Have you ever had a good look at the biscuit section of your supermarket? What a flash, no? Where do you even start? And let’s not even consider the numerous new biscuits that are launched each year! To help you, Maïa Baudelaire, Nutritionist and Coach Slimming Expert in Food Behaviour gives you her advice on which biscuits are the best for your health.
Biscuits, fine, but which ones?
A reliable regulation: European regulation is strict, it stipulates food limits. Therefore:
An ideal biscuit should contain …?
- less than 5g of sugar per 100g
- less than 3g of fat per 100g
- less than 1.5g of saturated fatty acids per 100g (bad fats can cause cardiovascular disease)
In reality, the ideal biscuit does not exist but some manufacturers make more of an effort than others! So here are my tips on how to find biscuits which are better for your health.
In practice, what does that mean?
Are you standing there in front of the biscuit section, at a loss? Firstly, look closely at the labels!
- Belvita biscuits claim to contain “Less than 30% sugars” on their packaging because they have 30% less sugar than the average chocolate chip cookie. So yes, even if these biscuits do not reach the 5g of sugars per 100g, they are still closer to the targets.
- Gerblé biscuits claim something similar, except in their case, they contain 95% less sugar than the average biscuit of a similar type.
- But Gerblé goes even further, offering biscuits without almost zero sugar (0.5g of sugar for 100g maximum). But you have to be careful of this type of biscuits. Removing sugar inevitably reduces flavour so to overcome this manufacturers often increase the amount of fat.
- Finally, some biscuits like Brossard’s Gingerbread contain less than 3g of lipids per 100g (0.9g here).
Maïa BAUDELAIRE’s advice:
Read the labels!
Feel free to compare products, this is the best way to make the right choice. Try to get as close as possible to the European recommendations, paying particular attention to sugar and fat content.
Limit your consumption: 2 or 3 biscuits seems to be the best compromise
to have some fun without feeling too guilty.
Even though some dietary cookies have certain nutritional benefits, it is far from automatic. Look carefully at the manufacturing claims on the packaging as they are legally conditioned.
Round off your snacks with a healthy option: at a coffee break or at breakfast, add a piece of fruit and / or a dairy product to increase a feeling of fullness and include calcium, vitamins and minerals whenever possible in your snack.
For those who wish to put on weight:
Choose biscuits that are rich in sugars and fats, they should be at least pleasurable to eat. In this group, there are MILKA biscuits, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and Oreo biscuits.
Look for products rich in wholegrain cereals to give you sufficient energy until the next meal. Belvita biscuits for example, with 5 whole grains, is a great source of slow-burning sugars. These cookies help to avoid those hunger pains in between meals.
Choose ‘engaged’ brands: Some of your favourite brands like LU are committed to improving the nutritional profile of their biscuits according to national recommendations.
My best advice: try making cookies at home, varying the tastes and types. There is nothing better than home-made cookies and who knows; you might even get to say: “I made them! :-)” Look up our recipes for slimming cupcakes and choose your Slimming Coach!