The Best and Worst Girl Scout Cookies

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The Best and Worst Girl Scout Cookies

Written by Melinda Hershey, Health Educator

It's that time of year again: those adorable little Girl Scouts will be around any day now, and their colorful cookie boxes are bound to show up at your office--or maybe even your front door! Sure, Girl Scout cookies aren't the healthiest snacks around, if you do decide to indulge in these seasonal, nostalgic treats, here's how the cookies crumble.

Image source: Flickr

Lowest-Fat Girl Scout Cookie: Shortbread (Trefoils)

Shortbread (called Trefoils in some regions cookies) contain just 4.5 grams of fat for a four-cookie serving. As a bonus, the Shortbread variety is also the lowest-sugar Girl Scout cookie, containing just 1 gram of sugar each.

Highest-Fat Girl Scout Cookie: Tagalongs are the worst with 9 grams of fat in just two cookies. While eating dietary fat doesn't make you fat, processed treats like cookies generally use less-than-healthy fat sources that you should try to limit.

Image source: Flickr

Lowest-Carb Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)

Girl Scout cookies aren't exactly "low-carb," but if you're counting carbs for diabetes management, Tagalongs (called Peanut Butter Patties in some regions) weigh in with the lowest carbohydrate count: 13 grams of carbohydrate per two-cookie serving.

Highest-Carb Girl Scout Cookie: Its peanut-buttery cousin, the Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, contain twice the amount of carbs for a three-cookie serving: 26 grams!

Image source: Flickr

Highest-Fiber Girl Scout Cookie: Samoas (Caramel deLites)

Samoas (called Caramel deLites in certain regions) are among the highest-calorie, highest-sugar, and highest-fat Girl Scout cookies available, but if they are your all-time favorite, take comfort in this: they contain the most fiber thanks to the coconut.

But wait! Before you start ordering these chewy, coconutty delights in bulk, take heed--they are not exactly "high" in fiber. Two Samoas contain just 1 gram of fiber, which accounts for a measly 5% of your Daily Value. Clearly, you'd be much better off getting your fiber from healthier sources, like bran cereals (10 grams per serving!) or veggies.

Lowest-Fiber Girl Scout Cookies: All other Girl Scout cookies contain 0 grams of fiber.

Image source: Flickr

Cookies Lowest in Saturated Fat: Savannah Smiles and Do-si-dos

If you're keeping an eye on your saturated fat intake, the Savannah Smiles and Do-si-dos are your best bets. Each contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat per two- or five-cookie serving, respectively.

Girl Scout Cookie Highest in Saturated Fat: Steer clear of the Caramel deLites, two of which will set you back 6 grams of saturated fat--that's 29% of your Daily Value!

Image source: Flickr

Shortest Ingredients List: Shout Outs! and Shortbread

If you're looking to minimize your intake of unpronounceable ingredients or highly processed foods, then looking to the length of the ingredients list is one way to find something more wholesome. Both the Shout Outs! and Shortbread cookies contain just 10 ingredients.

Longest Ingredients List: Samoas, which list 20 ingredients on the box!

Image source: Tumblr

Get our full list of Girl Scout cookie nutrition facts.

Lowest-Calorie Girl Scout Cookie: Shortbread

You probably want to eat the most cookies you can for the least amount of calories, right? So which Girl Scout cookie will give you the biggest bang for your calorie buck? Shortbread is the winner! You can indulge in five cookies for a reasonable 120 calories.

Highest-Calorie Girl Scout Cookie: If you're looking to maximize your cookie volume, you might want to stay away from the Thanks-a-Lot cookies; you'll down 150 calories in just two crumbly, chocolaty discs.

Image source: Flickr

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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2/22/2014 5:13:50 AM

LEANMEAN2's SparkPage
I haven't had any girl scout cookies for decades. If they're not in the house, I'm not tempted


2/8/2014 4:00:24 PM

Since I went vegan, it's been super easy to avoid these cookies. Can't support animal cruelty, even if it's to help the GSoA.


