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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2/2/2014 11:14:27 AM

They are yummy but addictive to me, so I avoid them.


2/2/2014 10:48:17 AM

RAY678's SparkPage
Why are you ignoring the fact that almost all of these cookies have partially hydrogenated fats? They may have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat so that they don't need to list it, but that doesn't mean they don't contain any. Most people will eat more than the serving size listed anyway.


2/2/2014 8:34:34 AM

TINAJANE76's SparkPage
I was just thinking about how much I miss Girl Scout cookies when, poof!, up popped this article, lol! I was a Girl Scout as a kid and have eaten hundreds, if not thousands, of these yummy cookies. I'd love to think that I could have them around and enjoy them in moderation, but I know myself and my triggers, so it's probably a good thing I can't get a hold of them in Italy. I'll have them again at some point, but hopefully it will be at someone else's home, where I can just eat a few and leave it at that.


2/2/2014 8:27:52 AM

BEACHGIRL328's SparkPage
In my area the girl scouts sell outside my grocery store so for the month of February I try to shop very early or very late but when I see them I just give them a donation. there is no one at home to share the cookies with and frankly I try not to buy boxed cookies anymore so I don't need to "treat" myself just because it's the girl scouts but I want to support them because I used to be one.


2/2/2014 7:11:55 AM

1LAZYCOOK's SparkPage
Oh, and the ones that I buy aren't listed here either. I don't know the correct name for them but they are both thin wafer type cookie. One has a thin lemon layer and the other a thin chocolate layer.


2/2/2014 7:09:47 AM

1LAZYCOOK's SparkPage
A friends daughter is a girl scout. Seems like they have more cookie sales than they used to and they have added a nut sale too. I hate to not support her but I still have most of the ones I bought the last sale (cookies and nuts) and have more coming. I put the cookies in individual portion freezer bags and pull out a bag at a time but still end up throwing most of them away. That's a good thing calorie wise and support for girl scouts wise but not money wise. Maybe I should just donate them......


2/2/2014 3:20:58 AM

LEGRETTA333's SparkPage
I was a girl scout leader for many years, and I HATED cookie season. BUT I got a reputation for being the ONLY leader in the entire region in which I lived to LOST weight during cookie season. I delegated the cookies to one of the moms, and REFUSED to have them in my house. I was working at a big law firm and those lawyers were SCARY... they would by them by the case...and I got permission from the law firm to use an empty office to store them in and again, I wouldn't open 'em up. Just delivered them in a mail cart every lunch hour. I got in an extra 45 mins of walking all during Cookie Delivery Time!!!!!! (I will tell you one of the moms said that the thin mints with a glass of dry white wine is not to be missed!) I used to joke with the kids that we would open another box of cookies 'when we have finished with the open box of Liver Snaps!' Needless to say... we didn't open any more cookies! The money does help the troops pay for stuff, but trust me, cookie season is a HASSLE!


2/2/2014 1:33:06 AM

Homemade is always better- You control what you put into them. Regarding sugar: brown sugar for chewy and white for crunchy.


2/2/2014 12:15:46 AM

Yum, yes, I miss the lemon cookies.


4/9/2012 7:32:04 AM

CJSUNSHINE20's SparkPage
They stopped making the ones I like...


4/5/2012 11:15:44 AM

i like the lemon thins


4/2/2012 10:04:47 AM

Thin mints are so good.


3/19/2012 11:15:59 PM

FIREWOMAN69's SparkPage
But they are all so good. Guess thats a good reason to stay away from them


3/17/2012 9:06:03 PM

CHIPLEY_FL's SparkPage
I think the worse for you are the best. I love somas. I want somas. My daughter bought some and is saving them for me for after easter because I gave up sugar for lent. I will have some. I will try not to eat the whole box.


3/16/2012 1:19:13 PM

NIKKIMARIE80's SparkPage
This year, I only bought one box of thin mints. I place them in the back of the freezer and take them out in July. Very cold minty goodness on the hottest days of the year. Then I go and work them all off. :)

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