In an effort to try to cut down on sugars and sweets I decided to this year refrain from buying any Girl Scout Cookies. Turns out it was a short-lived and altogether futile experiment. For two weeks, my life was more or less a running of the cookie gauntlet, as inundated as I was with requests to buy. The Scouts were everywhere – the grocery store, church and the mall. Sign-up sheets flooded the break room at work, and people whom I had mistaken for friends on Facebook posted pleas to buy from their daughters and granddaughters. Did you know there’s even an iPhone app for locating Girl Scout Cookies in your general geographic region? And if, as unlikely as it would seem, the Girl Scouts haven’t found you, no worries – you can simply log onto the Girl Scouts’ website and plug in your zip code, and someone from your local troupe will be in touch right away.
When the inevitability of a freezer-full of cookies finally sunk in, I decided to do my homework and find the “healthiest” cookies to buy. Sadly, there are no healthy Girl Scout Cookies. But on a scale of “unhealthy” to “disastrous,” there are a few choices that are better than others. You’ll want to start by checking out the nutrition facts on each box. That said here’s the breakdown:
- Trefoils and Savannah Smiles seem to be the least “unhealthy” of this year’s batch. Trefoils are the Shortbread Cookies and one serving, or 5 cookies, packs 160 calories and 7 grams of sugar. The Savannah Smiles, or Lemon Cookies, actually have fewer calories than Trefoils (28 per cookie), but if you look closely at the label you’ll find that the cookies contain sugar, dextrose, invert sugar, and corn syrup solids. That’s four different kinds of sugar in one cookie!
- At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find two newer varieties, the “Lemonade” and “Thanks-A-Lot.” The Lemonades are shortbread cookies with a “tangy lemon frosting” and the Thanks-A-Lots seem to be the Girl Scouts’ answer to Keebler’s Fudge Stripe cookies. Both varieties pack a mighty caloric punch – one serving of two cookies will cost you 150 calories. Yep…..thanks a lot.
- In between you’ll find the standards – Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos, and Tagalongs – as well as three more new additions – the “Dulce de Leche,” “Shout Out” and “Thank U Berry Munch.” These varieties will set you back 110-160 calories per serving of two to four cookies.
In the end, I succumbed to both the pressure and the temptation and bought a few boxes of my favorites, the Thin Mints. A couple of these and a glass of milk are, for me, like a little slice of heaven. Healthy? No way. But remember, it’s all about balance and moderation. On the days I eat cookies, I also work in a little more cardio or extend my workout with a few more reps in order to work off some of the cookie calories. I’ll probably be doing lots of extra cardio and reps in the next few months, though. I just ran into my neighbor who gave me the heads up that her daughter will be selling candy as part of her school’s fund raiser. Sure, I say, sign me up for a couple of boxes.
“With or without almonds?”