2/4/2014 10:17:40 PM

CAROLJ35's SparkPage
Haven't bought Girl Scout Cookies in many years and no, not because of the calories! The company that makes them reaps huge profits while the Scouts profit is minimal.
I write a check for $5.00 and the troop gets all the benefit!!
(Learned this years ago when my mother was a scout leader. BTW, we sold the cookies for $.25 a box.)


2/4/2014 8:48:45 AM

Long ago, I used to snack on these cookies. I can afford to do that, because, I am not overweight. So, my choice to stop snacking on these delicious cookies has nothing to do with that issue. My main concern about these cookies is that after all of these years, and what we have learned about eating, this company still refuse to change their bad oils from hydrogenated oils to non-hydrogenated oils, making it a bad choice for people with various diseases. Hydrogenated oils of any kind are the ones that clog the arteries, cause high blood sugar, raise blood pressure and contribute to diabetes. Yes, they are absolutely delicious, but not so good for the health. I used to give the kids money for a box and not take the box. Now, I will not contribute to any company that refuse to modify their ingredients to be more healthy.


2/2/2014 5:19:52 PM

14BLESSED1's SparkPage
I'm glad I read the comments. I didn't know about donating them. Good news.


2/2/2014 4:38:08 PM

SUCCESSN2014's SparkPage
Sorry, but I'm more then likely in the minority here. I love Girl Scout cookies every year and I buy them and (GASP) eat them in moderation. I know what a serving size is for my favorite cookie (Thin Mints). So I package them up in ziplock bags by serving size and freeze them. Then when I want some I eat a serving, track it, and go about my day.

I'm not a big cookie eater but make a point to enjoy these each year.


2/2/2014 3:34:52 PM

CECELW's SparkPage
I took the cookies to work and just left them there. Office people love the treats.


2/2/2014 2:48:33 PM

If you do not want to eat them...DONATE THEM!!! Girl scout will donate cookies to the military (Troop 2 Troop program), they also put together care packages for local shelters or hospitals, and you can also donate to the troop itself. You just need to specify where you want your donated cookies (of funds) to go.


2/2/2014 2:45:53 PM

WARRIOR11209's SparkPage
I love trefoils and am at the point now where i can have 3 cookies and a glass of rice milk or a cup of tea and I am fine. In my previous(unhealthy) life, I would sneak in the bathroom and eat a sleeve acting as if the calories did not count. I was pitiful


2/2/2014 2:39:22 PM

Frozen thin mints are still my favorite. And they have enough flavor to have just one.


2/2/2014 1:42:27 PM

PJB149's SparkPage
Thin Mints are my favorite. In the past I would purchase the cookies to support the Girl Scouts and take them into work to minimize the damage. However, I am currently unemployed, so I will make a cash donation and NOT take the cookies. I can still help them out and not hurts my WL journey.


2/2/2014 12:49:46 PM

In my area the Girl Scouts also sell outside the grocery store. It's not bad enough to just avoid the aisle in the market , but to avoid those cute girls too? Well, one troop does a great can buy a box of cookies, and they donate them to the troops stationed overseas! The peanut butter and plain shortbread or any not containing chocolate (melt factor) can be sent, and they team up with a group of veterans that handle the shipping once they have a case or two to send! It's a taste of home for those serving our country and they can surely handle the extra calories. Great Job Everyone!


2/2/2014 11:57:30 AM

SAYYES's SparkPage
There are quite a few new ones since this article was posted. Cranberry something and in my area, there's a new gluten free cookie. I don't sell them, but I confess I have been thinking about buying a few boxes.


2/2/2014 11:26:09 AM

My granddaughter used to sell Girl Scout cookies, and I admit I ate way too many! Now I like the idea of just making a donation. It's good to support Girl Scouts and not sabotage yourself.


2/2/2014 11:20:40 AM

I buy my annual box of shortbread and thin mints. When I get home, I put them in the freezer in serving sizes and recycle the colorful box. It helps me keep them in portion sizes.

Once I buy my annual treat if I see the girls out, I just give them a couple of dollars. I doubt they keep much of the money from the box of cookies.

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