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Every Girl Scout Cookie Ranked From Healthiest to Unhealthiest

Food
Healthline ranks Samoas, seen above, as the 11th healthiest Girl Scout Cookie. brian / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Nancy Schimelpfening

  • Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
  • Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
  • Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
  • However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.

Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.


However, that doesn't mean we can't have a few treats once in a while, nor does it mean our diet is "unhealthy" when we do.

In fact, according to Maya Vadiveloo, PhD, RD, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island, healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time with occasional treats, like cookies, eaten in moderation.

To help you make the most informed choices if you do decide to indulge this Girl Scout Cookies season, we've put together a list of the relevant nutritional information for each variety of cookie and ranked them from healthiest to unhealthiest.

Our rankings are based on nutritional information per cookie rather than per serving to make more accurate comparisons.

Based upon Vadiveloo's advice, we considered such factors as total calories, added sugars, and saturated fat when ranking the cookies.

Please note that for some cookies, you'll see two different names listed with slightly different nutritional information. This is because some Girl Scout Cookies are made by two different bakers, using different recipes.

We've ranked similar cookies together when possible, but we found that one cookie (Girl Scout S'mores) was just too different in its recipes and nutritional profiles to include both bakers under the same ranking.

Availability will vary depending on which region you live in.

1. Shortbread/Trefoils

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Shortbread (ABC Bakers)

Serving size: 4 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 120 calories, 4.5 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 19 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 5 grams added sugar, 1 gram protein, 1.2 milligrams iron

Trefoils (Little Brownie Bakers)

Serving size: 5 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 160 calories, 7 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 110 g sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 6 g added sugars, 2 g protein, 1 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Shortbread and Trefoils were the clear winner among all of the Girl Scout Cookies. Compared with other varieties, they were the lowest in calories per cookie (30 and 32 calories, respectively). They were also the lowest in saturated fat and added sugars.

2. Thin Mints

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Thin Mints (ABC Bakers)

Serving size: 4 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 160 calories, 7 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, <1 g fiber, 10 g total sugars, 10 g added sugars, 1 g protein, 1.6 mg iron

Thin Mints (Little Brownie Bakers)

Serving size: 4 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 160 calories, 7 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, <1 g fiber, 10 g total sugars, 9 g added sugars, 2 g protein, 1.2 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Thin Mints actually stack up pretty well against most other Girl Scout Cookies. At only 40 calories per cookie and only slightly more saturated fat and added sugars than our No. 1 pick, they earn the honor of being our second-healthiest cookie on this list.

3. Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Do-si-dos (Little Brownie Bakers)

Serving size: 3 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 160 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 11 g sugars, 10 g added sugars, 3 g protein, 0.8 mg iron

Peanut Butter Sandwich (ABC Bakers)

Serving size: 3 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 170 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 8 g total sugars, 8 g added sugars, 3 g protein, 1.2 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

While these two peanut butter sandwich cookies were a bit lower in saturated fat than Thin Mints, their higher added sugars and calories per cookie (53 and 57 calories, respectively) caused us to rank them No. 3 on our list.

4. Caramel Chocolate Chip (ABC Bakers)

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 3 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 170 calories, 8 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 12 g total sugars, 12 g added sugars, 2 g protein, 1 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

At 57 calories per cookie, ABC Baker's Caramel Chocolate Chip tied with their Peanut Butter Sandwich on calories, but the Caramel Chocolate Chip's higher amounts of saturated fat and added sugars pushed them to No. 4.

​5. Lemon-Ups (Little Brownie Bakers)​

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories, 6 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 7 g total sugars, 7 g added sugars, 1 g protein, 0.7 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Lemon-Ups were only slightly lower in saturated fat and added sugars but higher in calories than Caramel Chocolate Chip (70 versus 57), leading them to earn the No. 5 slot.

6. Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Peanut Butter Patties (ABC Bakers)

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories, 7 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, <1 g fiber, 8 g total sugars, 8 g added sugars, 2 g protein, 0.8 mg iron

Tagalongs (Little Brownie Bakers)

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories, 8 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, <1 g fiber, 8 g total sugars, 7 g added sugars, 3 g protein, 0.7 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

With higher saturated fat and calories (65 and 70 calories, respectively) than any of the previous cookies, Peanut Butter Patties and Tagalongs ranked No. 6 in our lineup.

