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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3/11/2016 8:23:02 PM

NORASPAT's SparkPage
I bought them and DH took them to work they are way too sweet and no bargain.

Later I had them sent to service men -that felt even better DH rarely got them.

I was a girl scout in England WE NEVER had to beg at doors and I prefer to never give Halloween CANDY.



12/22/2015 2:42:43 PM

I'm a diabetic, so I don't eat them anymore. When I worked I gave the money for 1 box of cookies to my boss & she had her girls (3 of them) decide which one they wanted to share.


2/23/2015 8:07:17 PM

Whether you like girl scout cookies or not, watch Gigi's "infomercial" about this year's girl scout cookies... it'd make Billy Mays proud ;)


1/19/2015 10:11:48 PM

MA_DIDDLES's SparkPage
I was a Leader once upon a time and discovered GS Cookies. I had so much fun with my Troup, even the cookies sales. Great memories there. The Troup themselves do not make much on the sales. When I was a Leader, the profits from the sales went to maintaining the Camps, so we started going camping.

I think after reading this articles or comments I am going to forget about GS cookies this year and in the future. I think it is a good idea to support the GS by giving them a donation. I would hope the local troup would get to keep the donation and not have to share any of it with the GS Council. I would rather give a local GS troup the donation rather than purchase the cookies just to give them to a co worker or the military. Do they need the cookies anymore than we do? Just sayin. Sooo support your Local GS Troop
thru a generous donation. Blessings, MA


1/19/2015 5:59:39 PM

LSHARRAR80's SparkPage
I LOVE THEM ALL!! I am also a selling of them because of my 6 year old daughter. Health wise, the mint have the fewest calories!


1/19/2015 4:35:43 PM

JUNEBUGT's SparkPage
I usually purchase the mint cookies or the old fashioned oreo type. Don't usually get to eat many for they are quite popular with others in the house.
Having the guides and brownies go door to door teaches them life skills about sale, managing money and rejection. This is a good event for the girls to do whether you purchase the cookies or not


1/19/2015 2:28:41 PM

These are guidelines to tell you what some of the things the cookies have. To do a quick comparison. The cookies are for the sales for the Girl Scouts. If they keep changing things than you might as well as go to a supermarket and get an oat bran cookie. There is not much left for children as it is, that adults keep saying don't do this and you can't have that. There is so much against sugar, which is a natural ingredient but the foods have become so processed and a lot of chemicals. If you go into a general supermarket, grab a thing of honey- did you look to see if you are buying honey or syrup? When you get cinnamon, there are 2 types, the cheaper and fake cinnamon is sold in the stores because it is less money and the government allows it, yet, places like Mexico and Europe won't allow it's use. If you go into a more ethnic store you could see differences in spices as compared to a general store which we all shop at thinking is the best for us. You don't have to buy them. You aren't expected to eat them 24/7 that was why they used to do them for a limited time because they were special treats designed to help the Girl Scouts. Scouts don't even get the recognition as they used to, not to mention there is no funding. You don't see the president or his wife say, let's make the Girl Scout cookies healthier and let us support programs like these for the kids.


1/19/2015 12:28:19 PM

I have a truck full of cookies from now until March......need some SERIOUS will power!!!

Most girl scouts do 'Cookies for the Troops' so you can donate a box OR most troops will accept donations for their troop, so you don't have to feel bad not buying a box, you can donate $1 (or whatever amount) to their troop. This is what I do since my daughter sells.


1/19/2015 11:14:46 AM

Silly article. What is "best"? What is "worst"?

How about re-framing this to simply state: Go online and read the nutrition facts before you buy them. Pay particular attention to portion size. Remember these are a treat, not a food group. Perhaps lobby the Girl Scouts to find a baker that will stop using palm oil.

Quit demonizing food.


1/19/2015 7:58:36 AM

SHINSHU's SparkPage
I'm glad they put both names of Girl Scout cookies. There are two bakers of Girl Scout cookies: Little Brownie Bakers, which have the more creative names like Do-si-dos, etc., and ABC Bakers, like Peanut Butter Sandwich cookie. Your local Girl Scout council might have used the same company as long as you can remember, or perhaps they've switched between the two over the years, for better pricing, incentives, etc. The mainstays are always the same (Thin Mints, Samoas/Carmel Delights, etc) but each company does produce some of it's own cookies too, like Savannah Smiles (Little Brownie) or Lemonades (ABC).

In the past Girl Scouts have modified their products to be more environmentally friendly (less paper/plastic). Perhaps if girls around the nation called for healthier ingredients then GSUSA could have them modify the recipes.


1/19/2015 12:15:38 AM

The Somoas are my favorite, figures they would be the highest in hydrogonated oils. Oh, well, I'll try to only buy one box this year!


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.

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