capsules form a potent combination for a healthy boost to life. However, can the virtues of these ingredients withstand the processing techniques involved in baking cookies? Let us analyze the positive and negative effects of consuming these cranberry oatmeal cookies and find out for ourselves…

 

Nutritional composition of cranberry oatmeal cookies

 

Several varieties of cranberry and oatmeal cookies are available in form of both home baked traditional recipes to standardized commercial cookies. Each of these varieties call for different proportions of both principal ingredients and adjuncts, even though, home baked ones have little standardization, the commercial cookies need to follow certain guidelines set by USFDA. Based on these guidelines here are the typical nutritional values of cranberry oatmeal cookies…

 

Total calories – 150 kcal

Total fat – 6 gm

Saturated fat – 1.5 gm

Total carbohydrates – 24 gm

Sugar – 15 gm

Dietary fiber – 2 gm

Protein – 2 gm

Sodium – 95 mg

 

Unless fortified, these cookies will not have significant amounts of calcium and may provide not more than 4% Vitamin A and 6% iron.

 

Health benefits of cranberry oatmeal cookies:

 

  • Cranberry and oatmeal for a potent blend of dietary fibers, antioxidants, and trace elements, which combine to prevent or retard progression of several ailments including CVD, diabetes, and cancer.

 

 

  • Proanthocyanidins – a rare compound found in cranberries is known for its strong antibacterial properties, which helps prevent infections in the urinary tract and stomach. There is some evidence that this compound may resist mild cooking temperatures, suggesting that cranberry oatmeal cookies may also suggest exhibit the infection prevention properties.

 

 

  • Cranberry and oats are known as a potent remedy for hypertension and known to increase levels of HDL and reduce levels. Thus, cookies prepared using these two ingredients can potentially prevent and/or retard the progression of CVDs.  

 

  • oats and cranberryThese cookies are a good source of anthocyanins (from cranberry) and flavanoids (from oats). Antioxidants such as these are purported to reverse or retard breast and uterine cancers.

 

  • Being a good source of fibers, these cookies help maintain gut health and prevent constipation and related ailments.

 

 

Disadvantages of eating cranberry oatmeal cookies:

 

Cranberry oatmeal sure are highly nutritious ingredients, however, cookies are not just about the principal ingredients. Other raw materials like fat, flour, sweetener, flavoring agents, and other such additives make up for the major chunk of the recipe. These ingredients can several times negate healthy virtues of the key materials and turn the cookies into just another sugar filled, calorie dense baked goodie. To top it up the heat processing that the ingredients endure during the baking process further destroys several of the vital nutrients and compounds for which the cranberry and oats are popular.

Apart from the intrinsic disadvantages of turning cranberries and oats into a cookie, excessive consumption of dried cranberries (the type usually used in baking) can aggravate kidney stone condition. It is also not recommended for people with weak stomach.

To sum it all, cookies can rarely be called as a health food. However, some cookies are better than others are and cranberry oatmeal cookies belong to this category. Even though, regular consumption of these cookies is definitely not recommended, it is surely a better choice when compared with other baked treats like choco-chip cookies or butter cookies.

 

Image credits: cookiemadness.net, sheknows.com

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