7. Toffee-tastic (Little Brownie Bakers)

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories, 7 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 7 g total sugars, 7 g added sugars, <1 g protein, 0.1 mg iron

Why we ranked them as we did

While Toffee-tastic was virtually identical to Tagalongs in our chosen criteria, we ranked Toffee-tastic at No. 7 in order to keep the two versions of the previous cookie (Peanut Butter Patties and Tagalongs) together on this list.

8. Thanks-A-Lot (ABC Bakers)

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories, 6 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 10 g total sugars, 10 g added sugars, 1 g protein, 1.2 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

This cookie had the same amount of calories and saturated fat as Toffee-tastic. However, it had more added sugars, bumping it down to No. 8 on our list.

9. Lemonades (ABC Bakers)

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 150 calories, 7 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 9 g total sugars, 9 g added sugars, 1 g protein, 0.7 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Lemonades contained slightly less saturated fat and added sugars than Thanks-A-Lot, but we opted to rank them as a bit less healthy due to their higher calorie content (75 calories per cookie).

10. Girl Scout S’mores (Little Brownie Bakers)

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 150 calories, 7 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 10 g total sugars, 10 g added sugars, 2 g protein, 0.8 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Little Brownie Baker's Girl Scout S'mores had the same amount of calories and saturated fat as Lemonades, but their higher added sugars made them rank as less healthy.

11. Caramel deLites/Samoas

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Caramel deLites (ABC Bakers)

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories, 6 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, <1 g fiber, 12 g total sugars, 12 g added sugars, <1 g protein, 0.7 mg iron

Samoas (Little Brownie Bakers)

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 150 calories, 8 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 11 g total sugars, 10 g added sugars, 1 g protein, 0.6 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Caramel deLites were somewhat lower in calories (70 versus 75) and saturated fat than Samoas, but they both had the second-highest amount of added sugars of all the cookies, putting them in the 11th position on our list.

12. Girl Scout S’mores (ABC Bakers)

Healthline / Girl Scouts of the USA. All Rights Reserved

Serving size: 2 cookies

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories, 9 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, <1 g fiber, 16 g total sugars, 16 g added sugars, 1 g protein, 1.1 mg iron

Why we ranked this cookie as we did

Girl Scout S'mores from ABC Bakers is the least healthy among all of the options available. At 95 calories per cookie, they were the highest in calories. They also had significantly more added sugars and saturated fat than any other cookie.

Tips for indulging your sweet tooth in a healthy way

Beyond simply comparing nutritional information, nutritionists recommend the following for making sure you keep your cookie intake in balance:

  • Focus on eating an overall healthy diet. Vadiveloo recommends the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Mediterranean diet, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and the American Heart Association healthy diet guidelines as all being good choices.
  • Avoid labeling foods as "off-limits" or "bad." This can often backfire, leading to cravings and overeating, says Vadiveloo.
  • Practice mindful eating. Vadiveloo suggests eating cookies when you aren't ravenously hungry so you can savor the experience. This will allow you to eat fewer cookies and feel more satisfied.
  • Buy only your favorite cookies. While certain cookies have a better nutritional profile than others, Vadiveloo says it can sometimes be a better choice to buy the cookies you truly like. Eating a cookie you don't enjoy can leave you feeling deprived and resentful, ultimately leading to overeating.
  • Keep an eye on portion sizes. Nutritionist and author Shereen Jegtvig, who teaches at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, says it's important to note that suggested serving sizes are usually only a few cookies rather than the entire box.
  • Gluten-free cookies aren't necessarily more healthy. While they're better for those who have a genuine need to avoid gluten, Jegtvig says gluten-free cookies are nutritionally no better than their gluten-containing counterparts.
  • Buy fewer boxes. Jegtvig suggests buying fewer boxes so there's not a temptation to eat more than what you originally intended.
  • Make a donation. If you want to support your local Girl Scouts but don't want the temptation of having cookies in your home, you can donate cookies to U.S. military members serving overseas. You pay for the cookies and the Girl Scouts do the rest. You can also make a monetary donation to the Girl Scouts.
  • Balance your calorie intake. Jegtvig suggests cutting back elsewhere or exercising a bit more to make up for the additional calories.

The bottom line

While cookies are by no means a health food, it's possible to include them as part of an overall healthy eating plan.

Nutritional experts suggest you focus on eating them only in moderation.

Reading the Nutrition Facts label can help you make smart choices about how much and what you should eat.

In addition, when you do indulge, make sure you take the time to fully enjoy your cookies so you feel satisfied, which will help prevent overeating.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

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